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Strange But True Pet News That May Have Slipped Past Main Stream Media

Updated on October 17, 2017
Bob Bamberg profile image

Bob has been in the pet supply business and writing about pets, livestock and wildlife in a career that spans three decades.


The Mainstream Media May Have Missed These Items

I’m always collecting tidbits of information relative to small business, and the pet and pet supplies industry, that pet owners would probably find interesting.

The only problem is: a tidbit requires a whole lot of fluff copy around it to fill a hub and the discriminating readers of simply will not tolerate a fluffy hub.

But, you take a few tidbits and put ‘em all together and now you’ve got a meaty hub…something of substance that readers can sink their teeth into. Something like this:

There are three bills pending in Congress that would require Internet retailers to collect sales tax from their online customers: The Main Street Fairness Act, The Marketplace Equity Act, and The Marketplace Fairness Act.

Supporters contend that online sellers have an unfair price advantage over brick-and-mortar merchants, and that states are losing billions of dollars a year to untaxed online purchases.

Business owners have long resented that they serve as unpaid tax collectors for the state, while their online competitors don’t have that obligation.

Opponents of the proposed laws claim that consumers already must pay the sales tax on out-of-state purchases when they file their state income tax.

Proponents counter with something like, "The law does require that. By a show of hands, how many of you made an out-of-state major pet supply purchase and reported it on your income tax return?

Opponents also claim it’s not the government’s role to protect retailers that choose not to sell online.

Proponents say the government wouldn't be protecting said retailers, they'd be leveling the playing field, which is a noble exercise of government.

Opponents point out that it imposes an administrative burden on business.

Proponents counter with, "Welcome to the club. Brick and mortar stores are presently shouldering that burden."

Opponents claim that money saved by buying from an out-of-state online retailer, will be spent on something else in the home state anyway.

Proponents say, "And not on something else from another out-of-state online retailer?

Are those some pretty lame reasons to oppose the bills, or is it just my bias, having been a “brick and mortar” retailer shouldering that administrative burden the opponents are worried about? You’re right. I’m biased.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, in the fall of 2011The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) submitted 32,000 signatures to the White House on a petition calling for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to close a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act.


That act regulates large-scale commercial dog breeders who sell puppies wholesale to brokers and pet stores, but here’s the loophole: the act doesn't provide any oversight or standards for those who sell directly to the public in newspaper ads or on the Internet.

In March of 2012 Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced H.R. 835 / S. 707…the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act in their respective bodies.

If passed, the PUPS Act would require any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually directly to the public…including over the Internet…to also be licensed and inspected.

The Act would also require all dog breeders licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act to exercise every dog every day, including allowing the dogs to reach a running stride without the use of treadmills or similar devices.

It's All About The Money

You guys spent 6.7 billion dollars on pet medications in 2011 according to That figure is expected to increase 10 per cent a year by 2015 as new drugs become available and medications formerly available only from veterinarians become available over the counter.

From our “What About The Other 29%” department, veterinarians account for 71 per cent of purchases of heartworm meds, which require a prescription, but only 40 per cent of purchases for non-prescription flea and tick spot-on products.


I would guess that the other 29% are buying heartworm medications online (still requires a prescription).

All I know is, if that’s so, those of you who are doing it, and you know who you are, better be forking over that sales tax dough when you file your income taxes!

Pyrethrins and pyrethroids (synthetic pyrethrins), which are insecticides commonly used in products for pets, have been given a clean bill of health by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

An EPA risk assessment concluded that "estimated risks to humans from current uses are well below the agency’s level of concern."

In fact, the EPA supports using the insecticides against stink bugs and bed bugs.

Both species of insects have become problematic in recent years.

People have been bringing bed bugs home from various lodging venues, and they're hard to get rid of.


Stink bugs are a problem for the damage they cause to ornamental and fruit-bearing plants. In the Fall, they seek indoor overwintering locations and their in-flight noise is annoying.

And, if you ever squash one, their strong odor will make you sorry you didn't just catch it in a jar and flush it down the sink.

Pyrethrin, a natural insecticide, is a derivative of the chrysanthemum and is a contact-poison that works within minutes on the nervous system of the insects, rendering them immobile.

The downside is that enzymes within the insects can pretty quickly detoxify the pyrethrins, often allowing the insects to recover. So, manufacturers sometimes add chemicals to the pyrethrin product to delay the enzyme action and cause the pest to die.

In 2011, for the fifth consecutive year, Buddy is the most popular dog name, at least for adoptable dogs listed on Number two was Max, and following are the names that rounded out the top 10: Daisy, Bella, Lucy, Molly, Charlie, Jack, Sadie and Rocky.

Well, I’m plumb out of tidbits for now, but I’ll start collecting more and file my semi-occasional tidbit report the next time the tidbit jar is full.


© 2012 Bob Bamberg


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    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 5 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      I finally learned how to do the techy stuff and edited this hub.

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 5 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      What took you so long! :)

      Thanks for the compliment, and be patient with me. I tried linking my other hubs to one of the hubs I wrote, the way you do, and I guess I didn't do it right because nothing happened. I've got a bunch of other things happening right now that I'm wrapping up, and soon will be able to play with the site and the tools. I saved your email with the instructions and will incorporate that into my play.

      Isn't there a risk in us Imperial System Americans buying meds from Metric System countries? I thought I had read something years ago about the dosages not being equivalent or something like that. I forget the source...maybe it was by an industry trade association trying to protect "domestic interests." I'll check out your heartworm hub.

      I mentioned the pending sales tax bills because a lot of pet owners shop online. If those bills go through, online retailers will lose that "tax-free" advantage, plus they'll incur administrative costs implementing and complying with the law, and, I suppose, they'll pass those costs on in the form of higher prices. I wanted to give pet folk a heads up.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Interesting article, as usual, but no one is going to share on Pinterest until you start putting in some photos. I don´t want to harp on this but I am trying to get more people to read your hubs.

      As far as that intelligent 29%, they might be buying from Canada (no prescription required). See my article on heartworm preventatives.

      No comment/idea on the sales tax!