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I have friends who have worked with the different shelter programs. A couple of them who have had to investigate your so called 'make believe,' puppy mills. I've heard some amazingly sick stories from people who witnessed them first hand.

A few years ago somewhere near here, a ring abandoned their puppy mill. Problem was, no one really knew that it had been abandoned. Went on for about two weeks. Well, safe to say, when they found it, most of the animals were dead and in various degrees of decomp. It was a fucking sick mess.

Point: Don't say puppy mills don't exist, because they do.

Most breeders are irresponsible and shit, and that's coming from a person who had parents who did a bit of animal breeding, and responsibly, and I can't tell you how much bad breeding we ran into when we were making sure our animals were bred to unrelated animals. ( "Oh yeah, the pups were sired by Dog X." "Wait, it says on the female's papers that that dog x is the mother's dad." "What? There's a problem with that?" ) Fucking headdesk.

I don't approve of petstores, not when there's so many animals in the shelter system, and these petstores sell animals that are so poorly bred, and almost all of them do, and they nearly all have major congenital problems within a few years, because it's all about profit.

People, go get your animals from the shelter. It's cheaper, and the animal has been properly looked at, checked over, fixed, etc, etc. By adopting from the shelter, you support other abandoned, neglected, abused animals, while at the same time decreasing the demand for petstores that sell pets.


As someone who has spent many years volunteering with dog/cat rescue agencies I can assure you that puppy mills are real. I have been there when they have been raided. I have helped cleaned many dogs covered in their own filth, who looked as if they have not had a good meal in months. I have worked with the vets who were called in to make the decision on which animal to euthanize and which one could possibly be saved.

I'm not saying that your store gets animals from puppy mills, nor do I believe you are a bad person for working at a pet store. But I have seen puppy mills with my own eyes. They are real, and they are horrible.


"Actually there's no such thing as a Puppy Mill, it's just a generic term for any breeder that vaules profit over the welfare of their animals. Unfortunately the term has become propaganda created for idiots to make them aware of something unknown and scary to them.."

[citation needed]

Are you allowed to take the dogs out of the cages for exercise? You mentioned how you were grateful people would come in to play with them so they wouldn't be stuck in the cages is why I ask. I know you're in a mall but honestly I don't think that's healthy for 30+ dogs to just be in cages all day. :/


If you have a child that is left for several hours in your store, can't you call the state's department of children and families? While it has not happened on my shift at my store (warehouse/club store)it has happened where parents will leave a child in our store while they go out to other nearby stores. We have a food court so for some reason parents think it is ok to leave them there. When this happens we call the Department of Children and families. Our manager hates to do this, but we can not ensure the safety of a child left in our care since we are not set up to watch children and there are many ways a child can get hurt.

I want Oscar's Law

Can you tell us where you source this "cute fluffy merchandise" from?

By the sounds of it I wouldn't be surprised at all if your 'suppliers' was actually one the so called non-existent puppy mills.

Pet shops themselves are not puppy mills, but the vast majority are supplied by them, and are therefore just as bad.

Marten Kemp

Don't be offensive. Not all of your customers are stupid and ignorant; some of them are ignorant and stupid instead.

Cujo, the (apparently much despised) puppy pimp

It appears that on-line is not too different than reality in the sense that everyone hates me! It's okay, I'm used to it, it happens every day. Shall I start at the bottom and work my way up?

~The owner of my store gets his puppies from Huntecorp.com which is extremely reputable in an industry that people find things to say about no matter how responsible the measures taken.
~I call the department of child protective services frequently about the children left in my store, and they care about children as much as the customers in my store claim to care about animals.
~I don't agree with animals being kept in cages PERIOD (I have two dogs and one crate, it's been used one time ever) but it's legal to cage animals in a pet store. I take the animals out to exercise more than the laws minimum requirement.
~I fully advocate rescuing a dog over buying a new one if it suits your needs, and at my job I encourage people to do so (I also encourage people to adopt children and to shop vintage; I deplore waste). A lot of my customers want a new puppy and I respect peoples' right to choose. My friend works in a shelter and abandoned pets account for more of the population than broken up puppy mill rings.

