My delightful Sunday afternoon took a turn for the worse. While shopping in the Laval area at a well-known mall, I became witness to something that I had not seen before. I saw a man and a woman in a van with the hatchback open…and four beautiful Husky puppies sat inside of a crate. If you all know me, you know my reaction to such a scene. My husband tried to calm me down and suggested that maybe the couple was on a road trip and had stopped to rest with their puppies. I am not that naïve. I am not gullible; therefore I had to do something.
I made my husband do a turn and pass close to them again and my eyes could not believe what they read on the shirt of the man standing next to the van. He proudly wore a shirt that had the logo of his “business” and called him self a “éleveur de chien” (Dog Breeder). I made my husband park and I sat for a few minutes to think what to do. I knew it was not right what I was seeing…but I needed to think how to prevent that couple from continuing to sell the puppies at that parking lot.
I knew that if I were to go and confront the man, it would be not right. The government allows people to breed dogs and sell dogs. The dogs were not in distress since the hatchback was open and, although I did not see a full bowl of water, the dogs were not panting or seemed to be in fragile health. I told my husband to wait for me inside the car and that I would return in a few minutes.
I got down and pretended to be interested in one of the puppies. My fake smile was at its best while I approached the van. I got close to the man and started asking questions. The man told me that he had his breeding grounds close to Quebec City but came often to the Montreal area because there were more sales. He said he would come often, every other week or so. That meant that a lot of puppies are being born at once in order to sell them that often in a parking lot.
I asked how much the dogs were. The Huskies were 280$ each. That included just the deworming and first vaccines. There were 3 females and 1 male puppy in that van. They were full of wood shavings and believe me they did not smell that nice. I am sad to report that the male puppy had already been sold and they were just waiting for the buyer. He told me that they would stay there in the parking lot the whole afternoon to see if the other three would be sold. My heart broke…just to know that an unfixed dog had been sold already with the potential of three females being sold to uneducated dog owners. I could not allow another single female to be sold that day. I took his information and said I would call back if my imaginary friend would be up to buying a puppy from him. He was proud to say he also had beagles for sale… I was about to pounce on him when I remembered that I had to do something to stop him from coming around parking lots.
My husband went to an electronic store and I ran as fast as I could to the customer service department of the store where the man was selling the dogs. There was a whole line of people returning merchandise. I thought these people would leave by the time the line would clear up. I cut ahead and stood in front of the first cashier working. I said, “I need to talk to the manager, it is urgent.” “Sure”, she said and asked me why it was so important for me to ask. I told her what was happening and the cashier next to her jumped in to the conversation and told me “ Madam they are on the next aisle you can go and talk to them right now.” It felt as if the world was being nice to me and gave me a hand by placing both main managers right next to where I was. I went up to them and told them the situation. I did not ask if they spoke English I had no time to be dealing with formalities. Believe it or not I started talking to them in French. Being upset helps me be fluent and not shy at all.
My tone was strong when I asked them how could they allow people to sell puppies in their parking lot? I told them that as far as I knew the store did not sell live animals and that something had to be done. Told them it was a shame for this couple to say that they came often to that parking lot to sell animals and they had no idea about it. They were both sympathetic to my plea and shook their heads in disgust from what they heard. They said they would take action immediately. I expressed my gratitude and took off running again to the other store where my husband was. I am so grateful that I had worn flat shoes…it would not have been a pretty sight, me running around the mall in high heels.
Told my husband that it was time to go and we went off to the car and to check if they had gone. We went around the other side of the mall and looked from far away. The hatchback was now closed but they were still there. Just as I was about to go down again to make another complaint, the van started moving and I saw them leaving the parking lot.
How sad is it that breeders have no shame and bring their “merchandise” out to the public to be sold as if they were oranges or used clothes from the back of their vehicles? I know many of you will not approve of my actions and will suggest for me to have done other things at that moment. At that precise moment that is what I had to do in order to prevent them from selling another dog. I know I became the rain on their parade because they did not accomplish selling more dogs at that parking lot and now the store was aware of what they will do and would be more cautious of this not happening again.
They might go and do their business at another parking lot in another town during another weekend. All I ask is for people to take initiative and figure out some way to put a stop to the insanity of hatchback businesses of live animals. What will happen to the couple that I saw today; I don’t know. But the only thing that I can be sure of is that I have all their information and location and it is up to me to make a complaint to Anima-Quebec and to MAPAQ.
Will they listen? I don’t know… but at least I know I have done my part and they did not make a profit out of three other innocent unspayed female pups.