Sunday, September 18, 2011

BlogPaws Brouhaha

   It seems there is a little dust-up over at BlogPaws. The Blogpaws folks were blindsided by a blogger who didn't like one of their speakers at the last convention, and rather than talk with the folks at BlogPaws, just put together a post that the BlogPaws folks say was long on opinion and short on facts. You can read what the BlogPaw folks had to say here . And then come back and read the rest of my rant!

   During the Blogpaws convention I finally got angry about a nasty tweet from a shelter person about dog breeders and pet stores. So angry in fact I blocked them on my Twitter account, and I block no one but the spammers! But that was the final straw that broke the camel's back. I have had it with self-rightous people that have done nothing but demand that everybody has to do things their way... I guess those folks don't care about the folks that could do a lot to help shelters find homes for animals. They only care about telling others what to do! Well, excuse my French, but too damn bad!

   These people DO NOT CARE about animals, they just want to be in control.  They finally pushed me one time too many, so from now on out I'm going to call them out every time I see them lie about other people because they think they can get their way by lying, or they can self-rightously hurt other people's feeling because those folks don't do things the way they want them done. The folks at Blogpaws are trying to be nice about it, but I guess they just haven't had to put up with as much of the nastiness I've seen from folks like Mel, or didn't realize these are control freaks, and that is more important than animals having homes to them.

   After the BlogPaws convention  I wrote and re-wrote three different posts, but I was still too angry to post them. Well. I'm still angry, but the blogger that wrote the nasty post about Blogpaws is exactly the reason I'm angry, so here it is. They would rather complain about one of the speakers at BlogPaws, and apparently tell lies about that person because they don't like it that the person sets up websites for purebred breeders. The fact that he also sets up website for shelters for free doesn't cover for his other "sins" in their eyes. And it is a sin to them if you don't fall in line with their dogma!(Breeders BAD! Pet stores BAD! Everybody who doesn't agree with them BAD!) Hey! Maybe he should just stop giving away his time and the work he does to help shelters! What do you think?

  Apparently the Mels in the world don't care too much for folks that think and do differently than what they want them to do. Every breeder is a "puppy mill" to them, and the truth doesn't matter. They would rather run off folks that love and care for their animals just as much as they do, because "those folks aren't decent"(and yes, that is EXACTLY what I have been told...) since they didn't BUY their animal at a shelter(and no, you do not "adopt" an animal at a shelter; if you did you'd pay court fees and get a legal document, or at minimum have a follow up service like the BLM does with the Mustangs and Burros, where the local animal service comes out at least four times in the first year to see that you are caring for that animal before you get LEGAL ownership from the BLM. No shelter does that that I'm aware of. Once that animal is out of there, they're on to the next fundraiser.)

   So, I do not ever want to hear that pet stores selling animals are bad, unless you are going to say SHELTERS who are ALSO selling anmals are also bad! There IS no difference. All those animals need homes, and it doesn't matter where they come from. Or maybe you think the shelters should have a monopoly on selling animals? Why? They are just two businesses doing the exact same thing.

   I can't begin to tell you how many folks I know that the Mels in the world have run off from twitter or facebook, or the number I have tried to get to stick around, they were just too tired of the hate coming their way! They were there to talk about their animals just like the rest of us, but since the Mels don't approve of the fact that they have purebreds, or horror or horror, raise purebreds, they couldn't do that. Those folks were there to help at the pawty fundraisers too, and to help shelters. But not any more! I can't tell you how many times in the last six months alone I have thought about walking away from it myself. I don't need the nastiness that comes from folks who think they have the right to tell others what they should do, and that those folks had better do it their way, or else!

   I talk with nationally known breeders and AKC competitors. When I ask them if they could help with pawpawty and the like to raise money for shelters they tell me "Why? Those people hate us." (AKC folks can't even sell their pups through a pet store, or any place besides where they raise their animals. But I'm betting the Mels in the world aren't going to let a little fact like that get in the way of their nastiness)

   The pet stores I have worked with, and dealt with feel the same. Even though I know for a fact that all of them work very hard to make sure that every animal they have has been throughly vet checked, as well or better than any shelter, that doesn't stop the lies from these people who are never asked to prove their nasty statements. (well, you might want to say...that might not be true for all pet stores. Well it might not be true for all shelters either, but that sure isn't going to make any difference to folks like Mel!)

