This past weekend, a citizen brought in a tiny, chihuahua puppy to Oakland Animal Services. She had purchased the puppy on a street corner. She soon realized the pup appeared to be sick since it was acting lethargic. She brought the puppy to us and we informed her that the less than one pound puppy was only about 3 weeks old, too young to be separated from her mother. In California, it is illegal to sell puppies less than eight weeks of age. And, beginning January 1, 2012, it will be illegal to sell animals on street corners or temporary retail venues. Later that day, a woman brought in a puppy she found wondering around outside of Target – all by itself. This one appeared to be the sibling of the one from earlier since it was the same size and breed. We reunited these puppies and Animal Control Officer Frede is fostering them and nursing them back to health. She has named them Laney and Tarjay.
This is a good reminder that adoption is always preferable to purchasing animals. With an adoption agency, you know the animal is healthy and behaviorally sound, ready to become a great pet for you and your family. At OAS, each animal that stays with us is given its proper vaccinations and veterinary care while it is here. There are many homeless animals at shelters like OAS just waiting for good homes!
This story also points to one of the reasons for the serious dog overpopulation problem in Oakland. People attempt to make “quick” money by selling adorable, tiny puppies who are unaltered and people purchase them without considering the long term investment in time and money they will need to make to care for these dogs. Spay and neuter and adopt from a shelter!