Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Puppy Mill Wars

So Paco Collars has a company policy that we do not allow stores who sell puppies or kittens to carry our products. It's been a policy forever, but today it was finally put to the test.

First came the inquiry e-mail:

"We are a store called Pawsh Puppies Inc. in Chicago and would like to carry
your products. Please email us a wholesale catalog and pricing information.

So I sent them our standard form letter that includes a link to our catalog, which in turn outlines our company policies, including the one that states:

"-- we do not allow stores who sell animals to carry our products (puppy mills=bad)"

The e-mail then appears to have been forwarded on to someone with a different e-mail address than the original writer and the response is:

"We are going to carry live puppies for sale that we buy directly from quality breeders, nothing to do with puppy mills at all.
So we can’t carry your products then?"

"Send me the link to the breeder kennels and let me check them out. "

"Sure. They are the best around.

Go ahead and click it... I know you want to!

So, after some careful deliberation, I wrote back:

I'm sorry, but that would violate our policy.

They are a puppy mill. No reputable breeder would have three litters in a month, sell puppies to a store at 8 weeks of age, or make up their own dog breeds. Not to mention there is no proof of OFA testing, any titles or achievements.

They may be the best at what they do, but it is still not in the best interest of the animals and we cannot support that.

-- ana poe

It's funny because back when we first made the policy I never actually thought we'd have to defend it, but now I am glad we had it in place. If we can make one store open its eyes then it's worth the lost revenue.


Shanda said...

Wow. Well, at least they specify they sell "live puppies." 'Cause those dead puppy stores, I hear they are really bad.

I'm so glad you do business the way you do :)

Aroo Studio said...

Selling mutts even, ick. Your policy rocks.

Home2k9 said...

You go grrrrrl!

Ang said...

Yet another reason why you rock, you have the balls to back up your policies!

Whatbox said...

awesome policy. makes me love pacocollars even more.
No "quality breeder" would sell puppies to a petstore anyway--where they don't know who will end up buying them.

Laurence said...

Hi Ana,

It's Laurence from Pawsh Puppies. I just read your post and wanted to clarify a few things. We respect your policy because we too are very against Puppy Mills and we do extensive homework on our breeders to make sure that they are not puppy mills. We do not and have not purchased any puppies from Pick Me Puppies, I used them as an example because we visited their home and they are really a quality breeder. It's not fair for them to get a bad name because of your post.

We advocate first and foremost that people should look into adopting puppies first. However, only mostly medium and large breeds are available at shelters. People in the city have small apartments and often want small dogs.

We provide a great service by taking the work out of looking for reputable breeders for those people that don't know what to look for in making that determination.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Pawsh Puppies in Chicago is DISGUSTING, how can people buy from there with any conscience? Don't they realize it IS the same as a puppy mill? NO breeder would sell to a store if they were reputable. Stay far away from Pawsh Puppies on Halsted in Chicago, thanks Anna for your blog, keep it up.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for having ethical business practices...I will be a new, devoted customer of yours now! To the person from Pawsh Puppies...At least have an ounc of integrity to say what you are...nothing but a typical pet store dressed up to try to fool the public. I've been volunteering at a shelter for 14 years and guess what? We have small breed dogs ALL the time waiting for their lives to be saved. Have you ever made a trip to Chicago Animal Control? Ask for a behind the scenes tour and look at all the small breed dogs about to be killed. You play a role in this...hope you enjoy your profits and sleep well at night while the rest of us are picking up the pieced to protect as many animals as we can.

Anonymous said...

These people on your site bashing Pawsh Puppies are pathetic. I purchased a puppy from there and was given all the breeder information. When I contacted the breeder, she turned out to be the sweetest lady who really cared about her puppies. People who bash a store because they sell puppies are uneducated and presumptuos. Adopting is not for everyone and thank goodness places like Pawsh Puppies are around to give consumers a choice. The owners love the puppies and my overall experience was incredible.

Anonymous said...

I just searched this company to leave a good review on their site and found this. Ana Poeland is it? Not sure who you are or who really cares what you have to say but if you are against puppy mills you should redirect your negative comments on big pet stores that CLEARLY get their dogs from mills. Being a happy customer of this store, as well as my Sister and Boyfriend's parents, I want you to know that nothing you write will ever convince people to not buy from this store. I am thrilled that they opened. Maybe in your down time you can visit the store to see how well the puppies are taken care of, how much love they get and how they do care where they come from. Anyone who has bought a puppy from this store would agree. You have someone commenting on the dogs being muts? Lol wow, very uneducated followers on here. Do you know how many people on this planet love mixed breeds? Good luck with your collars. I've never seen or heard of them anyway.

Hulio said...

