L.A. pet store says it’s adopting, selling shelter pets

puppy mill dog photoI was struck by a recent L.A. Times article about how Last Chance for Animals and Best Friends Animal Society are organizing protests of pet stores that sell puppy-mill puppies in Los Angeles.

What struck me wasn’t the news about the protests (to which I say, hooray!), but this sentence about one pet-store manager, Jamie Katz of Pets of Bel Air:

She says Pets of Bel Air is adopting shelter dogs and placing two or
three a week for sale out of the store (which is something animal
activists encourage pet stores to do).

Huh? I’ve never heard of animal activists encouraging pet-store owners to adopt and sell shelter pets — rescue groups that I know of work hard to ensure their adopters plan to make their new pet part of the family.

But let’s play devil’s advocate.

The pet store, if it is in fact doing this** (and that’s a big if — see below), is getting pets out of shelters and in front of people who
might not think to go to a shelter for a pet.

On the other hand, one
would guess they’re cherry-picking small, purebred dogs who would most likely be quickly adopted or pulled from an overcrowded shelter by a rescue group (which would then use that pet’s adoption fee to subsidize care for sick or less-adoptable pets).

But on the OTHER hand, maybe getting shelter pets in pet stores is the only way to open the eyes of the Paris Hiltons of the world (although there are better ways of putting shelter pets in a pet-store setting!).

Anyway, what do you think?

**NOTE: In December 2007, the Humane Society of the United States charged that Pets of Bel Air was selling puppy-mill dogs to its celebrity clientele (read that story in the New York Times, the source of the photo in this post). And in April, the store was taken to court for selling sick puppies.