~And lastly, I feel that I mis-spoke in a way that inaccurately conveyed the point that I was trying to make about "Puppy mills." I didn't mean to imply that animal cruelty and sub-par breeding conditions don't exist, obviously they do. What I meant to convey was the approach that people who claim to care take in regards to approaching the subject is ignorant. Past villainizing an unknown evil that scares them, and in the process crucifying a legitimate business that operates within the guidelines of the law, they are doing nothing but feeding into propaganda.
The point I want to make was that the attitude is basically "duh, that's bad and I hate it... ..uh, I don't understand why it's bad but I heard it is. I'm not going to do anything to bring about a positive change."
Basically, they care enough to molest my dogs while bitching at me, but not enough to sign a petition for better laws or eat less meat (far more cruelty exists in that industry but no one wants to talk about that because bacon and flank steak aren't the face of evil.)
In writing for RHU I tried to whittle a complex issue down to keep my word-count low and easily readable. For that I apologize, as it seems to have done a disservice.

My blog is added to the side-bar, it's at mynameisntmediumcoffee.com and it paints a more complete picture of the animal industry and true disservice that is done to animals by way of the customers and their ignornat behavior that is directed at me under the guise of caring, and sadly, not channeled into any sort of positive action that might actually bring about a change for better standards in the industry.

Again, sorry if I caused offense by mis-speaking, please accept my assurances that it was not my intention.


From what i read on google Hunte Corp is a middle man for all these puppy mills to begin with.

At least they banned having petstores with puppies/kittens here in the Netherlands and Germany, which is a good thing as I rather buy them from a respectable breeder then from one of those petstores.

When i lived in the US for 2 years i was so heartbroken by seeing all those puppies and kittens sitting in their small cages.. :/


I'm not going to rehash the subject but have always been an advocate for shelters and volunteered at my local one for several years. I find breeders of any degree disgusting. That's not attacking you Cujo- that's attacking the industry in which you are the bottom man of the totem pole.
But 10 points for you for referencing Pet Shop of Horrors :)

Cujo, the (apparently much despised) puppy pimp

I'm in no way trying to defend the animal industry or claim that as a whole it's good. I'm trying to encourage people to not lump every person and thing associated with it together and make generalizations, which there seems to be a lot of.

Google will yield negative information about any subject including mother Teresa and Jesus, or the hunt corporation. It will also tell you that your favorite store (no matter what it is) supports child labor and sweatshops. No matter who you are people will find something negative to say about you, no one is exempt. In the animal industry it's especially easy because you don't have to substantiate any libelous allegations, people are free to say whatever they want.
When researching the animal industry people also don't question the credibility of the source, they're willing to accept any negative claims because they want to find bad things. Anything positive is generally overlooked because it doesn't support the idea that people already have in their head.
I'm afraid I don't understand how people can be so certain that one breeder is "respectable" and the breeders that have contracts to supply middlemen are not. Smaller operations are less likely to be reported on whereas a larger operation is likely to attract more attention both positive and negative.
The breeders that sell directly to the public are the same that supply corporations. This is a fact that most people prefer to overlook because it's harder to create "good guys" and "bad guys." People prefer a finite face to direct their outrage at.

Research past the common misconceptions that people have heard and never investigated themselves would reveal some startling information about pet stores and "reputable breeders."
I don't feel that a business should be automatically villainized just because it operates on a larger scale than a breeder. A breeder is just as capable of sub-par conditions and animal cruelty, it just doesn't attract as many unsubstantiated claims that taint it's image. Unlike corporations, breeders are also not governed by as many high standards and regulations and subject to inspection as frequently. Do you think that the board of agriculture doesn't get sent out to corporations every minute because of the many claims that there's no shortage of?
Obviously a lot of corporations are cruel, but to assume that all of them are is not helping the situation.

Again, I'm not defending the animal industry as a whole, just trying to encourage people to open their eyes a little wider and sort out the good from the bad.

Malmart Peon

I hate to burst some bubbles, but google really isn't a reliable source. Anyone can write crazy things and put them on the internet. :-/


Depends on what it links to. In this case, news articles about them being sued for selling sick puppies.

The problem with "large operations" of any sort, no matter how clean and how good the vet care, is that the dogs cannot get the attention they need to be properly socialized as puppies. Adopted by people who are not experienced dog trainers, these dogs often become badly behaved or anxious...


I'm kind of surprised that children and families services did not come out when you called about a child being left in your store. Where I work, we have only had to call them twice, but both times they there in about half an hour. Maybe because we're not a mall and could not locate the parents at all--from what I was told they both times the parents dropped their kid off at our food court and then went across the street to the strip mall there. So since the parents were no longer on the property they were considered abandoned.


