Stepping aside from politics that are everywhere, how about we talk about something that is not a common topic such as puppy mills. Puppy mills are an unhealthy way to breed and raise puppies and dogs, and not as well-known as they should be. Although dogs and puppies are most common, puppy mills consist of feline breeds, and different rabbit breeds as well. Cruelty is the easiest way to describe these unhealthy places around the world that house starving animals. Many people do not realize just how cruel puppy mills are. Uncleanly, irregular feeding schedule, little to no human interaction, and not enough play time that is sufficient for the animals. Journalist from Peta states “It’s standard practice for puppy mills to keep animals in cramped, crude, and filthy conditions without proper veterinary care or socialization.” When was the first puppy mill found? Ivy Collier says “Puppy mills came into popularity after World War II in reaction to crop failures in the Midwest.”
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was encouraging farmers to sell these innocent puppies to pet stores out of uncleanly crates when there was a decrease in crop production. Owners of puppy mills do not see anything wrong with the conditions that they are putting the puppies and their mothers through. What are law enforcement officials doing about these puppy mills, and why are they not talked about more often? After 12 filled complaints for Patricia Yates, the Humane Society of The United States decided to her house to investigate. When they reach the gates entering the backyard, the HSUS can tell how serious this case is. As Yates is being charged with animal cruelty she questions why, and explains the animals are the love of her life. Patricia lived in North Carolina, with one hundred and five canines.
When the HSUS first arrived at Yates house they encountered mazes of items on the floors, an odor, and they could hear the sounds of these howling and sad animals. As the investigators followed the horrific sounds down the stairs, they observed these animals in filthy cages, with their hair matted and crying for help. As the HSUS staff went back upstairs, they could hear more sounds than just the puppies in the basement. Mothers of the precious puppies inside of a porch with no light while walking on wire for days or even weeks. As the search team walked back outside, they followed a trail to the back, where they found many more mothers that have not been taken care of and are malnourished. These poor mother dogs are believed to have not seen sunlight ever in their lives. After the HSUS took one hundred and five dogs out of the Yate’s house they were all brought to a staging shelter, where they got all the help that was needed. Solotaroff states that a majority of the dogs were either pregnant, or in heat. “Most every pup sold in stores in America comes from this kind of suffering – or worse,” John Goodwin says.
Whether people realize this or not, when canines are purchased from a pet stores around America are promoting these cruel puppy mills. Adopting puppies and dogs from stores such as PetSmart and Petco, is a better option because then you are not supplying money for the puppy mills. “Puppy mills house breeding dogs in small, wire-floored cages, separate puppies from their mothers at a very young age and ship them hundreds of miles to pet stores around the country,” says Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA.
Many people would think of puppy mills being illegal, but in fact they are legal. The USDA is the group that overlooks dog breeding and Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Anyone who has at least five female dogs that are capable of being bred, they can sell the puppies to whoever they wish as long as they are licensed through the USDA. The question then comes to, what are the requirements for becoming licensed? If the AWA enforced the licensing as much as they should, they have minimal housing expectations, and minimal care expectations. Many people would classify these expectations inhumane. Examples of the AWA allows would be that there is no limit on the number of dogs on one’s property, dogs may be kept in stacked cages, mesh and wire flooring is allowed, dogs may be caged for 24 hours a day, no exercise required, and human interactions are not required. There are states as well as cities that have made their own rules to help reduce the number of puppy mills in their area. Some states and cities are creating rules for pet stores in their area, and only allowing pet stores that have a rescue and adopting program within the store.
Puppy mills should be illegal everywhere in the world. It is inhumane to allow bare minimal shelter for the poor dogs attached to trees and living in their own feces without proper veterinary care or socialization. These puppy mills need to be more spoke about in communities and on the news. Like humans, dogs should not have to live in unhealthy areas with no bedding, protection, nor should they have to live with genetic defects from being cross-bread. All dogs should be well nourished, with excellent veterinary care on a regular basis or as needed. Dogs should also have the chance to develop social skills with humans as well as other dogs and be able to have all the exercise and the food that they are required to have. Puppy mills could be prevented if the USDA and AWA would have more rules and regulations on getting licensed and having the privilege to breed animals. These rules should require human interaction, exercise, a certain amount of acreage, specific meal times, and comfortable living areas. The USDA and AWA should also have annual inspections of the breeders. If these associations had annual inspections, and regulated puppy mills better, they would not be an issue.
I wished that puppy mills were a good thing to talk about, and I wish that they had positives to them not negatives. Puppy mills should be more of a happy place, with dogs being able to run around a big fenced in pasture playing with each other as well as their owners.