North Washington Street Kennels is a pet shop near the junction of I-70 and I-25 near Denver, CO. I’ve been there, and I can tell you first-hand that there is something very wrong with those puppies. It amazes me that anyone would buy a pet there, as when I walked in I saw dogs with green eye-goo, runny noses, and a variety of other ailments that tipped me off to the fact that these puppies did not come from a good breeder.
Turns out the puppies came from mills owned by the person who also owns the pet shop: Jeff Fortin. This Channel 7 news article reports that “1,200 dogs were euthanized at his kennel near Oberlin Kansas, after it was apparently linked to distemper in puppies sold to a store in Wyoming.” The story also reports North Washington Street Kennels is being sued by a couple who purchased a Maltese puppy there and then subsequently had to spend $4,000 in medical bills nursing it back to health.
Laure Molitor, a Colorado State University student, has the right idea. She is working to stop the sale of dogs at pet shops in Ft. Collins. This will greatly reduce the demand for puppy mill dogs, as pet shops are one of their main outlets. This will also help consumers in that they will no longer be able to make rash decisions about adding a dog to their families by going to the mall, picking up a pair of jeans, and oops, coming home with a puppy.
Check out this article about the proposed ban, and note that the pet shop owner interview says that they only sell dogs from USDA licensed breeders. The only reason a breeder would get licensed by the USDA is if it was a puppy mill, but the generally public doesn’t know that and probably thinks the USDA licensing means the breeders supplying the pet shop puppies are reputable. VERY SAD. Please help to educate others about this.
Laure needs URGENT help with collecting signatures, and Happy Tails Books wants to give you added incentive to go.
Happy Tails Books will donate $20 to a Colorado-based non-profit rescue for every person who goes up to Ft. Collins to help collect signatures before January 27th (up to $200 total). To take advantage of this, you just need to tell Laure Molitor, the organizer, that you heard about going up to help from me (Kyla Duffy), and then you should email me and let me know to which rescue you want me to donate.
Here are the details:
* When: Whenever you can make time to help before January 27th (perhaps this coming weekend?)
* Where: All of the signatures must be from people who are Fort Collins registered voters. There is no online petition available to sign, paper only. Volunteers can come to Ft. Collins to go door to door, visit businesses, hang out downtown, and set up tables on CSU’s campus.
* How: Contact Laure Molitor to pick up a packet at 630.746.2684 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* If you can’t get to Ft. Collins, you can also help in the fight by attending a candlelight vigil for the 1200 mill dogs recently killed by Washington Street Kennels owner Jeff Fortin. Info at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=131800900216608 and http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1625060263428&id=1144140196#!/pages/1200-Dogs-Dead-Tell-Us-Your-Jeff-Fortin-Story/142366452484938
* Why: Pet shops are the top distributors of puppies from puppy mills where breeding dogs trapped in small cages without adequate food, water, or veterinary care. Hundreds of thousands are suffering as we speak. Pet shops encourage people to make rash decisions about getting pets and often the pets people get from them are sick and ill tempered because they were weaned too early from parents with genetic issues. For more information, check out the free Mill Dog Manifesto eBook at http://upforpups.org . Please help!