I had offered free exams for people that bought animals from pet shops many years ago. This was an effort to not only help the store owners but also the pets and their owners. I felt sorry for the puppy and kitty mill products, because they cannot lead a healthy normal life, which in itself is not only a tragedy, but you can imagine the effects on the family and especially the children when their “best friend” dies early in life for the wrong reasons. I was ask to appear on the Geraldo Show and took a client along with all with other clients with defective inbred pets, have a chance to face their breeders. The breeders said will take all your pets back and fix the situation. This had nothing to do with money, but with rather a 22 caliber round to the head. It was a real “eye opener” for most. The breeders and Attorney General of Missouri, referred to a little friends as “heads of dogs and cats”. I remember a telephone call or a statement on the news, stating that we in California, had pot bellied pigs living in our homes. He said how ridiculous. I suggested if the wheat, corn, cattle and pigs sold out of this state were as defective as the pets they are creating, no one would buy their products. Obviously he did not return an answer. Soon thereafter, I was asked by Channel 7 to do a five night piece on “puppy mills”. Paul Moyer was the reporter. They had pictures and their own thoughts that they wanted me to verify, but some of their thinking was not correct. Please forgive me for saying this, but it looked a little like a media event. The segments were prime time = 6.30 PM. The station would sponsor different pets to good homes. I was asked to put to sleep an innocent 6 month dog on TV. I said let me effectively anesthetize the puppy, which would show the people what a euthanasia would look like, and then their weather man Johnny Mountain could adopt the puppy out to a nice family the next day. A win, win, situation. Unfortunately Moyer and the group said I would have to “kill” the dog on TV. I said I would absolutely not do that. Channel 7 used a veterinary from a shelter to kill this poor dog. I hope these people received great ratings, because this was all they really cared about.
Soon thereafter, I was involved in passing legislation for not allowing any puppies or kittens to be shipped before 8 weeks of age and had developed a set of baby teeth. The legislation also made the pet shop owner responsible for financially handling any health problems based upon their sales of a sick puppy or kitten, including genetic defects.
Much of this legislation came from our state capital.
I also, was involved with creating and cleaning up the pet food industry, and flying to our capital and to meet with Senator David Roberti. We were able to get legislation passed, in order to not allow any condemned or contaminated foods or animal parts to be used in pet foods in the state of California.
Just another effort in trying to protect our pets and help guarantee they will live a happier, healthier, longer life.
Dr. AL Plechner