How did you get the idea to build DogMerchants.com?
I was reporting my 2016 book The Dog Merchants, which is about the global business we all buy into with every dog we bring home. I was interviewing everyone who takes money in exchange for a dog: home-based breeders, commercial breeders (what some people call “puppy mill” owners), shelter operators, pet store suppliers, dog auctioneers and rescue groups alike. Whether I was talking to people in the Americas, Europe, Australia or beyond, it shocked me how often they used the same language and marketing tactics to persuade us that their dog was the “best” dog.
Out of necessity for the reporting, I started to think about dogs like many of the sellers do: as a product. Then I realized that all these sellers were basically unaccountable businesses, because there was no single, unified place to provide public feedback and ratings of the sellers’ honesty and business practices.
That’s what DogMerchants.com is, a place where all dog lovers can work together, through ratings, to expose the worst sellers and promote the best sellers in the global dog industry—for the good of all dogs, everywhere