   And yeah, I'm still angry. These folks don't want to help animals, they want to control other people's choices.

   Sorry for the rant. But folks like Mel would rather cut off their own noses to spite their face if they don't get their own way. They DO NOT CARE that there are loads of folks that want all animals to have homes that THEY have run off with their attitude. Folks that would be helping, except for the treatment they get from folks like Mel. They will just stay away from shelters and folks like that, and do what they can without dealing with the Mels in the world.

   So finally it comes down to this. Do folks really want to help all animals have a good home, or do they want to tell others that they have to do it their way or else? I'm pretty certain where the Mels in that question fall...


  1. Ruthi, your post is truly heartfelt. I'm sorry you are experiencing this negativity. Are you a BlogPaws community member? Are you a breeder? I'm sure you know that most criticism of pet stores is that they promote puppy mills - but, I hope people don't lump reputable breeders in with them. Do you think they do? We had to finally admit that the speaker is involved with puppy mill breeders. That saddened us and gave us pause. I'd like to hear more of your thoughts.

  2. Many people involved in pet related causes are very passionate and heart felt with their causes. As much as we are a community in that effort, our individual personality traits do influence our approaches and attitudes, and sometimes we rub each other the wrong way.

    I do see a difference between pet stores that sell pets and shelters/rescue groups who charge adoption fees. Most pet stores who sell pets receive their "product" from questionable breeders that often are traced to inhumane puppy mills. As long as these stores continue the sales, the puppy mills will continue their inhumane treatment of animals.

    Shelters and adoption groups, however, are rescuing animals without homes and the fees simply cover the cost of spay/neuter and other costs of care.

    Reputable breeders exist, and they follow ethical standards for humane care of animals. They follow best practices and distinguish themselves from disreputable breeders. They sell to individuals, not stores. They do on occasion get accused of being like puppy mills, and it is sad. I was glad that Mike Arms of HWAC and other speakers made a point of clarifying and honoring these breeders at BlogPaws.

    I think "calling people out" is one way to address the disagreements, but in this case between Mel and BlogPaws, it caused more problems than it solved. What seems to have gotten things back on track was interacting on a level of trying to learn more about the other's perspective. When you do not understand why someone did something the way that they did, it is best to learn more about them instead of jumping to conclusions. When feeling attacked, it is best to learn more before reacting. Openness and congenial dialog seems to be working now, and has strengthened the community. I applaud Mel and BlogPaws for doing that.

  3. Yvonne & Vicki. Well, right off the bat you two bought into the meme that pet stores sell "puppy mill" animals. You have no proof for that, but you are willing to use a broad brush and do no due diligence on your own. Somebody said it, and you believe it. So Pet stores are bad.

    No, I am not a breeder though I have and will continue to have purebred dogs. I tease that Dolly is Cocker royalty, but Cockers have genetic skin, eye, hip and deafness problems. I chose to get my 5th Cocker from someone I know has bothered to do all the rather expensive work of making sure their animals are healthy and do not have these problems.

    I have worked in petstores for years. Pet stores do not make any money on the animals they sell. They make their money from the subsequent purchases folks make after buying their puppy or kitty. 90% of the cost of an animal in a pet store is the Vet Check. And, those animals deserve a home just as much as one in a shelter.

    Unfortunately there are many folks that will lie to get things their own way. That is nobody can get an animal, excepy under their rules.

    So, unless you are willing to do something about those folks, the animal community will continue to be fractured with lots of folks just finally giving up on dealing with the absolutists who go out of their way to lie about, and hurt other animal folks.

    It is NOT the breeders, purebred folks, OR pet stores that are the problem. They want homes for animals as much as anybody else does.

    The problem is the folks that want everyone else to do it their way, and the folks that let them get away with chasing good folks away.