In regards to your unattended childern - and your statement about social services.

I understand your frusration competely. I just spent the last few months working in the kids deparment of a larger canadian bookstore chain that sells "life" and we are required by law to call the police if the childern are left unattended for ANY amount of time. It is the upmost frusrating thing ever. People drop their childern off like my STORE - that sells mech, and is trying to make money - is a daycare!

The parents don't know any of us retail slaves from a hole in the wall (or mall - lol) and yet they leave their childern with us. I have had to call management and have the cops called more then once this year, we usually wait a little while to see if the parent will reappear and will page the rents of the PA 5-6 times before we call the cops, since people tend to go crazy when we do.


I'm not trying to be a troll here, but Cujo, there is a difference between explaining something we didn't understand, and flying into a rage because you feel you're being attacked.

You put up walls of text in response to our questions for clarification? Unclassy. Also putting that self-deprecating thing about how despised you are in your username is kind of pathetic. Are you trying to make us feel sorry for you? Don't play the victim and start crying about how mean the commenters are, just rationally explain your point. Jeez, calm down.


"It appears that on-line is not too different than reality in the sense that everyone hates me!" Oh puhleeze. You're being a bit of a jerk by making outrageous claims, and pretending to be the end all, be all information source about animals coming from a pet store. And then you get all offended and whine no one likes you when you get called on it. Certain chain pet stores have been proven, by the ASPCA and the HSUS, to get their animals from puppy mills. Your privately owned store in the mall might be an exception, but they are not the norm. You can't blame the public for assuming that the animals come from puppy mills. Yes, they should be doing more to change it, instead of being annoying custys. But if that's how you treat them, instead of educating them, you're not helping the problem.

As for the kids being left in your store, call security. Your mall has security doesn't it? Use them. Get the kids hauled out of your store to sit in the security office and maybe the parents would stop being dumb and leaving them there. It's the same protocol that's in every other store.

Get over your butt hurt that everyone "despises" you just because you're the "voice of reason" with animals. Seriously, you're just a retail slave like the rest of us.

Generic Cashier

"I'm afraid I don't understand how people can be so certain that one breeder is "respectable" and the breeders that have contracts to supply middlemen are not."

How... ?

I gather that you have never tried to shop/search for a puppy from showing/competing lines. I'm in the process of finding a dog to fit my lifestyle, and I've been visiting local breeders to do that. Not only have all of the ones I've met let me on to their property to see how they operate (where they treat their dogs as family and it's evident), let me meet the parents of the puppies to get a sense of what they'll be like as full grown dogs (well adjusted, 100% healthy, socialised), but I've even had some breeders who (after discussion of my home life/what I want the dog for) have told me that maybe her dogs and I wouldn't suit each other (for example, one was a hunting dog with a huge working drive, when I'm looking more for a pet/exercise buddy), and recommended another breeder.
To me, that is respectable.

Does your pet store do this? Based on my experience of pet stores around here, probably not. With huntecorp.com, there's not even any way to find the parents of a dog (that I could find, anyway).

Pet store with suppliers and middle men: I don't know anything about them so I don't know if she's respectable.
My local breeder: I can be sure she's respectable because I've seen it with my own eyes.

I also agree with MuSicko about jumping the gun on "BAWWWWW EVERYONE HATES ME". Get over yourself.


Do you know how many cats and dogs are put down every year because there are just too many pets and not enough homes? About four million--- or one every eight seconds.

Do you know how many puppies are churned out of puppy mills each year? Rough estimates are anywhere from half a million to three million. Let's go the middle road and say two million. In other words, if puppy mills disappeared the pet overpopulation problem would be at least halved, if not almost completely solved.

I would never, EVER work at or shop somewhere that supports puppy farms. Don't kid yourself. Sure, they're not as bad as most people think, but they're definitely not good. Any puppy farm will have to value profit over the general betterment of the breed, which leads to all sorts of inbreeding and genetic defects. You say no dog should live in a cage, yet puppy farm bitches do, year in and year out. Think about it: if they're breeding multiple breeds, they have to cage at least one gender (either the bitches or the studs) or they'll have unwanted mixes being bred. Best to just cage them all, eh?

I suggest you actually look up puppy farms on the internet... from ALL sides, not just the side that supports what you believe. Maybe you won't sleep as good at night once you force yourself to come to terms with the truth, but it's better than ignorance. And it's certainly better than coming off all holier-than-thou to people who are actually educated.


