On That Doggy in the Window
We all tell people that if they want a puppy, they should go to a shelter or a rescue group, right? Well, someone who shall remain nameless asked me about that doggy in the window, and what makes that doggy, from a puppy mill of course, not worthy of rescuing.
And what if that puppy is visibly ill? A daughter of a client of mine who does not frequent pet stores saw an ailing dog (I want to say a Borzoi, but I'm not sure) in a pet store window, and checked on her the next day and she wasn't there. (She was not looking to expand her nonhuman family.) The woman asked about the dog and was told there was no such dog. She also asked to use the rest room, at which point she found the dog in a back room. Her only concern was the dog. She didn't want to anger the pet store owner so she paid full price for the dog, who was near death. After several thousand dollars and a couple of surgeries, the dog is thriving and happy, running around 20 acres with other dogs and also horses.
The point of that story is that the dog would have died. The woman didn't care about making a fuss or bringing a lawsuit, and granted, she probably should have done more and/or done things differently, as there's likely to be another puppy in a back room in that very store right now.
So. We come to the question. To me, it smacks of utilitarianism to allow puppies in stores to suffer and die in order to bring an end to "pet" stores. On the other hand, I won't advocate buying an animal from a pet store. The reader-who-shall-remain-nameless asked: Don't those puppies deserve a home, too? Why should they suffer for the sins of puppy mill owners and pet store owners?
We know that those very people are counting on your sympathy. But still . . . . what about those sentient nonhumans who are no different from the ones at the shelter?