ASPCA: Education About Puppy MillsPublished May 9, 2012
The ASPCA is embarking on a huge campaign to give the public an education about puppy mills.
So let’s take a trip down memory lane back to 1952, when Patti Page’s popular novelty hit song "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" was all the rage. Just about everyone was humming that tune and lots of puppies were sold as a result of that chart-topping ditty. But who knew or cared where these cute puppies came from? The truth, however, is that the majority of these puppies sold in pet stores came from puppy mills.
What Would Attract People to Puppy Mills, and Why Shop at Pet Stores?
Puppy mills have been in existence for many years. For decades, the conditions under which these dogs are kept have been documented, but the truth about what these unfortunate breeding dogs must endure to produce all those puppies sold around the country in pet stores (and even on the Internet) has only fairly recently come to the attention of the general public.
There is hardly anything more appealing to animal lovers than that cute little purebred puppy sitting in a pet store cage, barking and wagging its tail, looking up at you with those soulful eyes, begging you to take him home. And since there continues to be a huge demand for purebred dogs, buying one from a pet store is often more convenient than taking the time to seek the services of a reputable registered dog breeder.
ASPCA: Note The Differences in Dogs Sold by Reputable Breeders and Puppy Mills
So what are the differences between pet store puppies and those bred by reputable breeders?
Puppy mills are large-scale commercial dog breeding establishments where the owners are far more interested in turning a quick profit than the care and health of their breeding stock. Puppies are sold through agents to pet stores, then put up for sale even at the tender age of eight weeks old. Registration papers are often fraudulent.
Since puppy mill puppies are starved for human and canine companionship, they develop behavioral problems and are often often in poor physical condition because the operators of these establishments don't take proper care of them. Many of these dogs live in filthy conditions in small wire cages sitting in their own excrement, developing sores and becoming sick. They are not fed healthy diets.
Dogs bred in puppy mills often exhibit congenital and hereditary conditions, ranging from epilepsy, kidney and heart disease to eye problems, deafness and muscular-skeletal disorders.
On the other hand, responsible, reputable dog breeders place a huge emphasis on raising healthy puppies. They monitor for congenital or hereditary conditions and provide excellent veterinary care and feed their dogs with highly nutritious food. Reputable dog breeders are hobby breeders who are not "in it for the money", but are in it because they love their breed and only want to improve upon it. They love their puppies and sell them to people who are able to give them the proper care. They don’t sell pups until they are between 10-12 weeks old.
ASPCA: Learn How to Fight Puppy Mills
So how can we help get puppy mills shut down?
1. Since most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, take the pledge not to buy anything from pet stores that sell puppies from puppy mills.
2. Don’t buy a puppy over the Internet.
3. Rather than purchasing a puppy, give an abandoned shelter puppy a permanent loving home.
4. If purchasing a purebred puppy, locate a recognized, reputable breeder willing to help you.
5. Stay up-to-date about current legislation to ban puppy mills by joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.
6 . Please read The Ten Ways you can Fight Puppy Mills, compiled by the ASPCA.
How do you feel about puppy mills? Share in a comment.