Is “Faux Fur” really that fake?

“I love animals and would NEVER wear real fur- 

faux fur should be safe, right?”

Shockingly… no. There are many reports out there that claim that most garments claiming to be made of “faux fur” actually tested positive for dog fur. In one test, the Humane Society of the United States tested 25 different jackets and of that, 24 of them were not labeled correctly.  3 of them came from a domesticated type of dog, twenty came from a type of raccoon dog that is  native to the Asian and northern European forests, and one of them was made from wolf fur. These “faux fur” products are no safer for consumers to use than actual fur coats. What is the difference, you ask? How do they get away with this?

Since the products are less than $150, no label is required to inform the public that it is made of actual fur. Most of these products came from China. There is a thriving dog- and cat-fur industry in Asia. Most of this fur is falsely labeled as “rabbit fur” or simply not labeled at all. Dog and cat skin is made into fur coats, fur figurines, and leather shoes, which are sold to unsuspecting consumers in America.      Outraged? So am I. I have compiled a list of stores and brand names that take advantage of this loophole. Personally, I don’t even wear fake fur, but I want to educate consumers so they make an informed decision while shopping.

Department Stores that sell (sold)  these products include: Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory , J.C. Penney, Nordstroms, Younkers

 Designers/ Brands  include Sean John, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Andrew Marc’s MARC New York label, Marc Jacobs

Miss Leppert, a spokeswoman of the HSUS reported that “There is no suggestion that the retailers knew Chinese
suppliers were substituting dog pelts for fake and other types of fur. But they should know this. They are not properly policing
themselves on this issue. Millions of these animals are coming out of China and being passed off under the wrong labels all round the world. There is a lot more the big retailers could be doing. They have a responsibility for the products they bring to market.” 

On a good note, both Tommy Hilfiger and Nordstom tried to handle this new information the best way they could. Hilfiger stopped selling the fur-trimmed coats immediately and said that they would look into the matter because they are concerned with the findings. While, Nordstrom called 62 of its customers who had bought waistcoats trimmed with dog fur and offered them  a full refund.

However, an executive of Andrew Marc, disputed the HSUS findings and insisted that all fur on his coats labeled as raccoon contains “only farm-bred raccoon fur from Finland”… Ummm that still isn’t faux fur in my book!

Retail giants Macy’s and J.C. Penney were also discovered selling coats with raccoon dog fur labeled as raccoon. J.C. Penney initially removed the offending garments from its stores — but eventually had employees scratch out the ’raccoon’ label with black magic marker and put the coats back on the shelves. Macy’s, however immediately pulled the items from its shelves.

Burlington Coat Factory also pulled some coats with mislabeled fur from their shelves. Rap artist Sean “Diddy” Combs stopped producing and selling coats from his Sean John line that had raccoon dog fur, and rapper Jay-Z pulled coats with raccoon dog from his Rocawear label.

Another fun fact: Importing domestic dog and cat fur was outlawed in the United States in 2000. Intentionally importing and selling dog fur is a federal crime punishable by a $10,000 fine for each violation.

Don’t forget UGG boots. Yes, they are made from wool and (usually) the sheep are alive and shaved down humanely- however- after much investigation, it was proven that UGG boots are made from sheep that have been discarded because their wool isn’t good enough to sell. These animals are kept in awful conditions and, ultimately, slaughtered in very inhumane ways. I am NOT advocating that you go and buy the knock-offs though… Those shoes are made from the same raccoon-dog fur that I talked about above. These animals are beaten and skinned alive, after living their lives in tiny cages. 

 

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As always, your comments are always welcome. And please share with your animal loving friends!

Click here for a list of companies that still test their products on animals

Read more at: http://articles.cnn.com/2007-02-07/politics/dog.fur_1_dog-fur-fur-products-raccoon-dogs?_s=PM:POLITICS

http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/tags/Uggs/default.aspx

Dog Auctions

Dog auctions are a painful and despicable fact of life here in the Midwest, maybe not Iowa as much– but definitely our neighbors to the south. As I am sure you have all realized by now, the importance of educating as many people as I can about animal-related issues is my passion.  Dog auctions are certainly no different. They go on almost every weekend… Thousands of dogs are switching from owner to owner, never knowing the love that they deserve.  I recently went to an Iowa dog auction, please read my story here …. 

 

 

How many of you haven’t ever heard of dog auctions? Let me give you this scoop!  

Picture this…

Large rooms filled ceiling high with wire cages, stuffed full of dogs whose sole purpose in life  to make puppies.  I say “was” because by the time the dogs are brought to these auctions, they are unwanted by the owner for various reasons. The term for this is “cull”. These “culls”, more often than not, can’t even breed well anymore. Each dog is identified with a number tattooed on the inside of the ear, or the inner thigh. They are almost all purebreds of  every breed and the ever so popular “designer dog”. I should tell you that it is usually impossible to tell which breed it is because of the terrible health conditions. The fur is always grown out and matted, filled with ticks and clumps of blood. Not to mention the fact that the nails are so long the dogs can barely walk. The saddest part about all of this is, the rooms are usually so quiet because the dogs are too terrified to move, let alone bark. This is the first time a lot of them have ever been out of their usual cages. It all sounds like fiction, doesn’t it?

