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Transcript of Puppy Mills
Don't buy Me 'cause I'm cute, You don't know where I've been.
Despite the fact that puppies are cute they should not come from puppy mills. A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding enterprise.
Did you know? Nearly 100% of pet store puppies come from puppy mills. (1)
Unlike “hobby breeders,” who have a fondness and respect for a particular breed that they want to maintain and share, puppy millers’ sole goal is to make a profit by selling puppies in pet stores and on the Internet. In a puppy mill (also known as a “commercial dog breeding facility”), hundreds to over a thousand dogs are kept in one place–in cages in barns and sheds–more like livestock than pets. To boost profit, dogs are kept in cages all the time with just the minimum legal space allowed. It is no life for man’s best friend. (11)
Puppy mills have a bad reputation for turning out dogs to pet store with little or no regard for the animals. They have been found giving minimal care and providing terrible conditions which lead to diseases and bad breeding practices. Puppy mills have been known to perform horrible procedures on dogs and even though there are laws against puppy mills, they still get away with murder.
Almost every Puppy sold in a pet store has a mother who will spend her entire life in a tiny cage, never being petted, never being walked, never being treated like a dog. (14)
Puppies often arrive in pet stores after long trips in hot container trucks with diseases or infirmities. These can include:
Upper respiratory infections
More serious diseases that dogs can get from puppy mills are: Epilepsy, Heart disease, Kidney disease, Musculoskeletal disorders (hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, etc.), Endocrine disorders (diabetes, hyperthyroidism), Blood disorders (anemia, Von Willebrand disease), Deafness, Eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, etc.), and Respiratory disorders. (8)
-Puppy mills some times debark the dogs by sticking a metal pole in their mouth destroying their vocal cords.
-To tail dock a dog is to use a rubber band tied around the tail really tight until the tail falls off or to use a sharp metal object to cut it off.
-Cropping the ears of the dog by cutting off the ear with a sharp object.
- Is an act of removing the nails by pulling them out with pliers.
How would you like to live in your closet your whole life? Did you know that according to the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) the lowest allowed size for a cage is only 6" larger than the size of the dog in all directions.
In puppy mills the dogs have barely any water to drink and live in disgusting wire cages and they have no area to go to the bathroom. Some dogs develop foot problems because the sharp wires hurt the pads on their feet.
The dogs are often very cramped sometimes with 7-10 dogs in one cage. (10)
Puppy Mill Breeders
So what is a puppy mill breeder? There is no legal definition of "puppy mill." Any breeder that is USDA-licensed can sell puppies to pet stores. Pet stores often use this licensing to provide a false sense of security to customers, when what it really means is that they do, in fact, get their puppies from puppy mills.
A USDA license is a potential red flag that a breeder is in the business to make money.
A puppy mill breeder usually has several breeds of dogs for sale at the same time. They may have hundreds and hundreds of dogs to take care of at one time.
Just because they have a license doesn't mean that they follow the rules.
Federal law does not regulate breeders who sell puppies directly to the public, though state cruelty and neglect laws usually require adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care for sick animals. However, puppy mills are mostly hidden in rural areas and often go undetected and the laws go unenforced.
The fact is, responsible breeders would never sell a puppy through a pet store.
A quality breeder would do the opposite of what a puppy mill breeder would do to their dogs.
Quality breeders specialize on one or two types of dogs.
Quality breeders once they give you the dog will check on the dog to make sure that it is okay.
Quality breeders would let you view their dogs and play with them.
Quality breeders will let you view their facility.
Quality breeders sells dogs independently.
Before you buy.
Be informed about buying puppies.
Look into the type of breed you want.
Research the pet store on the internet to see just where they get their pets from.
See what the behaviors of the dogs are while they are at the store.
Get paperwork on the puppy.
After you buy a dog:
Always take your pet to a doctor for a full round of checkups/shots.
Monitor the behavior of the dog for any signs of illnesses.
If there is a problem then know what you can do.