  4. Oh, one more little thing...did you see the chip in up top for animal aid to Japan? While I am never going to claim credit for the wonderful amount raised, when have you seen anything even remotely close for animal shelters?

    Folks I know on twitter who will never donate to our shelter causes let me know they were donating to HELP THE ANIMALS in Japan. Some of these folks can easily afford were sizable donations... Why do you think these folks won't get into helping with shelters?

  5. You make some good points, Ruthie. I do not profess to be an expert on the subject. I have read some articles from some good sources, but I am open to the possibility that my perspective is skewed.

    I know that the groups with which I work are working on the behalf of the animals, and they struggle to do it. I cannot speak for all shelters, and I won't.

    Thanks for keeping my perspective growing!

  6. I helped with shelters Flicka. I volunteered at one for 8 1/2 years. I also raised money for them. I am currently fostering a Sheltie for a Sheltie rescue. Both of my dogs came from a puppy mills (one via a pet store where a lady bought him to rescue him because he was covered with fleas). My foster dog was from a puppy mill and continues to operate even today.

    I would ask that you please get to know me before assuming I am trying to "control" people. I actually have a lot of experience in rescue and working with dogs. I am also well-connected with a lot of rescue folks.

    Puppy mills dogs supply puppies to pet stores. That is a fact. I have seen the shipping reports for many of the pet stores in our area. You can look a lot of information up now on Aphis. I encourage you to do so. The USDA posts their inspection reports.

    I'm not some fly by night nut case who makes accusations without doing my research. I hope that you read my follow up post to BlogPaws, but if not I can only say I am disappointed that you didn't bother to get to know me before judging me and my apparent need to "control" things and people.

  7. As an added note, I do recognize the difference between responsible breeders and puppy mills. One of my clients was a responsible breeder and showed her dogs as well.

  8. Daisy's mom ~ Well, I can't find your post at BlogPaws. Sorry I would have liked to have read it.

    You apparently are missing my point. You would rather run off folks that could help you because you want to bad mouth breeders and pet stores.

    Well over 20 years ago I got two Cockers that quite likely were "puppy mill" dogs. I got them from a nationally known pet store, and they were both from out of state. However there was absolutely nothing wrong with either dog. One lived to be 14 and was killed by my vet giving her a shot she should not have had.(do you now want to bad-mouth all vets too? I don't. There are good folks and bad folks, but you can not judge everyone by the bad ones!) The other lived to be seventeen. Both dogs were healthy until they died and especially the seventeen year old lived to a ripe old age!

    Animals, just like people do get sick. It may well have nothing to do with the breeder, especially if it is not a genetic condition. Don't blame every health condition on "puppy mills".

    It is also a fact that I have worked for many pet stores, and they do not use "puppy mills". I have been to many of their breeder's homes to pick up the puppies and kittens. They have all been quite healthy and have passed the vet checks the stores did after I picked them up.(and the pet stores I have worked for have a money back guarantee that they will be healthy).

    You can not possibly "know" that every pet store has "puppy mill" dogs and cats. That is a physical impossibility. But you will continue to say you can. The only reason left then is that shelters don't want the competition or to give folks the chance to make their own choice about where they get their animals.

    Sorry, it is quite apparent that you do not care about the folks you run off since they won't do it your way. I can count at least 10 folks on twitter and facebook that are no longer there because of the dogmatically mean way they have been treated and the names they have been called. They will do what they can to help animals but not a one of them will have anything to do with shelters now.

    I know several nationally showing AKC breeders, not a one wants anything to do with helping shelters. They are just flat tired of the badmouthing they get.

    So, what are you left stores will not help you, small breeders will not help you, and neither will nationally recognized show handlers.

    If you really care about every animal having a home, I would think you would want all these folks on your side, but apparently you don't want these's easier to just bad-mouth them and run them off.

  9. It appears that you and I will never agree on this issue, and that's ok. I respect that.
    Your experience is not mine, not mine yours. The world would be a pretty boring place if we did agree all of the time.

    Thank you for at least taking the time to review the facts.