Quite honestly? A respectable breeder is one who realizes they have living, breathing creatures, not merchandise that is time sensitive. The Amish run puppy mills that are clean and quite organized, but the animals are still merchandise to them.

I hope that you're taking this tack as a way to protect yourself emotionally from what you have to deal with at your job. If it burns you out this badly.. a retail job that doesn't involve being publicly branded might be better for you. I don't think I could take the hate from the PETA mongers you probably get. [And yes, THEY are whackos, I agree with you there.]

Brenn, a pet lover/rescuer that doesn't automatically hate.

Cujo, the "self-deprecating playing the victim" puppy pimp

My Dear MuSicko, I take offense at your assertion that I am in some sort of "a rage." Because tone is notably absent in written text it's best not to make assumptions about someones emotive state and rather concentrate on their words.
Exactly what clarification was requested that I didn't provide? I just re-read the text and I don't see what you're alleging. I'm not quite sure how this makes me "unclassy" (a second false assertion that you've made). A third and fourth false assertion: accusing me of "crying" (didn't realize you were in my living room) about how "mean" the commentors were (I didn't say anything about anyone being mean, or anything about the commentors). And a fifth appeas to be embedded in your direction to "calm down." Again, please get out of my living room. I think that if there's anyone who might be in need of a little "calming down" it would most likely be you.
I base this not on my perception of the tone used in your text (something I have no way of possibly knowing and neither do you) but your apparent outrage at my humorous attempt to lighten the mood with the addition of descriptives to my user name. You sure read a lot into simple acts, which wouldn't be so unsettling if not for the excessive aggression with which you respond.
And as for your request for me to "rationally explain my point" I already did, prior to your unnecessarily rude and uncivilized antagonstic comment. You seem to have missed it though.

Maybe just try being a little more courteous? I don't thin anyone on this feed showed you the level of discourtesy that you've extended to me, or even close to it.

Cujo, the "self-deprecating playing the victim" puppy pimp

KB, the situations with the kids are always tricky... ...child protective services has a strict set of criteria that must be met before they come out. A lot of it has to do with time the parents have been missing, attempts to locate the parents, and proving that the child has been abandoned.
We call mall security, but it's tricky because they don't want much to do with the kids or dealing with them. They refuse to take them to the mall office because there have been really wild claims of molestation in the past and they also won't watch the kids in the store, they call the parents on the intercom and frequently it takes an hour for them to show up.
A lot of the kids' are first generation and the parents don't speak Englsih, or we encounter parents that don't care. The parents frequently don't even come close enough to the store, they just send the kids to walk in by themselves because in the past we've flagged them down.

Cujo, the "self-deprecating playing the victim" puppy pimp

And to Miss SammyKat there is absolutely no reason to be as rude as you are being. I tried to initiate an open forum for sharing where people can speak to each other respectfully.
My attempt at keeping the mood light by joking about people hating me in real life was clearly lost on you. Your response to what you perceived as sincerity is antagonistic and inappropriate.
You seem to have gravely misinterpretted what I have said, somehow leading yourself to believe that I presented myself as some sort of expert. Another thing that was lost on you: My obvious attempt to encourage people to do research before subscribing to misconceptions.
And while the ASPCA has proven that some pet stores support animal cruelty against your assertion that I can not blame the public for using this to fuel their ignorance, I absolutely can and will.
Your way of thinking would lead to the conclusion that because the law has proven that a man committed a sex crime that it is acceptable that all men commit sex crimes.
It's a very dangerous way of thinking that you're supporting.
While your attempt at proactive measures of suggesting that I "do more to change it" are noted, any good intentions are undone by the fact that you don't know what I'm doing to change it, and your assetion that I "educate people" also carries no weight, since it is made with no working knowledge about me.

You would be better off asking instead of asserting.

Cujo, the "self-deprecating playing the victim" puppy pimp

And to generic cashier you also could benefit from being less rude.

I think your experience and your perspective as a customer reflects a valid point: criteria by which people shop. You would not be someone who patronizes my store. We're located in the middle of nowhere, people who patronize my store can not go to breeders because depending on the dog the closes one would be six hundred miles away.
To answer your question about my coworkers knowing about dog breeds: Yes. It's part of the job. There are thirty breeds of dog in the store. The business has been operating for sixty years, they're doing something right. As far as Huntecorp goes, a lot of information is not available to the general public becuase of state laws.
You could get the parents health records and their pedigree if you went through one of huntecorps clients.
And while it's been your experience that most pet store people are incompetent, you need not assume that I am, telling me "probably not."

