Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Woes of California Pet Shops.

The San Francisco Chronicle runs a deplorable story of the plight in the retail small animal industry today. One may think that their livelihood is at stake here, but others seem to disagree, yet also plainly state it is their goal to see the sale of animals as pets shut done. You may be asking yourself now whom is responsible for attempting to stop you from buying your little Johnny or Jane that cute little kitty or hamster from your local pet shop. The answer is: Animal Protection Institute (Google Cache), an animal rights activist group. Animals have rights? That's news to me.

On to the story. A recent investigation spearheaded by API has convinced a certain democrap (Mark Ridley-Thomas) to introduce the bill to make the industry more regulated than what it already is. As much as I am against the larger pet shops like Petco and PetSmart, they have somewhat saved the little fella with their successful lobbying.

Some of the questions raised and issues needing to be dealt with is basic care and husbandry of these critters. For example, adequate space, cleanliness, medical assistance for the ill and injured and of course proper stimulation for the creatures. However this bills would have made it so that each and every critter will have its own page of documentation. The items that were to be documented were such things as breed, origin, color, sex, age, etc... The same type of things that only breeders would pay attention too.

Now shall we look into just how extensive the investigation from API was. According to the publication cited above, the group visited pet shops in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. It further states that only Four shops were under the scrutinizing glare of the organization in San Francisco. Does this not lead one to be skeptical about their findings considering it is an extremely large city. Not to mention the article fails to state just how many establishments they visited in the other cities.

You may be wondering why I am presenting this information to you. Well I am no stranger to the small animal industry. I used to not only own and operate a pet shop, but also for many years was a producer of small animals as well. Everything from mice, rats, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, coati mundis, hand fed birds (keets and other larger parrots), dogs and cats just to name a few. Some of the complaints and issues raised on both sides are warranted.

For example some of the issues raised are simply common sense. Providing adequate space, "chew" toys, exercise wheels and clean water is in the proprietors best interest in sales and marketing. The public sees these things and will ask you why they are there, and why they are needed. Thus it shows the public that you tend to the needs of the critters and they ought to do the same. More sales are made in the accessories than what the actual critter costs. This is the blunt facts. As for the feeder market, if your critters are comfortable then they will be better feeders. That is they will be healthier and proved a better quality of food for the carnivorous pets out there that the customers have. I myself had generated a market in a small southern Iowan town for such a need. As for the issue of the ill and injured, well this is a no brainer too. Of course the injured and ill are always segergated from the mainstream population. You never have them out in the open if possible. many times I would also treat all new critters as a preventive measure when have new stock come in. Not to mention the bi-weekly treatments.

Perhaps I am being a bit crass with this issue since I was always doing such things as they wish to install into law in California via the misguided yet well intended organization, but I seriously doubt it though. My records had much more information that what was ever needed by law and the codes provided by law (local, state, and federal). My records were perhaps a force of habit due to being a producer/wholesaler. Nonetheless, the industry is heavily regulated. Perhpas more so than what the food industry is. Not only do we have to meet and often times exceed the building and zoning codes just for the establishment, but we must meet the DNR codes too. The FDA also has its hands in the business too. Check it out for yourself.

In short this is just another ploy by the activists to shut down a free market that is already heavily regulated. It is, for lack of a better term, another liberal form of terrorism against the average joe trying to make a living. Government once mroe interferring with the personal lives of its people. Should we be surprised or outraged? I for one am pretty miffed that once more the elected are swayed with a biased incomplete report to initiat another uneeded regulation unpon a struggling market that will only stimy the growth of the economy thus helping to insure a lack of growth in the community which inturn affects the nation as a whole.

So the lefturd award of the day goes to API And the Californian legislators.


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