Preventing Puppy Mills | Teen Ink

Preventing Puppy Mills

January 25, 2011
By sweetcaroline2339 GOLD, