Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pet Stores, and Rescuers

Pets are a product. They are developed, marketed, and sold for profit says the author of The Dog Merchants, Kim Kavin. And too often buyers do not consider all the ramifications of what their dollars are supporting.

Once we understand the business, what can we do about it? Kavin believes that smart shoppers can make a difference, even in the dog industry.

I am a lifelong dog owner.

I was about four years old when my father brought home a puppy, Pepper, a mutt  I loved dearly. She would follow me to school. One day appeared she at my classroom door and I had to walk her home again. When my little brother began walking my grandparents took Pepper in; she was getting crotchety and needed a quieter home. When she was old and in pain my family let her go, and it broke my heart.
my Pepper in old age
After we lost our house trained bunny my husband and I bought two dachshunds from a pet store, adopted a dog through a want ad, came home with a home breed pure breed Shiba Inu, and fostered one adopted two more Shibas who were puppy mill breeder rescues. Eight dogs, eight sources that illustrate the cycle of dog ownership over sixty years: from mutts to commercially bred dogs to home bred to rescued.
our beloved foster Kara, who spent 9 years in a Missouri puppy mill.
He had serious health issues and lived nine months after rescue.
Kim Kavin's fine book considers every aspect of the industry that provides us with our animal companions. She explains the impact of the AKC breed standardization on canine health and well being and how dog competitions fuel a desire for designer dogs. Kavin reveals that puppy farms are producing dogs in expectation that the rescue societies will buy them! That sends chills down my spine.
We brought PJ from a pet store when grieving for the loss of our first dachshund Pippin.
We were ignorant about puppy mill breed dogs sold at pet store chains.
I respect Kavin for telling the truth in an objective and informative way. She offers examples of canine abuse without being manipulative.

I hate those commercials seeking funds that prey on one's feelings. Kavin never stoops to such tactics. I don't think I could stand 'the details' of puppy mill life any more than the details of combat. I saw the ramifications mill life had on my foster dog Kara and adopted girls Suki and Kara.

Our first Shiba Inu, Kili, lived over 16 years, locally home breed.

Everyone who loves dogs, or who are considering adding a dog to their family, should read this book. It will help in making informed decisions on all the vital questions: are you prepared to take responsibility for a dog, what are you willing to invest, what you should ask before making your purchase.

The book is published in conjunction with a website where pet owners can share knowledge through product-style reviews and ratings of breeders and rescues. Visit The Dog Merchants website http://www.dogmerchants.com

I received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

The Dog Merchants
Kim Kavin
Pegasus Books
Publication Date May 2, 2016
$27.95 hard cover
ISBN: 9781681771403