The ugly truth about puppy mills
So what is a puppy mill anyway?
Lets first explain the basics of what exactly a puppy mill is. A puppy mill is a facility where puppies are mass-produced,with the intent to sell. They are usually sold to pet shops. It is estimated that nearly 99% of the puppies in a pet shop have come from puppy mills. There are around 15,000 puppy mills in The United States alone. It is likely that the actual number is much higher, as this is only an estimate. Many times,the animals living in these facilities are treated poorly,and sometimes it is downright gruesome. The breeders are focused on one thing only,and that is money. The more dogs they have,the more dogs they can breed. The more dogs they breed,the more puppies they will have to sell to the pet stores. To them,this means pay day. For the puppies,this means trouble.
The doggie in the window has a story to tell
When you are walking past a pet store, you probably don't think of where the puppy came from. The puppy looks happy, sitting there wagging his tail,and sporting a little puppy smile on his furry face. But sadly, his life in the pet store is probably the only bit of happiness he has known in his short life.
He was born into this world as an innocent victim to animal cruelty. He was given only the very basics of needs. Before he came to be at this pet store, he is given food once in the morning, and again in the evening. He spends his time in a cramped cage, with a wire floor. The floor hurts his paws, and he just can't seem to get comfortable. Yet as uncomfortable as he is, he sleeps. He sleeps because this is all that he can do. His cage is his prison, keeping him locked away from the rest of the world. He can see it, and smell it, but cannot touch it. He aches to get out and do puppy things, such as running, and playing. Chasing his tail, and barking at squirrels. He has no contact with humans, other than the food and water being shoved in his cage each day. Time is money, and there are others that need fed. He has never felt a human touch, or the love of a little child's hug.
In the many cages surrounding him, there are other puppies living in the same sort of prison. They long to become acquainted with one another, but are not given the freedom to do so. The stench coming up from underneath the cages would be enough to make a human gag, but he is not given the option to get away from it. Flies bite at his ears as he tries to rest, but it is a never ending battle. One that this little puppy can't win.
His mother was taken away when he was barely weaned, so that she could be bred once again. There is no rest for the weary, and his mother will be put through this until she is either too old to breed, or too sick and weak to continue. At this point she will probably be inhumanely euthanized, or just left to die on her own. And the cycle will repeat itself over and over, with hundreds of other dogs.
So what can I do?
There are a few different things that you can do to help. If you, or somebody you know, are thinking about buying a new puppy, consider buying from a reputable breeder. Do some research online about breeders in your area. You want to make sure that they are in the business because they love whatever type of dog they breed, not for selfish reasons. They should be able to give you a detailed explanation of the specific dog you are interested in, including any possible behavior or health issues associated with such a breed. Ask the breeder for references, and ask to see the dog at their home to make sure that the dogs are living in good conditions.
Another great option (and one that I highly recommend), would be to go to your local animal shelter. These dogs are really in need of a loving home,and you just might be saving its life. Most animal shelters have only so much space available to house the animals that they take in,and many of them will be humanely euthanized if they aren't adopted soon enough. Animal shelter dogs really make wonderful pets, and usually mixed breeds have less health issues as compared to purebred dogs.
You can also contact your state and federal representatives. Let them know how deeply you are saddened by the abuse these poor animals go through each day. If enough people show concern over this, maybe they will crack down on these irresponsible breeders. Do your part to help put an end to the puppy mill industry.