I'm glad that you've found a breeder that is respectable that you've seen with "your own eyes." I honestly am. I will advise you the way I do everyone, customer of mine or not, do your research. Past what looks good, look into your states laws and see her licensing as well as her vet records. And be weary of anyone violating laws that seem silly. In my state it is illegal to have more than one litter simultaneously on certain breeds. It seems silly to people who don't educate themselves, but there's always a reason.

And you really shouldn't be agreeing with anyone who is making assumptions about who is "jumping on the gun" with "everyone hates me."
It was a joke. To assume without knowing and then be rude about is not necessary.


cujo. Are you in arizona? i believe i have been into your store before. and i was thinking about buying a dog from your company and i did alot of research on it and i havent found anything but good words from it. i ended up not getting a dog because of personal changes in my life but when i decide to get one i very well might get one from yall. Anyway not all puppy stores are evil monsters and adopting is not right for everyone.
I for one have 2 greyhound that i resuced off the tracks and i have to assure i get a certin type of dog with a certin personaliy to be certin all the dogs would get along.


Oh Cujo, get off your fucking high horse.

I don't know how hard it is for you to get it through that thick skull that you're OBVIOUSLY doing something wrong.

I have issues now and again with what RHU posts, BUT, I have never seen a poster get as much hate and vitriol as yourself, toots. Most of the peeps here are pretty nice and pretty cool. Yet not a single person has agreed with your fucked up perception of the pet industry.

Suck it up, take your online flaying, and shut up. Go lick your wounds, and when you've developed both some humanity and humility, we'll welcome you back. Until then, gtfo.

Cujo, the "on my high horse and lacking in humilty and humanity" puppy pimp

Oh Zilla, I'm not taking what you have to say personally. Obviously what's bothering you has nothing to do with me since I have done nothing to you.
Not sure what high horse you're referring to... ...just as I'm not sure what exactly it is that I'm "doing" and how someone in your position can be so certain that it's "wrong."

So what's so wrong? Encouraging people to educate themselves before speaking? Encouraging people to not believe everything the believe without question? I dispute your allegation that most of the peeps here are "pretty nice" since I'm being sworn at and the subject of allegations based on the perceived tone of my text. Doesn't sound "pretty nice" to me.
As far as my perception of the pet industry goes, I don't think you know what it is enough to tell me that it's fucked up.
My claim that I am in no way trying to defend the animal industry or claim that as a whole it's good seems fair and objective to someone in my position.

I will admit that I do wish other people were as fair and objective on matters that they've not taken the time to research after clearing their minds of pre-conceived notions.
You can rudely tell me to "shut up" all you want, but you have no power over me. Your assessment that I am lacking in humanity and humility is questionable since you have nothing to base it on.
And while your attempt at faux-authority in your offer to "welcome me back" is noted, it's unneccessary. As I said before, you have no power over me, so discontinue acting like you've banished me.
And perhaps you should not be talking about "we" and think that you're in some way speaking for the entire forum.
No one elected you president.

Queer Geek

Everyone has their opinions about the animal industry but what I got from Cujo's post was that pet stores are still retail coporations with its own brand of customer problems and issues. Furthermore, like any retail stores who sell sweatshop merchandise, it does not stop the consumer from buying brand name designer goods no matter how it was manufactured.

The point is that even though Cujo's company may or may not be using illegal pet mills it is up to the consumer to decide if they want to purchase their pet at his store regardless of how the the animal was breeded. In a perfect world, it would be nice to adopt a pet from a rescue shelter or the Humane Society but that it isn't always the case.

It is the customer's decision and discretion to research where they are getting their pet from and deal with their own conscience in the end.

As for Cujo posting something that RHU readers don't agree with, it is a public forum and negative comments come with the territory. Lord knows I get it when my sense of humor is misread. Don't get discouraged by the naysayers, keep posting your stories here. I'd love to hear about your experiences in animal industry.

Cujo, the "wasting too much time on message boards" puppy pimp

Thank you Queer Geek! for making my point where I have inarticulately failed.

I'll be posting again for sure, the responses are really demonstrative of the behavior I was trying to present in a way that is far better than I could convey myself by just trying to explain it.

