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The Missouri-based Hunte Corporation, the nation’s largest puppy broker, has shown little remorse for the 60 puppies who died when a Hunte truck that was transporting them to pet stores in New Hampshire and Massachusetts caught fire. Perhaps this is because the company views animals as mere commodities to be bought and sold, with little regard for their needs.

Hunte is a Class B dealer, which means that it can acquire puppies from any source, including puppy mills — breeding kennels that raise dogs in cramped, filthy conditions. Hunte has even solicited puppies through want ads and billboards. The company’s founder has admitted that some 10 percent (at least 8,000 animals annually) of the puppies it receives from breeders are so genetically defective or sick that they are rejected by pet stores.

Hunte has repeatedly been cited for noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act for inadequate enclosures for animals. A breeder whose USDA license was revoked after he abandoned nearly 150 dogs to die in an overheated truck now serves as the director of new breeder business development for Hunte.

It’s too late to save the puppies who perished in the fire, but people can help other dogs by boycotting pet stores and breeders. For more information, please see www.HelpingAnimals.com.

HEATHER MOORE

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.

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