I really didn’t want to write this post. I hate pet world politics and I like to keep things positive. And I both admire and like the organizers of the BlogPaws conference personally and professionally; I’ve been extremely grateful in the past for the support I’ve gotten from them for my blog and my book, on the BlogPaws site and at the conference.
But I’d like to respond to what I thought was an unfair attack on a fellow blogger by providing some context. This is the original post by Mel Freer, of No Dog About It, claiming that Michael Ayalon, one of the speakers at this year’s BlogPaws conference, designed websites for puppy millers. And this is the response that the BlogPaws team gave, contending that Mel was the epitome of the unprofessional blogger, someone who gave blogger journalists a bad name.
Do Conference Organizers Want to Be Taken Seriously?
The first BlogPaws conference was held in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio is the only state to single out the pit bulls in its vicious dog laws, to wit:
The state law [955.11 (A)(4)(a) (iii)] includes “a breed commonly known as a pit bull dog” in the definition of “vicious dog.” Therefore, all of the restrictions placed on dogs that have killed or caused serious injury to a person or killed another dog are automatically placed on pit bulls.
The second BlogPaws conference was held in Denver, Colorado. The rest of Colorado opposes breed specific language and, in fact, sued Denver for its pit bull ban.
I blogged about my regret at having gone to a conference in Denver here; I respectfully contacted the conference organizers in advance to say that I was making that regret public. BlogPaws co-founder Yvonne DiVita wrote in the comments section: “BlogPaws was mortified to discover the BSL issue.”
The Denver conference was held at a hotel that did not accept pets as a matter of policy.
I was unfamiliar with the whole notion of BSL until after the second conference myself, but I sure knew what a pet friendly hotel was and one that only makes an exception to accept pets for a lucrative conference does not fall into that category.
Conference organizers should be aware of these issues. They are making a statement with choice of location and venue.
Hotel chains — for example Loews, Kimpton and Red Roof Inn — that accept pets of every size as a matter of general policy should be rewarded with pet conference business. So should pet friendly cities and states.
You can forgive me if, after three examples of less-than-stellar vetting — the kindest interpretation I can put on those choices — I would be willing to accept what Mel said about a conference speaker, given that I was familiar with the original discussion about that speaker.
The Facts (As I’ve Been Able to Ascertain)
This is what the Blogpaws post says in defense of one of Michael Ayalon’s sites:
Facts: The first site, PuppyPetite.com, does offer puppies for sale and contains lots of pictures of cute, healthy looking puppies. But there is nothing on any of those pages that indicates a “puppy mill” operation, as far as we can see. PuppyPetite.com specifically states that they will not ship their puppies and you must pick them up in person.
Here’s another fact: Pet stores require you to pick up the puppies in person too. That doesn’t mean that those puppies don’t come from puppy mills. These sites have become extremely savvy about knowing the language of the anti-puppymillers. Do you know any reputable breeder who would sell puppies on a site that looks like PuppyPetite.com. I sure don’t.
One more thing. Here is the current link to
Michael Ayalon’s business page. It doesn’t have a single link to a site that he has designed. If I stood behind my work — as I do — I would link to a few examples of it. Michael Ayalon’s web design site. As Mel points out, the domain names available for sale on the site include “puppybuying.com, sellapuppy.com, sellpups.com” etc. — and ad nauseum.