Aside from the rudeness and the assumptions directed at me overall the content of the comments was intelligent enough to warrant my attention.
I'm not concerned about negativity though, we're talking about strangers who know nothing about me. My feelings aren't going to be hurt any time soon :)

Queer Geek

Good for you Cujo. I'm looking forward to your posts.

RHUer formerly know as CircleJerkette

Hey now, retail slaves, let's all take a deep breath here.

Feel better? Good. Let's talk rationally.

I'm crazy in love with animals. I've volunteered in an animal shelter and all the pets I've had were from shelters. I hate the puppy mill idea just as much as the rest of you.

What I will say, Cujo, is that your original comments about puppy mills not being real wasn't the best way to go. I can understand why people got pissed. At the same time, you deserve to vent your frustrations and share amusing stories just like the rest of us. Like Queer Geek said, keep posting.

I'll stop typing now, and I hope I'm not just elicting more anger, but let's just remember that we're all slaves in a crusty world. Let's just try to agree to disagree or whatever so we don't hate each other. This should be a safe haven of sorts to allow us to vent frustrations to people that understand how hard it is to take shit from custards (customers+tards) when we're just trying to do our jobs.

As for this feud, let's all stop and think for a minute. Maybe Cujo misspoke when saying puppy mills don't exist. Well, she(has gender been established? If not, please forgive) owned up to puppy mills being a real thing. However, we don't really know the conditions under which her store operates. Therefore, many of the things we're assuming, from whether or not the puppies get exercise to whether or not she's self-hating, are the things we despise our customers for. I mean, yeah, puppy mills are disgusting and I've never been in favor of buying pets from stores anyway.

We can't hate Cujo just for working at a pet store. Think of the shit the poor BP slaves got after the oil spill. It's not our job to tell her what a horrible job she has. We can do things on our own to try and (no offense, Cujo) close shops that sell pets like merchandise. We can try and put into action things that make adoption more favorable.

Think of where you work. Fast food slave, you don't want someone attacking you for contributing to obesity, right? It's not your fault they eat, and it's not Cujo's fault that people run puppy mills. It's not gas slaves that spill oil or a quicky mart slaves that make people smoke. It's not like she encourages breeding for profit anymore than I encouraged people to get three Big Macs a day.

My point is, and I dunno if you're still following, that this post is about the crap she has to deal with at work. If you disagree with what she does, by all means boycott her store. But looking over the comments that were left, I completely understand that part of her job and the frustration she mush feel just trying to get through a shift. Look at all the crap she's getting, and imagine some PETA freak* coming in and telling her she's crap for supporting pet stores.

Again, we don't work with Cujo, and therefore, as many of us feel in our own work places, we shouldn't really feel it necessary to flay her for what she's doing. Moreover, we don't work in the pet industry. As previously noted, the internet is pretty hard to believe.

I'm not taking sides. I agree with those that say puppy mills are deplorable and adoptions should really be the only way to go, but I can also understand Cujo's frustration over the crap she gets from people that just want to give her crap.

RHUer formerly know as CircleJerkette

Wow hey I fucked up the formatting of that comment pretty massively. I dunno how but hopefully it'll make more sense to whoever reads it. For the record, I was supposed to stop typing closer to the end there.


Sorry this is slightly off topic.

As someone who helps with a dog shelter and one who is really big on animal rights, I am left to wonder why everyone is attacking Cujo as if he is less than a dog.

Since when did we as people become less than willing to listen to someone who we may of may not agree with? Their is a way to disagree without becoming personal.

Just my two cents here.

Former Target Employee

Finally some reason!! QueerGeek and CircleJerkette, you are both awesome for taking the time to write out such clear, nonjudgmental posts. To everyone else, chill the fuck out for all the reasons they both listed. You're all acting like the crusties we all hate.


Cujo, I wouldn't mind the walls of text if they were written better... I am not saying this to be snarky. I actually see what you are trying to get at, but not until queer geek wrote it. I may not always agree with queer geek, yet I think when we argue it seems to be more civilized then what I see here. This is due in large part, if not solely, to the fact that those involved can take the time to write effectively. As you pointed out, tone is not always evident from a post on the internet. I disagree, there is more to getting a point across then just punctuation and spelling; if done right you can convey tone. Just trying to help so when you post again you don't get the vitriol you got this time, simply due to misunderstandings and issues with tone.


When some PETA whackjob goes into a KFC and screams at the slaves for torturing chickens, all I can do is groan. It isn't like KFC slaves are responsible for any misdeeds corporate may do against chickens. They are just there for a paycheck and if they had a different option they would probably take it. Fast food isn't exactly most people's career choice.

