[quote=starlie]In Hawaii, our pet stores don't have the "puppy mill" or "kitten mill" reputation as the mainland stores do. I've never heard, seen or read about any type of puppy mill activity here.
Have you ever seen a piece of plywood on the side of the road advertising purebred german shepherds or siamese for sale? Or signs saying "puppies for sale-most small breeds available" Notice how the sign never gets taken down? Do you ever see ads in the paper for the same? Next time look at the phone number and keep track of how many weeks the ad runs. I bet you a lot of those ads will run year round. Puppy and kitten mills do not have big signs that say "Puppy Mill" on them. No good breeder always has puppies/kittes available at all times. For that you need multiple bitches and queens being bred on each heat giving birth at regular intervals. No good breeder has multiple breeds available at the same time and very few good breeders breed different species. Good breeders invest too much time and money into their chosen breed to even think about expanding.
"A lot of the animals are from local breeders, and some of them are from reputable breeders in Australia. "
I suspect some of the "reputable breeders" these pet stores are buying from are indeed puppy and kitten mills. I know from personal experience that a pet store chain in my province uses this particular phrase. I also suspect that any breeder that indeed was reputable, would not allow a pet store to sell their puppies or kittens. Let alone ship them such a great distance.
My previous vet clinic was asked to give some of these animals their vet check by the pet store. At the appointment the breeder (a very dirty, unkempt, woman) brought in a litter of "purebred" multipoos! They came in a very dirty carrier and had a few genetic problems. Definately not show quality, not that you can show a multi-poo! The other (dirty) carrier she brought contained a litter of very scared, dirty "persian" kittens. They looked more like DLH orange tabbies to me. Oh yeah, did I mention she breeds cats and dogs!
When I mentioned within earshot of her that the kittens didn't seem very well socialized she freaked out and yelled that they indeed were socialized! "They are just scared because they have never been out of their cage before!
Yeah, unsocialized- that's what I said! At the end of the appointment I overheard her discussing a future transaction with the pet store owner as she would have another litter of chihuahua puppies ready in a couple of weeks!
I personally would never trust a pet store unless they adopt out shelter pets for one of the local shelters. No good breeder would ever sell to a pet store. I did not realize the extent of this problem until I worked in shelters and vet clinics.