An East Coast pet store chain is the latest to make the switch. Pets Plus Natural has decided to do away with selling dogs from breeders and is now focusing on offering customers dogs from shelters.
“Instead of supporting the commercial breeders, they can be part of the solution,” Human Society outreach coordinator John Moyer told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The move comes after Pets Plus National was criticized for getting its dogs from puppy mills, or mass breeding facilities. Demonstrators would often hold protests outside the shop voicing their frustration on where the puppies came from, according to the outlet. The chain plans on converting all its stores by 2015.
Pets Plus National has been getting rescue animals from Georgia and Kentucky shelters and soon will be adding the Pennsylvania SPCA to the list.
While some people remain skeptical about where the dogs are actually coming from (i.e. backyard breeders), the SPCA has come out in support of this move and believes fears are misplaced.
The store will be selling the dogs for $400 to $495, which covers spaying/neutering, vaccinations and microchipping. In the past, the purebred dogs would sell for around $900. One of the owners, Bruce Smith, is hoping the loss in revenue will be made up in supplies and other store products.
“We’re not making up the difference yet,” Smith told Philly.com, “but we’re seeing a different customer base that we have never had before.”