I think it is sickening that so many people have the view that all pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills. It is just just befuddling. Everyone that agreed with this person's choice not to sell to this store better have done research on the source the pet store owner provided and done some critical thinking on the matter before deciding to classify this store as being a 'puppy mill store'. Animal activists are usually mindless zombies that just agree with whatever PETA or various other groups spoon-feed them.
This pet store owner gave a link to the website of a breeder that does seem legitimate. Of course it is just a website, so you can only infer so much information from it, but from the information given, it seems legit. The owner of the collar company, Ana, gave reasons not to use that breeder that were absolutely irrelevant to what customers would actually want.
This particular situation is not a big deal; some idiot that owns a collar company refused business to a customer. But it just reenforces the mindset that pet stores are evil and, more importantly, that they are all the same. This is wrong, and people that claim to care about animals need to do some actual brainwork into what they are supporting before they jump on the bandwagon.

captain puppy said...

This store does indeed sell puppy mill dogs.The owner lies and tells you otherwise.He is under investigation by several groups at this moment.He does not visit the homes of these "breeders" as he has admitted.He only googles them to find out about them.There is not one reputable breeder that will sell puppies to a pet store let alone sell them over the phone.Wake up people and see what these cute little puppies left behind at the mills.A mother who is bred over and over until she dies or they throw her away or shoot her because she is no longer needed.Or how about checking out the dog auctions in Ohio for some more sickening facts.We are trying to educate the public on the truth behind puppy mills and the pet stores that sell these dogs.Please DO NOT
buy from pet stores.No matter what they tell you it is a lie!!! These are mill dogs that are cute and look healthy at the moment.It is likely that months or even a year from now you will be at the vet with thousands of dollars in vet bills because of the inbreeding of these little puppies.The shelters are full of these poor little guys.Help us help them!!Go humane and adopt.

Hulio said...

captain puppy,
What are your sources for all of this information? I would appreciate if you could site where this information on the owner is stated. I also don't know how you could possibly know about him using a search engine to find his breeders, unless you have some sort of personal connection to him.
I am in no way on the side of this pet store owner, but it amazes me back how so many people can throw him and other pet stores against the wall so easily. People need to do research on each pet store and their sources before they jump to crass conclusions. Also, just because there are several groups investigating the store does not mean anything. The mere fact that they are investigating does not mean anything.
There are a lot of bad pet stores that sell puppy mill puppies, but not all of them. Just don't stereotype pet stores; draw conclusions on an individual basis.

Anonymous said...

thank you for defending our four-legged friends who can not speak up for what is right or wrong. I will boycott Pawsh puppies and spread the word.

luvthemastheyluv said...

Hulio - there is proof that Pawsh Puppies buys from puppy mills. Look into The Puppy Mill Project. They are on facebook. Email Cari and she can tell you all about it. The proof is there. I am sorry, they are no different. No reputable breeder would ever give their puppies to be sold in a pet store. Reputable breeders care where their dogs go, they screen the buyers, and they also take them back. A pet store does none of the above. Our shelter gets dogs in every week that people have bought at pet stores and want no more. Pawsh Puppies is no different than the rest.

Anonymous said...

That is awesome! Thank you for your standards and policies!

Red Wolf said...

Good for you.
No reputable breeder sells puppies to a pet store because part of being a responsible breeder is screening WHO buys your puppies, making sure their home is appropriate for that dog/breed, and being available for the life of the dogs they produce.

I also wanted to say, I live in Chicago and I have a German Shepherd...not everyone has tiny dogs just because they're in the city!

Kelly said...

Great job! Pawsh Puppies is just like any puppy store that gets their animals from backyard breeders, hobby breeders or puppy mills. They make a huge profit and don't really care who buys the puppies as long as the check or credit card clears. The continued myth that no small dogs are in shelters is frustrating. I am now fostering my third 'taco bell' chi in a row, all rescued from shelters. And the owner of Pawsh Puppies continually calls people who question the source of his puppies uneducated. I am highly educated not only on puppy mills but in many things. I would probably bet that any post talking about people being 'uneducated' is just the owner posting. Keep up the good work!!!

Anonymous said...

Look at this article about Pawsh Puppies and the owner, http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7848-Chicago-Dog-Training-Examiner~y2009m11d28-Manager-of-Pawsh-Puppies-calls-shelter-dogs-other-peoples-problems

WE DONT NEED THEM HERE- stop buying, and they go out of business.

Anonymous said...

How can owner deny using puppy mills?

Dictionary.com definition:
Main Entry: puppy farm
Definition: a place where puppies are bred for profit; also called puppy mill

Anonymous said...

You are all annoying. The protesters are out there on the weekend when it is convenient for them, making a lot of noise and blocking traffic with their stupid signs. The store owner(s) is obviously responsible for the anonymous comments posted on the 26th and 27th, where they pose as a satisfied customer. How about we put all of you in a pit together and let you go at it M.Vick style?

ana poe said...

By the way, a fellow blogger just made a great post about just how one can go about getting their dream dog responsibly. Really good advice throughout: http://smartdogs.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/how-much-is-that-puppy-on-the-internet/

Anonymous said...

