- 9/26/03 - Puppy-sales business shows off its operation http://www.joplinglobe.com/archives/story.php?story_id=35217By John Hacker Globe Staff WriterA McDonaldMessage 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2003View Source9/26/03 - Puppy-sales business shows off its operation
By John Hacker Globe Staff Writer
A McDonald County company that buys and sells puppies as pets opened its
doors to reporters and to breeders who attended the fourth annual Breeders'
Educational Conference this week.
The Hunte Corp., Goodman's largest employer and one of the world's largest
distributors of puppies to pet stores, sponsors the annual conference. The
company held the conference in Joplin, but offered tours of its business offices,
kennel, veterinary offices and transportation hub in Goodman.
Kenton Beard, executive vice president of The Hunte Corp., said the company
opened its doors to the media with hopes of dispelling what he said were myths.
"The people who criticize our business are either uninformed or misinformed,
and we thought the best way to address the situation is through education,"
Beard said. "We hope to reach a few people and help dispel the myths about our
industry as a whole."
Curt Ransom, director of rescue and investigations for the Humane Society of
Missouri, said commercial breeders who use The Hunte Corp. office in Goodman
as an example of a typical breeding operation are misleading the public.
"Breeders cannot use him as a poster boy for all breeders," Ransom said. "If
he wants to give out a list of all his breeders and have them open their doors
and let us see how dogs live there, that would be something."
Ransom said that the Humane Society of Missouri has no quarrel with The Hunte
Corp. or breeders that follow the rules, but that it does think there are too
many pets in the world already.
"Is the mass-production of any animal a proper way to provide companion
animals? That's the debate," Ransom said. "The Humane Society of Missouri feels
much of the commercial breeding that happens in Missouri is unnecessary.
"There are a finite number of homes, and we're trying to find good homes for
homeless animals. We think there is a glut of commercial breeding out there
that is competing with our efforts to find homes for good animals."
Beard said: "We're one of the largest employers in McDonald County, and
certainly in Goodman we are the largest employer. We employ 200 (total) people at
both our locations, and at this location in Goodman, we employ 140 people. Most
of those employees live within a 20-mile radius of our office."
Beard said the company distributes 70 breeds of puppies to pet stores in 26
states, and in Argentina, Chili, Japan, Mexico and other foreign countries. The
company serves 200 pet stores every week from its 60,000- square-foot center
Beard said the conference is a chance to "educate professional breeders about
what they can do to raise the standards of pet care."
"First and foremost, we want to educate our breeders to adhere to the highest
animal-care standards that far exceed the USDA Animal Welfare Act minimum
requirements," Beard said. "We feel like those are important, but we feel like
they are a minimum. We encourage and educate our breeders that we want to
operate at a higher level and help them to understand how we do that."
During the tour of the Goodman distribution office, Beard described the care
the animals receive from the time they are purchased from breeders to the time
they arrive at pet stores.
Beard said the company emphasizes human contact with the puppies at the
breeders, at the distribution office and in transport to the pet store.
Beard showed the office where one of the six full-time veterinarians
evaluates the puppies as they are brought in by breeders, and the kennel where the
dogs are cleaned, groomed and observed for possible lingering health problems for
about a week.
He also showed the specialized trailers designed to transport the puppies to
the stores in environmentally controlled conditions identical to those in the
kennel in Goodman.
Beard said people who have questions about The Hunte Corp. can go to the
company's Web site,
"One of the biggest things I would ask anybody is ask questions," Beard said.
"If you look on the Internet there are a lot of negative stories, but if you
come to our facility, you see there is not a negative story here."
National Activist Campaign Coordinator
Foster Parrots Ltd. www.fosterparrots.com
Boycott Petco, pets suffer and die there. Ask Hobbit.
Don't Breed, Don't Buy, ADOPT! http://www.thebeakretreat.com
I am in earnest. I will not equivocate. I will not excuse. I will not retreat a single inch and I will be heard.
William Lloyd Garrison-The Liberator