Using that same logic, if some PETA whackjob went into a pet store and screamed at the slaves for torturing puppies, all I would be able to do is groan. No one gets a job in a pet store so they can support puppy mills. They get into it for the paycheck and sometimes because they like animals.

If you have a problem with how a business is run, the slave is not the one to take it up with. We don't control our workplaces and they don't control theirs. I can imagine every time someone bitches at Cujo about how she supports puppy mills she feels the same was I do when someone bitches about the price of milk. Don't control it, don't care, now pay and get out. Someone whispering about how the store murders puppies is like the many mythical conspiracies we all apparently have against customers. Pssst, I bet they euthanize the dogs in the mysterious back room where that really popular toy I want to buy at 5pm on Christmas Eve is kept.

For the record, in the distant future when I can afford vet bills and get myself a dog I will probably adopt an adult dog. This is mainly because I don't want to have to house train a puppy. Cuteness vs poo on my floor is an easy choice to make.

Generic Cashier

"And while it's been your experience that most pet store people are incompetent, you need not assume that I am, telling me "probably not.""

Where did I call you incompetent or mention that I assumed you were? Please, quote me directly.

Oh wait. I didn't. Fancy that!

My point was that I find a breeder respectable because she does not see her animals as merchandise, but as (depending on the dog breed and breeder): hunters, herders, workers, companions, and family.
They are not money, but bettering the breed. They don't go to the highest bidder, they go to the best fitting individual or family. If someone does not fit the type of home a dog needs, she will turn them away.

Any pet store I've been to (and yours, by the sound of it), will just hand over a puppy to the first person with the money.

And that's why I find (good) breeders more respectable.
Let's not do this again.

Malmart Peon

Words like Abortion, or Religion, are called "loaded words," because it doesn't really matter what you say about them, someone will disagree. And when people hear them, they stop listening and start arguing. If you actually look at what Cujo said, he broadened the definition of "puppy mill" to anyone who breeds dogs for profit, without consideration of the animal they are bringing into the world. Heck, by that definition my fiancee's parents, who used to breed pugs every-so-often, and raised them in a home, would be considered a puppy mill, because their first concern was the money they made from selling the puppies.

And while I disagree with you, Cujo, about the existence of tone in text (as an English major with an emphasis in British Literature I have spent inordinate amounts of time discussing the tone of texts), I do believe that people have misunderstood. Before you post something in anger, take a deep breath and give the person you're angry with the benefit of the doubt. Who knows, you might be wrong.

My fiancee always says that he can tell that I'm angry because I become more formal. I use shorter sentences laced with sarcasm. In person it's easier to understand that I'm not attacking you, but your argument. On the internet, it's not so easy. Admitedly, I need to heed my own advice and remember that just because I can see holes in someone's argument doesn't mean I have to be nasty about pointing them out.

What I'm trying to say, is let's all remember that we have come here to vent about our jobs, not tear each other apart because we disagree.


I don't hate Cujo for working in a pet store--- heck I work in one myself. We don't sell cats or dogs (or bunnies or ferrets for that matter) which I'm quite thankful for. I don't hate him at all really.

However, his holier than thou attitude really rubbed me the wrong way, especially when he said yes that puppy mills are a figment of our overactive imaginations. I see the trials that mass bred animals go through every day; hamsters sent to us just three weeks old, rats with chronic URIs, bird scared to death of a hand, and don't get me started on how pet shops have turned dwarf hamsters into furry piranha due to selective inbreeding. It's so sad but I keep working here because I love my coworkers and I hope I'm helping to educate my customers to adopt first because mass breeders are terrible and only hurting the animals, or the breed, they're selling.

I hope you're also letting your customers know, Cujo, that there are PLENTY of puppies up for adoption too. Sure they get homed faster than the adults, but they're definitely out there. Purebreeds too. Waiting for homes. All because mommy didn't have enough time or Precious peed on her new Dolce and Gabbanas.

