Puppy Mill Awareness
Dog breeders that run puppy mills care primarily about making a profit. Their focus is on maximizing the number of puppies they can sell. The health and welfare of the puppies and the mothers producing them is of secondary concern.
This situation is not an isolated occurrence, but one that has been business as usual throughout the United States for decades. Finally, the efforts of many animal welfare organizations to raise awareness have begun to bear fruit and an increasing number of Americans now know about the problems endemic to puppy mills.
The Internet has been an extraordinary boon for puppy mill owners, and with its proliferation, most puppy mills have gone online to sell their puppies. The customer no longer has to go to the breeder and the breeders don’t have to worry about having their customers know where the puppies come from or the conditions in which they live. The customer sees a picture of a cute puppy and orders it. Often the puppy is shipped to the buyer or the buyer comes to pick it up somewhere other than the place where it was born and raised. The irony of puppy mills is that while the owners care only about their costs and financial benefits, this model is really inefficient from a business perspective. Many, if not most of puppies raised in puppy mills get sick and have all kinds of health problems – sometimes immediately, and sometimes later in life.
The Humane Society of the United States has filed a class-action consumer lawsuit against Purebred Breeders, the nation’s largest online dog seller on behalf of fifty former customers who believe they were misled into purchasing sick and injured dogs.
According to Jonathan Lovvorn, Senior Vice President for animal protection litigation and investigations at HSUS, “Internet puppy sellers like Purebred Breeders deceive consumers about the origins of the puppies they sell and inflict huge expenses and terrible anguish on unsuspecting families that purchase sick and dying dogs over the internet.”
Here in Los Angeles, a new humane model for the standard pet shop is Found Animals’ Adopt & Shop. Not only can you get everything your pet needs in one place: food, leashes, collars, beds, clothes, toys, treats, brushes, nail trimmers, tags and even microchips. The pets for sale are every bit as cute and cuddly as in the olden day pet shops but they all come from public and private animal shelters and they need forever homes. There are puppies and dogs of all ages, shapes, sizes, breeds and temperaments, as well as kittens and cats. Some have lost their homes and “parents” due to the economic turndown, a move to an apartment, a divorce, or for some other reason. Some have suffered neglect and need someone to love, care and rehabilitate them.
Those chosen from the shelters by Adopt & Shop for adoption are checked out by a veterinarian, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. They are cared for and socialized while they are waiting to find homes.
So far twenty-six states and many cities and towns in the U.S. have enacted legislation to prohibit to puppy mills. Puppy Mill Awareness day is designed to call attention to the plight of all these animals because of the existence of puppy mills. Let’s continue to better educate ourselves and get the word out to others, as we strive to bring compassionate treatment to the world of animals, pets, and the humans who love them.
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