Edwin Sayres is a senior advisor to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and was past President of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) from 2003 to 2013.
Mr. Sayres has extensive knowledge of the pet industry and has worked both sides of the animal welfare issue. He recently stated that during his time with ASPCA, he did not grasp the difference between a puppy mill and commercial breeding establishments. He authorized a dozen raids to rescue and rehabilitate over 2,500 puppies and dogs from substandard breeding operations. None one of those facilities were USDA licensed breeding facilities and none of those puppies rescued were headed for a pet store.
Mr. Sayers admits that in the past, he viewed commercial breeders in a negative light. Then someone asked if he had ever visited a licensed commercial breeder and he admitted that he had not.
In an op-ed piece for the Florida Sun Sentinel, Mr. Sayers stated he had spent 41 years working for animal welfare and had in the past, pushed for retail pet sales bans which he discovered did little more than push puppy sales to the unregulated environment of the internet and parking lot flea market sales.
After leaving ASPCA, Mr. Sayers did in fact take an opportunity to visit several commercial breeding facilities and what he found surprised him. He encountered several state of the art facilities where he found that dogs were housed in excellent living conditions, received veterinary care, were carefully monitored and were properly socialized
Mr. Sayers now feels that focus should be on sub-standard breeders who give all professionals in the pet industry a bad name and rather than going after retail pet stores at the local level and forcing them to close, states should require that retail pet stores purchase their puppies only from USDA-licensed breeders, who are regularly inspected and comply with appropriate care standards.
For more details on Mr. Sayers article, go to http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/sfl-end-puppy-mills-the-right-way-20160405-story.html