Puppy Mills

June 1, 2008
Imagine being trapped in a small wire cage your entire life. You would never be let out; you would never be warm in the winter. Imagine eating scraps, or getting into fights where you can’t leave the few feet you’re in. What if you talked too much and someone beat you until you were quiet? What would you do if you were only used for one thing, then killed on the spot? Have you ever been forced to do something that you didn’t want to do? Or do you know someone who has an emotional or physical disability because of their previous treatment? Dogs have experienced all of these things, but they don’t have the voices to speak out.

A puppy mill is a “mass dog breeding operation” (Inside 1). There could be any amount of dogs, but the number is usually larger, up to hundreds. If dogs are being bred in small numbers this is known as “back yard breeding” (Williams). A puppy mill is the place where dogs are bred. It sounds like a normal breeder, but it is not, it is very twisted and wrong and the large breeding operations are actually animal cruelty.

A female dog in a puppy mill breeds constantly, until she can’t anymore because of age, or because it is impossible because of illness or her parts used in breeding, or giving birth, can be “broken”. At this point she is usually killed. . A female dog is either artificially inseminated, or forced to mate (Williams). The dogs are forced to breed; they ultimately have no choice. After the puppy is born it stays with its mother for a short time, and then is shipped off. This is especially damaging because the puppy will never know the caring, or companionship of a mother, or owner when it is young. This is what causes some of the dog’s bad issues (Williams). Then the puppies are either sent to a pet store, or sold through the newspaper, the internet, or on the street (Gillham and Hinton 1).

Breeders design puppy mills for profit, and that is why inside a puppy mill is terrible. It is just a business, and the owners don’t care about the dogs. Because the owners don’t care, the dogs are usually kept in small, crowded, wire cages. They are never let out, and some have usually never played. There is very little veterinary care, and the dogs often get into fights, which they can’t escape because of the tiny space they’re in. The dogs are trapped. Because of the mass amounts of dogs, they are scattered everywhere and used randomly, because of this there is “inbreeding” and over breeding (Humane Society 1). The dog’s food usually comes in large truckloads’ it is never fresh. Because the breeder wants to save money, they will usually feed the dogs the scraps from the floor of anywhere in the mill, including breeding areas. In the winter there is never heat provided, so the dogs die from the cold. In the summer there is no air conditioning, and the hot temperatures sometimes “cook” the dogs in the small wire cages (Prisoners). Many dogs die of excessive heat. If the dogs bark too much, a metal rod will be crammed down their throat, ripping their vocal cords to make them stop barking. Because of these conditions, the dogs are usually emotionally and physically traumatized for the remainder of their lives. Also because of the conditions with the breeding the puppies usually have genetic disabilities (Williams). This is why when you buy a dog from a pet store or from an advertisement, they usually have trust and other terrible issues, which range from going to the bathroom in the house to hating children or men, to biting people, or even scratching their own eyes or wounds until it is a hazard.
Puppy mills are not exactly against the law. Their conditions and the way they treat animals are, but they work around that. They are supposed to have a breeding license, but they avoid that by selling the puppies directly through the internet or newspapers (Tulsa World 1). Animal safety is protected by the Animal Welfare Act, but because of the minor fines and ways to get around the laws it doesn’t really work (Inside 2).
There are many ways you can help to shut down puppy mills. There are many organizations you can join, you can also donate money, or volunteer your time. It also helps you if you research the location that you buy a puppy from; a pet store, the internet, or newspaper advertisements are the worst offenders. They may claim to be from local breeders, and they make false promises or statements. You should question the manager of the pet store, or the person selling the puppies before purchasing a dog, and not always trust their answers are true. You can also help by purchasing a dog from an animal shelter, or a dog lift. These dogs are saved (Williams).

I have three dogs and they have all been rescued by New England Dog Lift; one of them being Maya, who was rescued from a puppy mill. Because of being in the puppy mill Maya is now very territorial, and she doesn’t get along with anyone. If you are in her area, on the bed, or near her food she will growl and snap. Luckily Maya doesn’t have any physical disabilities. Before we got her, her only problems were fleas and heart worm, which is normal for a dog in a puppy mill. Maya doesn’t understand playing nicely, or cuddling. Because of her being in a puppy mill it makes it difficult for her to be around men and small children. Maya’s case is one that is very fortunate because she was saved in time.
Puppy mills are considered animal cruelty. They are considered animal cruelty because of the way the owners treat the puppies (and adult dogs), because of the abuse (both emotionally and physically), because of the poor nutrition, and because they cause death to many dogs. There are millions of specific cases to go along with puppy mills, and you can go on many websites to find these specific stories.

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