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(Previous post on Paws R Us raid here.)

Paws R Us is a puppy mill. You can say that now. It's safe now. They can't sue you for it anymore. A judge in Quebec has declared Paws R Us, based in that province, to be a puppy mill.

According to CTV news, the Labombards, owners of the puppy mill, plead guilty to the charge and in exchange, don't have to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars in sheltering costs to the people who have been looking after their canine victims these past several weeks. They will have to pay a $10,000 fine however.

Only the future will tell if they decide to appeal or if they try to set up shop under a different name. Or maybe, just maybe, they've come to realize their ethics, when it comes to dog breeding, are no longer in tune with society's ethics and they need to evolve and move on.

This is a victory several years in the making. This is a victory for all the dogs in the care of the HSI who will now hopefully go to good homes. This is a victory for all the future dogs who will not have to suffer the fate of their predecessors. And this is a further victory, perhaps, if this case manages to catch the attention of other puppy millers out there who think they are just making a living and doing nothing wrong and maybe now they will give thought to changing careers or improving conditions for their animals. Or maybe they will just continue to hide behind their traditions like thieves in the night.

I almost feel a twinge of pity for the Labombards. They must be confused. They must feel hard done by, feeling perhaps they are the victims of all these new-fangled, irritating, dangerous, animal extremists and terrorists and their animal rights lawyers and bleeding heart politicians. I almost feel pity for them until I think about who this decision is not a victory for. This is not a victory for all the thousands of dogs who the Labombards have exploited and used up and buried. For them, those hapless dogs who were born into an empty life and knew nothing but four walls and concrete floors and artificial light, who were treated like disposable machines in an industrial factory, this pyrrhic victory comes too late.

Now it's time to get those Paws R Us dogs homed. Then move on to the next puppy mill and take them down until they all fall.

10 Comments to “Paws R Us is a puppy mill”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely LOVE your last sentence. Put that on a billboard!
    This is amazing news.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Even that twinge of pity is misplaced, I think... in my experience, abusers of every kind are extraordinary liars. They're neither confused nor feeling like victims. Their denials were an act. They're sociopaths, and they're greedy.
    @kate_sand (since twitter isn't offered as a profile)

  3. Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.

    - Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a

    To the Labombards, who have destroyed countless worlds, despair. To all the fighters and rescuers and fosters and carers who have saved these and future worlds, hope.

  4. This sentence in the news report infuriates me.

    "The commercial operation agreed to give up legal custody of the dogs in exchange for receiving money that would offset the costs the business had incurred in breeding them..."

    Sonofagun, does this mean we'll now have to pay drug dealers for boats seized 'n stuff seized from other criminals? Does this mean a person charged with animal abuse can claim for animal food and the stick they hit the animal with? That was a very bad choice on the part of prosecution, bad precedent.

    I'm with Kate. Any tears from the millers are crocodile tears.

  5. mel says:

    This has been a wonderful day. I honestly didn't think ANIMA would persevere, but I guess I was wrong. Hooray.

    I'd love to see that certain mill that starts with an O hit now.

  6. p crossman says:

    I am looking directly into the eyes of my Paws R Us dog..Parker..... He is wonderful but so F....up scared of his own shadow.... Who on earth would want us as human beings to allow anyone to treat these animals as a means to a living.
    Breeding dogs is for a hobby because you love the breed...not because you have no other vocation.
    Nicole, charlene and Jimmy... get an education or go on welfare... stop abusing dogs. I really really despise you and feel such sympathy for the children that you have spawn and showed this way of life to.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Paws r us were so sure they have won,I was so thrilled for this news. I hope they all burn in hell.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the report. I read elsewhere that the Labombards still have dozens of dogs in their ownership. I am sorry for the ones that didn't make it out. I'm doubtful that they will truly, TRULY change. And hey, I'd love to be proven wrong.

    At least we can now call them out for what they are.

  9. deva says:

    While this is a good decision, a $10 K fine is a joke, given the amount of money that will be spent (and has been spent) on rehabilitating these dogs. How come no lifetime ban on owning animals? I am hoping the journalists forgot to report that...

  10. Anonymous says:

    Annnd, they're selling, and tried yesterday on kijiji, ad was reported and removed. They are selling Westies and mini pigs.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.