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Letter to the Editor/Online Comments

BY DI READERS | MARCH 07, 2013 5:00 AM

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What about the puppy mills?

I was disappointed with your story about students and pets benefiting from visits to Petland. I agree that petting an animal is excellent for stress relief and has been proven to lower blood pressure.

However, stating that the animals at Petland benefit had me fuming.  

The puppies at Petland are puppy-mill dogs. Yes, if you ask, Petland staff members will tell you that they get their puppies from reputable breeders and licensed breeders, but even licensed breeders have horrific conditions.  

The particularly upsetting statement was the one from the manager of Petland stating that it helps the socialization of the puppies to have students come in and handle them.  

That is true. But maybe Petland could show some concern for the socialization of the breeding parents of those puppies that are suffering in tiny cages that never have any human contact. Most of them don’t know the feeling of grass under their paws because they have never been out of a cage. Iowa is the second-largest puppy-mill state, but in talking to students, I have found that many of them don’t even know what a puppy mill is.  

I would love to see *The Daily Iowan* follow up with an article about puppy mills and educate the student population about the realities of pet stores like Petland and the puppies they sell. Adopt, don’t shop.

Lynette Eldred
UI staff

RE: ‘Local students and animals benefit from Petland visits’

I want to invite these students who think they are seeing responsibly bred dogs to come to my house and witness the horrible condition of their mothers and fathers who were bred and bred with little or no vet care locked in a cage all their lives.

Then tossed away to shelters or auctions, where my Boston-terrier rescue group takes them in. We spend thousands if dollars on these poor animals. But the really hard part is allowing them to become a real socialized dog when they have never had the chance to be one. It can take a very long time.

Melanie Hamblen Walker

Lauren, please give consideration to writing an informative article concerning the conditions of breeding kennels and the mothers and fathers, which produce the hundreds of puppies sold to Petland stores across the country. If students desperately need an “outlet” to help relieve stress, I recommend they look to their nearest animal shelter, pound, and humane society.

Mary O’Connor-Shaver

These animals are not socialized because they come from puppy mills. They are kept in tiny, filthy, crammed cages where their mothers spend their lives being bred over and over. None will ever know love, the feel of the grass beneath their paws, a kind word, or the touch of a gentle hand.

They will however suffer from respiratory illness, mange, fleas, disease, abuse and when no longer making money — a very cruel death.

With millions of dogs PTS every year in shelters due to overcrowding, may I suggest you spend more time bringing attention to the plights of the animals in these mills. Or perhaps take the college students to a mill and let them see first-hand where these puppies come from.

Cher Fazio

Just wondering if any of you students who go to the local Petland to play with the animals know anything about puppy mills and Petlands association with obtaining their puppies from these horrible places.

Millions of dogs and cats killed every year due to overpopulation, and Petland adds to that by encouraging overbreeding. Not to mention horrible conditions of animals in mills. You are all supposed to be with it and educated, educate yourselves and protest Petland. Go walk dogs and socialize those at pounds and shelters; better yet, go to a pound on kill day.

What types of lies were told to this reporter who obviously was swayed by the cute little pets. She needs to be a real, big-girl reporter to make the public aware of the true news behind her feel-good story. Surprised the students are so ignorant, too; college truly does not teach life but only book smarts.

Karr Ash

Another aspect that was not mentioned in this article is that it is actually not beneficial for puppies to be exposed to so many people in such a small, condensed area, because there are many diseases that a human can pass along to a canine counterpart. That is why respectable organizations such as humane societies do not allow not serious adopters to play with the dogs because it is harmful to their mental and physical health.

I do agree that puppy therapy is a great stress release for college students and that is why there are the therapy dogs who go to the Blank Honors Center or UI Libraries to provide that relief for students during midterms or finals, but those specially trained dogs do not equate to the puppies at Petland.

This is a fluff piece, which actually has the potential to turn into a more thoughtful, investigative piece if the passion and energy is put into it. I encourage Lauren to consider doing an enterprise story on animal rights, puppy mills in Iowa, pet stores, etc. Something with more substance that causes readers to consider action towards reforming the attitudes that Petlands are an acceptable place for a living things to be shipped to, crated in, and “loved.”

Caitlin Patricia Fry


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