Last month I was waiting in the waiting area at our vet’s office when I recognized a woman with two little Maltese dogs sitting in the corner and crying. It touched me, so I walked up to her and asked her if I could help somehow. She told me that she had to get very expensive hip surgery for one of her dogs and she couldn’t afford it. The dog was on pain medication and also had some eye problems. I asked her how old the dog is and she said just 3 years.
The vet told her that her little Maltese, Snow White, could be a puppy mill puppy – many of which suffer from health issues as the result of being kept under such bad conditions. While I was waiting for my paper work she also told me that he got him from a pet shop in L.A. I sat down and asked her if she knew about puppy mills and she said I’ve heard about them. We talked for an hour – I was shocked how badly she was informed, as well as how careless: she even got a second dog from the same pet shop.
While I was driving back home I asked myself, Why aren’t veterinarians educating people? I mean, it’s not really a big deal to explain, and they have examples visiting their offices and clinics every day. Why aren’t they placing flyers on the front desk and informing people about the risks of buying a puppy from a pet shop, instead of advertising for flea and tick treatments? C’mon… it can’t be all about the money.
Searching the internet for educational platforms I found some terrific sources every animal advocate, dog owner and future dog owner should visit, and one of them is definitely PupQuest. This great resource was created by an animal professional, a veterinarian who dedicates time and passion to educate the public about puppy mills/farms, buying online, pet shops, breeders, dog training and many other topics. An excellent source we highly recommend.
We had the great pleasure of speaking with Lorna, the founder of PupQuest. She and one of her creative students interested in PupQuest’s efforts have created a platform to inform and empower consumers. PupQuest – Interview with Lorna by PackPeople NEW: We made it easy to listen to our audio interviews. This audio is 31 minutes of educational content. Use the little flags in the blue bar in the SoundCloud Player to navigate through the questions and content.
About the interviewee: As a veterinarian Lorna has served on the board of directors of open and limited admission shelters. During her long career, she has been a humane educator for a large SPCA, worked as a certified veterinary technician, chaired the education committee of a shelter and created one of the first in-house shelter spay/neuter programs in the country. In veterinary school she was one of 12 students who created an alternative to terminal surgery dog labs. She also teaches at a large university.
PupQuest’s links and recommendations:
In addition to PupQuest’s website, Lorna recommends the following websites to our PackPeople audience:
Dog Star Daily www.dogstardaily.com
Dr. Sophia Yin www.drsophiayin.com
Victoria Stilwell Positively www.positively.com
HAVEN (Human/Animal Violence Education Network) www.havennetwork.org
PackPeople’s What to Know (before getting your new dog/puppy from a shelter or rescue) e-book
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