Look up Puppies of Westport on the Web, and you’ll see the store’s proclamation that they are “committed to shutting down puppy mills.” And, they should be. Puppy mills are a breeding ground for animal neglect and cruelty. An intact female can legally spend her entire life in a tiny cage that is only six inches taller than her and six inches longer than her body length. She is never given any human attention or toys to play with, can be kept outside in the cold of winter and the heat of summer, and is often caged with several other dogs. Though, Puppies of Westport claims to be against this sort of treatment of animals, they continue to purchase puppies from breeders with multiple USDA violations.
Those who selectively breed, don’t sell to pet shops and aren’t required to be USDA licensed as they breed ten or fewer intact females. Breeders with puppy mills do. While Puppies of Westport may have adorable puppies, the dogs these pups leave behind often have fur that is severely matted and nails that are so long they become ingrown. They can be covered in their own feces, have algae, mold and/or excrement in their food and water dishes and can suffer from untreated health issues. This situation needs to change, and you can do something about it.
Visit one of the many local shelters and ask to see a dog that has been rescued from a puppy mill. You will witness, for yourself the psychological and physical damage these dogs endure. By buying a puppy from Puppies of Westport, you are directly supporting animal cruelty and neglect. I urge you to Boycott Puppies of Westport in Norwalk.
Animal rescue groups have many purebred dogs available and adorable puppies as well. By adopting an animal, you are saving a life and are helping to solve the problem. Petfinder.com is a great source for finding your new family member, but if you can’t find a rescue dog that’s the perfect dog for you, many reputable breeders do exist. Reputable breeders screen potential homes thoroughly, are proud of their animals, want you to see the puppies’ parents, won’t always have puppies available, and typically stick with one breed.
Please ask the owner of Puppies of Westport, Monty Kaufman, to stop selling puppies and to focus instead on selling pet supplies or suggest that he host adoption events for local animal rescue groups. Ask Mr. Kaufman, why he says on his website that, “We’re committed to shutting down puppy mills” when that is where he buys his puppies? Ask him to show you the USDA inspection reports on his current breeders. He claims, “We will only deal with breeders who have three years of clean USDA inspections.” I personally visited his store on Sunday November 28th and photographed the identification cards on each puppy’s cage. After searching USDA records, here are just a few of the violations for the breeders listed on these cards:
Breeder Rhonda Gear was inspected on September 8, 2010 and was found in violation for the following: “In two enclosures inside the sheltered facility, there were two male Rottweilers that were not tall enough to allow the dogs to sit, stand, and lie down in a normal manner, and to turn around freely,” and also, “An adult female Cocker Spaniel ‘Blackie’ had fleshy protrusions in the medial aspect of each eye… This item was non compliant on January 20, 2010 and May 17, 2010.”
Breeder Debbie Turner was inspected on October 4, 2010 and was found in violation for the following: “The following dogs are in need of veterinary medical attention: 1) female black and white Cocker Spaniel. Her left eye has a reddish colored mass of swollen tissue in the corner and has a brownish discharge around it. 2) Female, red and white Pomeranian is holding her right eye in a closed position and squinting. She also had matted hair around her bottom. 3) Female Dachshund: both of her eyes are sunken and the eyelids curl inwards and have wet discharge around them.”
If you have purchased a puppy from Puppies of Westport and it is sick, Connecticut has passed a new puppy lemon law that allows you to keep the puppy while getting up to $500 towards veterinary bills.
Please be aware that these are merely a couple violations from a few breeders. Many other breeders that sell to Puppies of Westport have also violated the Animal Welfare Act. Anyone can access these reports on the USDA’s website. I hope that you will join me in my boycott of Puppies of Westport. Hopefully, together, we can encourage Mr. Kaufman to honor his commitment and stop supporting cruel and inhumane puppy mills.