Farfel’s Farm Receives (Strange) Ultimatum from Our Government.
Farfel’s Farm is a dog and cat boutique on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, that emphasizes rescue of animals. [They inspired and helped me to adopt my mutt, Redford. ~ ed.] One day, just the other day—after four and 1/2 years in business, the USDA Animal Welfare division came into our store and served us with an official notice: that we must obtain a special commercial license for our family dog, Farfel, through the USDA, since his image is on our logo and in our advertising.
If they don’t approve our license application, then we must change all of our ads, logos, business cards, web site, etc.
Strangely, it turns out that pet stores that sell dogs (which we refuse to do) are not regulated at all by the USDA at all. If we were selling dogs in our store rather than helping to rescue them, the USDA would have no authority over us! To add to that irony, the USDA is the government entity that approves all dog breeders including puppy mills!
We oppose sales of dogs through retail pet stores, and we hold periodic fundraisers for rescue.
Farfel, one of our dogs, sometimes sleeps in a bed in our front window, next to a waterfall. Farfel chooses to sleep next to the waterfall, probably because there’s a nice view of Pearl Street and it’s nice and it’s a nice and private nook. We have never forced him to sleep there. The USDA said that this is another reason they are requiring this license because he is “on exhibit.” The local USDA enforcement veterinarian, Tracy Thompson, said that no other retailers in her territory (parts of New Mexico, Wyoming, and all of Colorado) are required to do what we have been mandated to do. I have tried to get answers to several questions from the USDA since their visit, but I have run into a bureaucratic brick wall.
My wife, Sandy Calvin, and I are small business owners trying to make a living while doing good for both people and animals. It seems more than ironic that, while our business is dedicated to rescue and the elimination of unnecessary breeding, the USDA is wasting their prec