This puppy mill sold me a very sick puppy, then tried to blame it on someone else. The owner is Teri Campbell according to what she said on the phone, but her USDA number is under a tommy Campbell she told me she was a widow? I google earthed her kennel it is a puppy mill and needs to be closed down. Teri refuses to stand by her puppy. I am stuck with a very sick puppy with bad knees requiring surgery if she lives. USDA number 42-B-0253.
406 WEST 7TH
she has write ups for breeding puppies in facilities that were not inspected. Which leads me to believe that is where my baby came from and got sick under bad condtions. She also got written up for having a dirty kennel that was not cleaned properly, and that it harbors disease. It also looks like she has not been inspected for over a year. This puppy mill needs to be closed down.

Anonymous said...

I just bought a puppy from Teri Campbell and drove from Winona, MN. She promised me AKC paperwork with my Boston Terrier. After a 6 hour drive she delivered the puppy but she couldn't find the AKC paperwork! I did take the puppy and have been fighting her ever since on this paperwork. Since then she said she got in a horrible car accident. I have filed complaints with the BBB, the Sheriff of her county (he is going see if the DA will take her for fraud charges), and a few other government agencies. Her business will get shut down. Do not buy anything from her. I called the AKC and they have NO record of this litter being registered. DO not buy anything from Teri Campbell. She now lives in Exline, Iowa.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Email correspondence from Teri Campbell of Pick Me Puppies. Here is clear evidence NEVER to buy a puppy from her!

On Sunday, November 17, 2013 2:18 PM, Teresa Campbell wrote:
Shelters do it all the time they don't sell puppies unless they are fixed ??? so are you sure she's not fixed already??? shes was a discounted puppy 400.00 and not 800.00 have a great week off

On Sunday, November 17, 2013 8:42 AM, Brian Barton wrote:
Another lie saying she is spayed or should I say more fraud on your part. Good luck fighting the court system and the Better Business Bureau and whatever else I report you to. You can't spay puppies until they are 6 months old. If you did a call to the AKC will put you in great terms with them. Keep lying since this is all court records. Your links on your page do not match up. Like your vet who helps you. I called the Vet in Centerville and they have no record of this dog either. I can dig up all day long, I have the whole week off.

On Saturday, November 16, 2013 9:05 PM, Teresa Campbell wrote:
Look back on ad pet price only BITCH I sell my female bostons for 800.00 all u want to do is breed her and make a fast buck when u know nothing about breeding I will send ur apr papers out on Monday apr no akc for a 400.00 puppy not doing akc for a cheep puppy u act like shes a ch dog no u would never get breed rights on my ch lines that I have worked for yrs on and ps shes spayed already ur not going to make a dime on her ha ha see I spay all my puppies hehe so find her a new home cuz she's not going to make a dime for u that's all u was looking for a dog to breed to ur friends male not one of my babies nope eat that

On Saturday, November 16, 2013 7:36 PM, Brian Barton wrote:
Ok Sara Shondel or whomever you say you are. Like I said, it's fraud and I'm not taking what you say in a contract, on the phone or email since it appears your dishonest. If this is the way you treat your customers it's a miracle you sell any. I will continue my other options because the only thing you followed through on is selling me a dog, false advertising, fraud and bad business practices. I'm curious to find out any complaints by your other customers. I will make all the time in the world to find out.
Lisa Voelker

On Saturday, November 16, 2013 2:09 PM, Teresa Campbell wrote:
Yes I can and you will get your apr papers when we send them I have 60 days and the way that you have been acting it might be the full 60 days.
And no I did not do akc on this litter and that's my choice.
Thanks Sara

On Saturday, November 16, 2013 1:45 PM, Brian Barton wrote:
Well since you obviously can email new potential customers to sell your puppies, I'd like to know where my AKC paperwork is? The deal was $400 and paperwork. I called the AKC and they have no record of you registering the Boston Terrier puppy I bought from you on 10/12/2013. Until I receive my paperwork, this issue is not going to go away for you. It's called fraud and it's illegal. So you have a choice to send me $200 back or the AKC paperwork or I will go full steam ahead on fraud charges.

Lisa Voelker

On Saturday, November 16, 2013 12:22 PM, Teresa Campbell wrote:
That's fine 641-658-2788 is my home phone my cell is 641-895-4345
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

From: Brian Barton ;
To: Teresa Campbell ;
Subject: Re: morkie girl cupcake
Sent: Sat, Nov 16, 2013 5:20:34 PM

I will contact you on Sunday if your available. My wife is traveling for business and it's for our 4 year old daughter.

On Saturday, November 16, 2013 10:08 AM, Brian Barton wrote:
Does she come with paperwork and what's the guarantee on her?

Anonymous said...

I am looking at adopting a dog at a rescue that, I believe, came from this breeder (I can surmise by the breed and location -- not many breeders of this dog in the region). I looked up USDA reports, and Campbell was written up in 2013 for improper housing and no clear "exercise plan" (= dogs kept in cages all of the time). She eventually received a (new) license and hasn't been written up since. That said, what has been your experience with your puppies in terms of health? I am speaking of Pick Me Puppies, LLC. Since this dog is at a rescue, I feel ok about not giving her money. Just want to save the pup, who's really cute. But I don't want a dog that will have a zillion health problems later on (have already been through that hell). Not sure if this thread is still active, but I would love any info on the health of your Boston Terrier after 2-3 years.