On Dolittler we’ve talked ad nauseum about shutting down puppy mills, closing the pet stores that support the industry, and educating the consumers who keep the whole horrible clock ticking with their unenlightened approach to acquiring puppies.

That’s why there’s little need to rehash the gory details of unsanitary conditions, irresponsible breeding practices, poor-doer pups and the unhealthy transport of a live, cash-cow cargo.

As with the U.S. drug trade via supplier countries, you could argue that our citizenry’s demand drives the whole shoddy deal. And you wouldn’t be wrong. But that doesn’t stop us from going after the source of the product. 

Though the Parises and Brittneys of this world undoubtedly boost the demand for cute bags and their adorable accoutrements, thereby frying the collective brain of our celebrity-addled culture (i.e., this is your brain...this is your brain on US Magazine...), curtailing demand after the addiction’s well advanced is NOT the best approach when so many other avenues are open to us.

After all, this is not about urging Colombia's military to end drug production in their country. This case is about pups produced through questionably legal means right in our back yard.

Enter the HSUS and its plot to sue Petland and its ilk for the irregularities in puppy retailing that pervade the entire retail pet industry. It’s a welcome thing, this attack on the retailers. Yet we all understand there’s far bigger prey out there. 

Don’t get me wrong...Petland makes sense. It’s big and it’s bad. But what will a successful suit against one or two companies mean for The Mothership...? 

Which begs the question: Who is she, this mother of all things puppy-evil in our society? And can we ever tame her? 

Is it the decentralized collective of puppy mills that dogs us? Or, heading back to the demand side, is it the larger us

The obvious answer is that it’s both. But who’s the target of HSUS’s ultimate wrath? Again, it’s clear to any watcher of the HSUS that’s it’s both sides of the coin. That’s because it’s easily argued that the HSUS’s agenda reaches well beyond closing down puppy mills. The wider project ultimately appears to grasp at all breeders of dogs and all manner of pets up and down the chain.

Some even argue (sometimes very convincingly) that PETA and HSUS are allied in their goal to eliminate all pets from society...that the only utility of veterinarians in a perfect PETA/HSUS world would be wildlife medicine. And while I believe that to be true of PETA, I reserve judgement on HSUS...for now. 

That’s right. Despite my past posts excoriating the HSUS for its often wrongheaded take on pets in the U.S., I welcome all its activities I think exert a positive impact on pet health––including the Petland suit.

How else to eat an elephant? Not one bite at a time, as some would propose, but by unleashing a tiger––so says the HSUS...and I agree. 

Problem is, I fear the HSUS’s growing, gargantuan power base––increasingly amassed by all the good they do. Nonetheless, I have faith that the wider U.S. culture will not tolerate its expansion into more personal issues of pet choice. If the European model is any guide, sanity will prevail. But then, in this land of fundamental thinking, we really DO have to wonder...