Dog breeders accuse some profiteers of exaggeratingly raising their prices due to increased demand for pets since the start of the pandemic.
“There is something shocking to note that animals are considered as a commodity at an elastic price which varies according to supply and demand”, drops Élise Desaulniers, general manager of the Montreal SPCA.
According to several dog breeders contacted by The newspaper, profiteers are taking advantage of the shortage of animals in shelters and the wait of a few years for certified breeders to increase the price of their animals.
“Normally there is six months or a year of waiting. But at the moment, my dogs are reserved until 2022 ”, explains Sonia Guignard, owner of the family breeding Golden Retriever Authentique, in Montérégie.
She sells her dogs “certified purebred and guaranteed two and a half years” for $ 2,000, a price considered fair in the current market.
The owner of the Domaine Beau Rêve breeding in Oka, Élise Dandurand, has noted an increase in demand of “nearly 500%” since March. “This has never happened to me in 35 years,” she says.
“Not a Walmart”
Monick Drolet, owner of Elevage Andrade, in Beaumont, has chosen not to increase its prices or put pressure on its breeding of golden retrievers, even if it is overwhelmed by customer demands.
“People don’t realize, they want this right now… but I’m not a Walmart! Launches the one that sells its dogs tested and guaranteed for two years at 1900 $.
She claims that some competing producers have questionable practices.
“A backyard“ breeder ”at the moment […] smelled the manna and made it to $ 3000 for a golden retriever with a temper sometimes so-so », Denounces Mme Drolet.
On Kijiji, an ad displays a golden puppy crossed with a 6 week old Labrador at $ 2,500. Breeders estimate that this vaccinated and dewormed dog should sell for between $ 500 and $ 800.
” This is theft ! »Says Diane Plante, owner of Chenil Dicha, in Trois-Rivières, who continues to sell her dogs for $ 1,700 despite” very strong demand “.
Supply and demand
At the dog kennel at Ô Ranch, in Ascot Corner, in the Eastern Townships, we have instead chosen to increase the prices of puppies “to keep up with supply and demand”, specifies one of the owners, Jacques Descoteaux.
The female baby of all races has therefore gone from $ 1,200 to $ 1,800, he says, specifying that it is still in the cheapest on the market. “There are people who have almost tripled their prices,” he said.
Aux Petits Cudins, in Saint-Félix-de-Valois, we sell crossbreed puppies between $ 2,300 and $ 2,500, an increase of at least $ 700 since May it was reported.
Outbid to buy it right away
Customers in a hurry to afford a companion dog do not hesitate to offer a price higher than that offered by the breeders.
“People are calling us to get to the top of the list. I got offered close to $ 10,000 for one of my dogs. The person told me: we would have been on a trip, but we will not be going this year or next year, ”says Chantal Pinard, owner of the French Blue and Exotique du Québec Bulldog family breeding farm in Sherbrooke.
She normally sells her dogs for between $ 5,000 and $ 5,500.
“It’s really spectacular, it’s even scary,” says Sonia Guignard, owner of the Golden Retriever Authentic Breeding, in Montérégie. People want dogs for yesterday. A month ago, someone was offering me an extra $ 1,500 because they wanted to get ahead of everyone else on the waiting list. I refused, out of ethics. “
Lack of sensitivity
The behavior of some buyers in a hurry, who do not always seem sensitive to the responsibility that comes with the animal, worries Monick Drolet, owner of the Andrade breeding, in Beaumont.
She fears a wave of dropouts when the pandemic subsides.
“We feel that people adopt for the wrong reasons: they are no longer at home, they need to fill a void”, argues the general manager of the Quebec SPA, Félix Tremblay. We are therefore more severe than before. “
At the Montreal SPCA, we are starting to see puppies a few months old who are abandoned for behavioral problems.
“When you buy an animal on Kijiji, you won’t have all the information you need, such as its health or behavior problems,” illustrates the organization’s executive director, Élise Desaulniers.
The client must therefore ensure “that he can meet both parents of the puppy, that they are easy to approach and sympathetic and that they have no apparent physical problems. It is also advisable to visit the breeding before ”, recalls the Dre Amélie Blanchet from the Ormière Veterinary Hospital in Quebec City.