But what can we do to change this? The people who visit these types of auctions aren’t your run of the mill (no pun intended) dog customer. These are the other puppy mill owners that are either looking to get some new blood lines into their stock or the local rescues that go in to try and save as many as dogs as possible.

 Here are a few of my suggestions:

1. Boycott puppy mills.  This means never ever  ever buying a puppy from a pet store or from a website. If you want a dog, please please please go to your local shelter or rescue. They have so many dogs that need loving FURever homes! And so much of the public doesn’t even realize that over 35% of dogs in the shelters are purebred. Don’t believe me?! Try it… Go to petfinder.com and search for a breed, I am certain you will find just what you are looking for.

2. Talk to your veterinarian and let he/she know how you feel about dog auctions and puppy mills. Try to encourage him or her to take a public stance against them.  In my experience, the vets that are near these mills know exactly what is going on, and they almost always turn a blind eye to it. Each USDA breeder must have a veterinarian that looks over their dogs once a year… That means that with the 300+ puppy mills in this state, there are that many veterinarians on their payroll… Sad, isn’t it?

3. Share this blog with your friends… Share it on facebook, twitter, email it to your coworkers, link it to your blog– I don’t care! It is just so important that we reach as many people as possible with this message. I can talk and talk all day long, but I am almost always preaching to the choir. Until we can get our neighbors, coworkers, and friends to realize that buying a dog is bad for everyone then we all fail.

As always, comments are welcomed and appreciated. Please, if you have ever been to a dog auction, share your story. You can remain nameless, but it is just one more way for people to see that these things DO happen.

Horrible video that shows exactly what I am talking about… If we don’t stop these atrocities, who will?!

–Mindi

Teach your children how to behave with animals. Adopt a pet.
Don’t go buy one. Please. That’s a sin. Let’s get these puppy mills out of
business.

Animal Shelter Facts

Pet overpopulation is a big problem in this country. The simple truth is there are too many homeless dogs (and cats) and not enough FOREVER homes. Having our pets altered(fixed)  is a solid and effective defense. There are very few no-kill shelters in America, so many dogs are euthanized on a daily basis.

 Below are a few of the grisly statistics compiled by national publications and animal rights organizations.

It costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $2 billion each year to round-up, house, kill, and dispose of homeless animals. (USA Today)

Over 56% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed, based on reports from over 1,055 facilities across America. (National Counsel on Pet Population Study)

An estimated 5 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year. That’s one about every six and one half seconds. (The Humane Society of the United States) Millions more are abandoned, only to suffer from illness or injury before dying. (Doris Day Animal League)

In six years one unspayed female and her offspring, can reproduce 67,000 dogs (Spay USA)

The perceived high cost of altering is not the problem, but the lack of education on its benefits. On average it costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed and eventually kill a homeless animal – a cost that ultimately comes out of our pocket. Low cost spay/neuter services are far below that amount. (Doris Day Animal League)

The cost of having a pregnant female can be much higher than the cost of spaying

Seven dogs & cats are born every day for each person born in the U.S. Of those, only 1 in 5 puppies and kittens say in their original home for their natural lifetime. The remaining 4 are abandoned to the streets or end up at a shelter (The Humane Society of the United States)

Each day 10,000 humans are born in the U.S. and each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for all the animals (Spay USA)

The public acquires only 14% of its pets from shelters; 48% get their pets as strays, from friends, from animal rescuers, 38% get their pets from breeders or pet stores (The Humane Society of the United States)

In a study of relinquishment of cats and dogs in 12 U.S. animal shelters, 30% of the surrendered dogs were purebreds. The same study indicated that 55% of the surrendered dogs and 47% of the surrendered cats were unaltered. (Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science)

The Humane Society of the United States provided these statistics:

  • Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year:
    8–10 million (HSUS estimate)
  • Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year:
    4–5 million (HSUS estimate)
  • Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year:
    3–5 million (HSUS estimate)
  • Number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year:
    Between 600,000 and 750,000—15–30% of dogs and
    2–5% of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate)
  • Number of animal shelters in the United States:
    Between 4,000 and 6,000 (HSUS estimate)
  • Percentage of dogs in shelters who are purebred:
    25% (HSUS estimate)
  • Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2
  • Average number of puppies in a canine litter: 6–10

Only when we are aware of the problem, can we truly be a part of the solution!

The point is… If you love your pet, get him or her altered. There are enough puppies in this world that need loving and FUR-EVER homes.

 

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