Stop the Cycle: Puppy Mills

behind-barsWritten by Volunteer Andrea Bossenmeyer

Are you looking for a new dog to add to your family? Do you prefer a puppy? Where will you go to find your new friend or family member?
A) The Shelter  B) An Animal Rescue  C) the Local Mall Pet Store.
Pat yourself on the back if you chose Option A or B. This means you are aware of the loving and amazing purebred and mixed dogs you can find at a shelter or animal rescue. You are also aware that these dogs are spayed/neutered and have been vaccinated and micro chipped.
If you chose option C then you do not know what a PUPPY MILL IS.  What is a puppy mill you may ask? A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Unlike responsible breeders, who place the utmost importance on producing the healthiest puppies possible, breeding at puppy mills is performed without consideration of genetic quality. This results in generations of dogs with unchecked hereditary defects.   Within the walls of a puppy mill is a horrific life for animals.  The breeding stock dogs have it the worst! They are the ones who live their entire lives in cages and are continually bred for years, without human companionship or even rest in between pregnancies. These animals have very little chance of ever becoming part of a loving family. These dogs receive little or no veterinary care and never see a bed, a treat or a toy. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems. Puppy mills are a profitable BUSINESS and little care or attention is given to the dogs.  Puppy Mills sell directly to pet stores, as well as put up false and misleading information on their websites, or place fraudulent ads on Craigslist or other pet forums.
Why would you want to adopt rather than shop? There are a variety of reasons.  The largest reason in my mind is “As Consumers WE HAVE THE POWER to stop the cruel cycle of animal ABUSE perpetuated by puppy mills.” (stop puppy mills.com) When you choose to buy an animal from a pet store in essence you are putting money and energy into keeping puppy mills in business. Another byproduct is you are dooming a dog in a shelter to death. There are approx 8-10 million animals brought into animal shelters each year (ASPCA Statistic) and approx half of those animals will be euthanized due to lack of available homes. That means a perfectly healthy dog lost an opportunity of a loving home because you chose to shop for your dog. The second reason to adopt has been previously mentioned. Health. Many purebred dogs have a variety of health problems. Not only from heredity but also from the cruel treatment they received at the puppy mill. Many arrive with parvo, worms, ear infections, urinary tract infections because they’ve NEVER received any veterinary care.  When you adopt from a shelter or animal rescue they spay or neuter the pet, so as to not contribute to the already horrid animal over-population problem. They give the pet vaccinations to keep him or her healthy and they also insert a micro chip to make sure the dog can be returned to its original owner if it ever gets out of your yard or house. The third reason is cost. Puppy Mill dogs, or dogs from breeders cost approx $400-$2,000. This is without the cost of spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchipping. And as previously mentioned, pure bred dogs typically have more health problems throughout their lives than mixed breeds. Which means higher vet costs throughout the duration of your pets life.

How common are puppy mills?
Jan 24, 2009 Seattle, WA over 600 dogs, 80% pregnant Read More
Feb 11, 2009 White County, TN 250 Dogs Read More & Video 285 Dogs Rescued Watch HERE
March 23rd, Oregon 180 dogs Read More
March 30, 2009 Chicago, IL 67 Puppies Rescued  Read This
April Texas 89 Dogs Rescued Read More
May 6, 2009 Denver, CO 56 dogs rescued Read More
May 11, 2009 Missouri 200 Dogs Rescued Read More & Here & Here
I’ve only listed 7 rescue missions approx 1 per month with over 1,700 dogs rescued in 5 months. This is outrageous and atrocious.

Video of a rescue mission:
Myspace video from The Humane Society of US: Watch Here

Want to adopt visit these links for guidance:
Buying Tips: http://stoppuppymills.org/puppy_buying_tips.html
Avoid Scams : http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/puppy-mills/puppy-scams-cons.html

More Links:

American Dog Magazine Feature Story

Pictures to online Flickr ASPCA Photo Album of 200 Rescued Puppy Mill Dogs

Want to help the ASPCA fight animal cruelty? Take the pledge at www.fightcruelty.org.

http://stoppuppymills.org/

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