    I do want to say that I find it sad that people have been forced off Twitter for disagreeing with someone. That was never my intent.

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  11. Sorry I did not read your post last month, and I'm also sorry that I stepped into the middle of a conversation that I did not fully understand.

    I agree that everyone should be allowed to have the pet of their choice purebreed or not. I have no problem with people who are responsible breeders, who raise healthy animals and work to find them permanent, loving homes.

    However, I do have a problem with large-scale puppy mills who breed dogs over and over again and who keep them in horrible conditions. And I'm sure you do too.

    I am a "shelter person" meaning I would like people to adopt rather than buy a pet simply because there are so many homeless pets out there already. If you want a purebred dog, there are already plenty in shelters and rescues.

    I'm not a control freak, and I'm not trying to tell anyone else how to live their life.

  12. Vicki,

    No you are not a control freak,and I never said you were. But you are letting people who are coopting your desire for every animal to have a home. Mel is a great example of that, she will lie to your face(or tweet as the case maybe)saying she never said she didn't want to prevent all pet stores from selling pets, or do away with ALL breeders.

    When you confront her with her OWN blog post, she will still lie(there's a link in my current post to her blog post saying just that...)

    I would like everyone who gets an animal to realize it is a lifetime commitment, not a throw away item. Doesn't matter to me a lot where the animal comes from, as long as it gets a good home.

    Yes I do have a problem with puppy mills. And yes,unfortunately they do exist. But you do realize that even by the Humane Society's numbers there might be 10,000 "puppy mills"? That would be one for every 30,000 people in the US or half of one for every city, town, and muncipality in the US (18,400+)The numbers become slightly suspect if you look at it that way...

    Most states have laws against true puppy mills. A large scale breeder is not necessarily a puppy mill,for most breeders it is just a very expensive hobby. To make any kind of living at it requires having many animals. I can give you money numbers on what it costs to breed and care for just one animal, but simply if you sold 6 puppies for $1500. a year, you would have spent approximately $2,000 more than you made...and that would not have even touched the costs of campaigning your dog for a year in the show ring.

    And I will admit that those that are going to break the law don't care...

    But a puppy mill is not a pet store... which is what folks like Mel are going after(and using Blogpaws to do so).

    So, why doesn't she go after puppy mills? Seems like that would be a much easier task if you only figure one pet store in each city in the US and use the Humane Society's(most likely inflated) numbers. And I'd imagine most large towns have more than one pet store... So at max 10,000 puppy mills to a minimum of 18,400 pet stores. Using what is probably a more realistic number of 5,000+/- puppy mills, she could cover and expose them all herself. But she goes after pet stores and doesn't want responsible breeders to have any way to sell their animals...

    And she wants to coopt BlogPaws to do it...

    (ps that would be a generalisation to say there are plenty of "purebreds" in shelters. I watch a lot of the listings for Cockers in shelters. 85+% are not purebred if you know what to look for, they are dogs with some Cocker characteristics. Which in and of itself doesn't matter if you are just looking for a good pet.

    But, no if you want a purebred, you need to go to a breeder that breeds for the conformation and characterics of their breed, and has the paper work to prove that they have done all the genetic testing available so that their animals are healthy.

    And you should educate yourself on the advantages and disadvantages of the breed you want. No pedigree in the world will stop a Cocker from piddling at the drop of a hat! It's a byproduct of their bouncy personality, so you have to know it will happen. They WILL get excited, and there WILL be times you will have to clean up after them. Know your animal.)

  13. Ruthi - Thanks for your response. I should have not have said "plenty of purebreeds" since you are correct in saying that many are mixes.

    Here in Pittsburgh, we have three major shelters that work with various breed rescue organizations so I am familiar with many of them - and I know they work very hard to find homes for their animals.

    I also know pet stores in Pittsburgh who work with the local shelters to place puppies, cats & rabbits. So again, not ALL pet stores sell puppy mill dogs.

    Like any debate, the truth lies somewhere in the middle - not ALL breeders are bad, not ALL pet stores are bad, and not ALL animal advocates are crazy, control freaks (my words, not yours).