Angel Kitten

I used to work for a pet store in my local mall that got shut down by animal control a few years ago, with my help actually. They treated thier animals horribly, i could give details that would make most of the people on here cry, but thats another story. Im not saying your store does that though cujo, it sounds like you do care about the dogs. I have been working in rescue for over 10 years now, and honestly working for that store was killing me inside since it went against everything I had been fighting for over the years. Anyway, they got their puppies from the hunt corporation as well, and they aren't a nice place. I was helping with the new shipment of dogs (yes shipment, they come in on a semi full of cages) and the ones my manager decided not to take went back on the truck. I made the mistake of asking where they went. I was told by the driver that the ones not suitable for pet stores were sold to labs and other testing facilities mostly. I did some research that night and found out it was true. So please don't think that place is some kind of happy place for dogs, it isn't. I feel bad that you still work in puppy hell cujo, and I hope you handle it better than I did. I had to quit, working there upset me too much.

Cujo, the "working on adequately conveying tone in postings and this is said lightheartedly in the spirtit of fun so please don't misinterpret" puppy pimp

Thank you everybody who contributed to the discussion, including anyone who had something intelligent to say but coupled it with telling me that I was acting pathetic.
I really don't take it personally.

I'll be posting again in the future and I'm hoping that everyone will be open to sharing their experiences again (possibly with a little more courtesy).

There are only two things that I wanted to say before finishing up on this board. the first is that

I was not angry and I'm not angry now I just talk A LOT. My blog is evidence of this. The hardest part of contributing to RHU was finding something to talk about that would fit on one page. Honestly, I would talk all day if you let me. I never shut up, hence why I work in retail instead of in my field, which is human services.
It takes more to make me angry than a message board. Don't forget that it's on a daily basis that people nonchalantly asks me so when you murder those dogs do you inect them, or just, you know, like choke them?

Secondly, it was not my intention to comment on puppy mills in such a way that the phrasing implied that animal cruelty doesn't exist. I wasn't attempting to dispel the existance of puppymills, only the improper association that the word has and how it affects my role as a retail slave.

Oh, and a third.

Incidentally, it's not a big deal, but I'm not a girl.

admissions bitch

Cujo- just throwing this out there, but I read you post in the spirit in which I believe you to have written it. I am not in the business of apologizing for anyone, but I think you are suffering from a 'lost in translation' moment. Anyway- good luck with your custys, dealing with people and animals is always a loaded proposition. Best, AdBitch

p.s. as an adopted 'child' (nearing 30), i loved your line "(I also encourage people to adopt children and to shop vintage; I deplore waste)" I don't know why but I got a genuine smile and chuckle out of that.


Eh, you flip a coin and you lose. I'll try and remember your gender for the future,


@ Greengrin I tried that approach when on Christopher Street when I was younger. Thankfully I was right, most of the time at least...

swatch buckler

rawr rawr rawr (sorry for the lower case. I'm on a cell phone.)

there are a few things one should never talk about on the net...and dear cujo you found one of 'em. (more like it smacked you upside the head)

my own personal opinion on the matter is that I don't like those types of stores so I don't shop in them because I know mills exsist and I don't want to support that. However, people do and that's what this place is about. The annoying custys that you want to introdce to a ball peen hammer.

I think ppl got upset and there is nothing you can do about it. It happened, people rawred and now let there be cake.

RHUer formerly know as CircleJerkette


I'm sorry for assuming you were a girl!


wow guys....wow


I think what bothered me more than the words was the excessive use of bold (and the fact that I knew we were one uneneded script from reading EVERYTHING in bold, lol.)

Ginger G

Cufo, I've actually been reading your blog for a while and I think it's great, even though I technically don't "approve" of pet stores either. From your blog, it does sound like you care about the dogs and do your best to see they are treated well.


I... I don't think I've ever seen quite this much drama/anger here. At least not in the comments. Wow.

Cujo, when I next adopt a cat -- or a cat adopts me, as it usually turns out -- I'm going to the local shelter, and doing a meet-and-greet with various kitties. I don't want a "pet", I want a companion.

It's how we ended up with Gracie. Here's my floof-monster on the seat of my power chair.

That said, I love going to the pet supply store and visiting the resident cat and any others that might be there. I think it makes both their day AND mine. Plus I get to check out the toys!

Okay, I'm gonna STFU now, because I can go on for pages and pages and pages about my four-legged kin.


Maybe, if the petstore is a locally run business, as opposed to a chain store, Cujo could suggest to the owners to offer local shelter animals instead of ones obtained from a breeder. It'd be a better impression on the community/animal population. And maybe the store would get some sort of bonus/govt grant/perk thing for supporting local shelters, iunno? It'd prolly be a lot cheaper for the owners to have shelter animals too. just a suggestion. :).

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