Many of the points that Mr. Winsett makes are accurate. Anyone thinking of buying a puppy should do their homework. Bringing a dog into your family is an important decision and not something you should do on impulse. You should always do your homework about a breeder and breed of dog. However, I do disagree with a couple of things Mr. Winsett says.
Lots of reputable breeders do not keep their own stud dogs. Or they will use a stud dog that belongs to another breeder. You may not be able to see both parents if you visit. This is not a red flag. It often means that the breeder is trying to use the best dogs possible for breeding and took their female dog to visit a male dog in another city or state.
We also have a different view of HSUS. Charity Navigator, one of the most respected charity evaluators in the country, recently issued a donor advisory warning about the Humane Society of the United States and removed their stars. This was partly due to the fact that HSUS and their co-defendants settled a long-running RICO case with Feld Entertainment, Inc. (Barnum & Baily Circus) and had to pay them a $15.75 million settlement.
We hope that the Better Business Bureau will also reconsider their rating for HSUS in light of this recent court case and settlement.
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
I don't want any animals to suffer at any time, but I think PETA's reaction here is kind of ridiculous. I don't know about skunks but I have accidentally caught a raccoon in a live trap. They are not happy about it. They aren't cute like raccoons on TV or at a zoo. They are perfectly willing to use their claws and teeth on the unfortunate person who tries to let them out of the trap. I don't know any good way to release them without getting mauled. So, if the TWRA tells me how to get a raccoon out of a trap without getting hurt myself, I'm going to do it, and thank them.
PETA loves to make mountains out of mole hills for the sake of publicity, which is what they are getting here. Their actual knowledge of animals, especially in the wild, is nada. I think people are a lot better off listening to TWRA than to PETA. PETA just needs to be ignored as the ignorant publicity-seekers they are.
I'm not sure that this defense from the pet store will hold water. They probably are required to follow state and local laws. If they don't like these laws then they should have been more active in opposing them when they were being created. I know that Chattanooga has some of the worst, most draconian laws in the entire state when it comes to animals as far as pet ownership and breeding are concerned. I have no idea why pet owners and businesses with animals do not speak up when these horrible laws are being passed.
However, there is a very active bias against pet stores and commercial dog breeding as part of the animal rights movement that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual conditions of animals in the stores. There's been a petition to close this store for years regardless of conditions. This store has been targeted from the start. It would not surprise me if these are trumped up charges. If these charges are bogus then I hope the pet store gets their animals back. I don't think that an honest business should be shut down by a vocal minority. People have the right to be able to buy a pet from a pet store if that's what they want to do.