Pet-Broker Lambriar Shuts Down — It Kept Puppy Mills in Business

One the largest such companies in the country closed last week, and it's reason to celebrate.
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It just got a little bit harder to buy a puppy from a pet store, thanks to the surprise shuttering of Lambriar, one of the largest pet brokers in the country.

It’s very good news: Lambriar worked as a middleman, buying thousands of puppies from breeders, transporting them across country, and selling them to pet stores. Some of those breeders it bought from were puppy mills. Lambriar supporters would have you think differently, screaming that all the breeders the company bought from were “USDA licensed.” OK, fine, they’re USDA-licensed puppy mills. (They’re still puppy mills.)

Just ask the ASPCA, which has a disparaging page on so-called “USDA licensed breeders.” Here’s a taste:

The standards of care required by the USDA are woefully inadequate and not what most of us would consider humane. They leave a lot of room for dogs to be severely mistreated. Even if they were adequate, they’re not enforced! Take a look at a scathing report done by the Inspector General on USDA’s lax enforcement of the law regulating breeders (heads up, it’s a little graphic!) and judge for yourself whether USDA licensing of puppy mills is enough to make you shop at stores that sell puppies.

Correction: The report is a lot graphic. Use caution clicking that link.

You can also dip into any number of online message boards damming Lambriar, both the company’s practices and the health of the puppies it sells. It has become quite a thing.

The ASPCA, appropriatly, is celebrating Lambriar’s closure.

“Brokers are an important cog in the wheel of the cruel and inhumane puppy mill industry,” writes Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA’s Puppy Mills Campaign, in a blog post about the shuttering of Lambriar. “We have been working hard to shed light on the link between puppy mills and pet store puppies, and it seems to be working! As more and more people take our ‘No Pet Store Puppies’ pledge not to buy anything in stores that sell puppies, the industry will continue to feel the ripple effects and be forced to make changes.”

Indeed, it seems to be working. As for those defending Lambrair, er … well, there’s the local paper ’round there, The Belleville Telescope, which placed the blame squarely on the economy, and the government, and “never-ending bashing by animal rights groups.”

Yep, that line appeared in a newspaper.

“A continued flagging economy, increased government regulations, and never-ending bashing by animal rights groups are the culprit,” writes Telescope publisher Fred Arnold, probably before chasing some kids off the Telescope‘s lawn.

Fred goes on, “Out of courtesy and friendship for Lambriar owners, Roger and Darlene Lambert, we sat on the story for some weeks until they were ready to make their announcement public.” Who says hard-hitting reporting is dead? (Fred also fondly notes that the Lambriars indirectly gave him his first full-time job, in the mid-1970s. Put down the pen, Fred!)

Kidding aside, this is a serious issue with a happy outcome. Don’t buy puppies from pet stores. Don’t buy anything at all from stores that sell puppies. Let your voice be heard through your wallet.

5 thoughts on “Pet-Broker Lambriar Shuts Down — It Kept Puppy Mills in Business”

  1. We bought a female Boxer in October 2006 and we adored her. She was an amazing dog; great with the kids, confident, athletic. She developed mange early on…a sure sign that something wasn’t right with her parentage. We treated it and all was fine until she developed an aggressive mast cell tumor and we had to put her down at the age of 6. She was a joy and we still miss her till this day.

  2. I bought a Labrador Retriever in September 2003 with a Microchip implanted by Lambriar, my amazing dog was with me 10 years, he was really beautiful, healthy, excellent with kids, happy talking dog, I miss him and I am Looking for one like him.

  3. I got a shiba inu from a mall store in naples florida in 2004, hes the best looking shiba ive seen (ive only seen a handful but they all looked poorly) and his only issue is a thyroid problem that the breed is known to have. I got lucky, I wish there were good breeders for shiba inu here. I’m not a dog person but I’m a shiba person!!

  4. My adorable Chihuahua came from Lambriar Kennels. I bought her from a pet store in St. Petersburg, Florida, on July 5, 2004, and she’s now 13 1/2 years old with no health problems. Two veterinarians in different states (Florida and Tennessee) have told me that my Chihuahua has the best temperament of any Chihuahua in their practices. I told them that I got her from a pet shop, and both of them told me the same thing: “Sometimes you get a good one.” I did, for sure.

    1. We have a mini poodle from lambriar and she is now nine and a half and she is a great dog with no health concerns so yes I’m one of the good ones too.

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