Go to a local pet shelter, or try to find a local breeder. Nearly 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred–your favorite breed may be waiting for you at the shelter. (11)
Research dogs on the internet.
Try to find where the store/shelter's dogs come from.
Find out the laws of your state.
Get the correct paperwork.
Bad Habits of Puppy Mill Breeders
A puppy mill breeder breeds females every time they come into heat. When they are done breeding they are discarded
The breeder does not screen his or her dogs for genetic defects
A puppy mill breeder offers to ship dogs to new owners, without meeting them first.
The breeder will not allow customers to view their property or kennel.
The breeder does not require an application or references from people buying a puppy.
A puppy mill breeder does not ask buyers to return the dog or contact them if at any point in the dog’s life if the owners cannot keep the dog.
The breeder has a very large kennel. Owning fifty to several hundred dogs is typical.
Visit petfinder.com, one of the largest searchable directory on animals available for adoption. Through Petfinder you can find pet and shelter information as well as adoption services for stray or unwanted pets.
Online classified websites have started to prohibit ads for the sale of pets and animals on their sites, but they do allow people to "re-home" or adopt out pets for a price. When searching for a pet online be sure that you are able to visit the animal in its existing home and are comfortable with the person who is re-homing the animal.
Think about adoption
Animal shelters have many wonderful dogs, cats, birds, and small animals awaiting adoption every day.
These groups often screen their animals for health, temperament, and behavior problems.
Their adoption counselors are trained specifically to match the needs of the adopter with the needs of the animal.
Every breed and species of pet has dedicated rescue groups that take in and re-home pets. For those with their heart set on a particular breed or species, there is a rescue group out there just for your favorite breed. To find them, use Petfinder, or do a Google search including the breed you want and the word “rescue.”
Note that most rescues ask for an adoption donation. This is used for the care and feeding of their adoptable animals. It is not unusual and is considered a tax-deductible donation.
What can you do to help stop puppy mills:
Join the “Puppies Aren't Products” coalition.
The Best Friend Animal Society’s campaign to stop puppy mills and increase pet adoptions. To join, go to Best Friends Network’s website which is http://bestfriends.org/What-We-Do/Our-Work/Initiatives/Puppy-Mill-Initiatives/.
Speak up to the public.
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about puppy mills, or local breeders who keep their animals in unacceptable conditions. The Doris Day Animal League has a good guide for what to write and how to submit letters at http://www.ddal.org/puppymills/action/.
Decrease demand for puppies.
Think shelter first before you walk into a pet store. There are hundreds of unwanted pets just waiting for a good home
If you don’t find the right pet there, try petfinder.com.
One can also find a dog by contacting a local breed rescue organization by searching Google. Enter a city or state, the breed you are looking for, and the word “rescue.”
Know the laws.
Commercial dog breeders who sell wholesale (usually direct to pet stores) must be licensed and inspected by the USDA. Commercial breeders who sell direct to the public (via the Internet and classified ads) do not need to be licensed or inspected unless their state, county, or city requires it. Additionally, many states have “Lemon Saws” for the sale of pets; they aim to protect consumers from purchasing sick animals.
Support legislation that regulates and reduces breeding of animals.
There are several websites are available to help people stay updated on legislation for all animal issues, including breeding:
Don’t give up.
Individuals and organizations have been fighting against puppy mills and bad pet breeders for decades. Things won’t change overnight, but each little change makes a big difference. Even just educating one person about puppy mills, encouraging them to adopt rather than buy pets, is a great accomplishment. (12)
Donate to one of the pet shelters either your time or money or both.
So why do they do it?
According to Petfinder, their database contains information about animals available for adoption, including photos, videos, and descriptions of those animals, shelter contact information, and classified listings.
There are many alternatives to buying puppies from Pet stores that support the horrible practices of puppy mills. There are also things you can do to help prevent puppy mills from continuing:
Spread the word about puppy mills
Know the laws
Join a coalition against the cruelty towards animals
Donate your time to a pet shelter