By Melissa Burnham
In November of 2013 protestors of Puppies of Westport stood outside in gloomy weather protesting violation of animal rights. 3 years later, Puppies of Westport still stands, with no noticeable change in operations, the only thing missing are the protestors with posters standing across the street.
The violations against Animal Rights continue though, something that may have been forgotten by many. Most of the cute puppies you see behind the glass when you enter the store weren’t always in such pristine conditions. Most of the cute pups in the store come from “breeders”. Breeders seems to be able to describe any person who breeds dogs, from a cute family in Arkansas, to a farm with cages 3x3 holding too many dogs, producing dozens of dogs a year.
You can hear the reports from the Breeders that Puppies of Westport get their dogs from on the website that still stands, http://savepuppymilldogs.com/facts.html, run by the Westport Coalition Against Puppy Mills. The websites main selling points are extracts from USDA reports about the suppliers for Puppies of Westport, including this one; “There were six enclosures that did not have adequate shelter...excessive feces on the interior washdown of one kennel building...at least 13 enclosures housing 24 animals in which the wire flooring had areas with the wire coating missing.” It was retrieved from a Cody and Richard Fox from Charleston, AR.
And although we don't see many of the protestors, they still hold the matter dear to their heart. Ken Bernhard, an attorney across the street who had participated in the protests, still had something to say. “no reliable breeder would sell its puppies through a pet store. The sources of pet store inventory are puppy mills where the breeding dogs are isolated and most often living in horrific conditions. When the breeding dogs usefulness is over, they are disposed of like trash.”
He helped support the recent Connecticut legislation about Puppy Mills, but believes that much more should be done in order to fight this. And he’s surely not the only one, so why haven't we heard about it more? Because the public stopped listening, “After many years of dedicating Saturday mornings picking the store and handing out information in an effort to educate the public, our group became frustrated that the public wasn’t listening sufficiently.” Ken Bernhard explained. Protesting wasn’t hurting the buisness enough, and although it brought attention to the matter, no one seemed to care.
So how can you help in the fight against Puppies of Westport? By boycotting. When you buy a puppy from Puppies of Westport, for around 3 times as much as you’d pay for an adopted dog, you contribute to the animal cruelty of Puppies of Westport and the Puppy mills they supply from. Remember behind every cute puppy at Puppies of Westport there’s a history animal cruelty and abuse, which you will only be perpetuating by purchasing them.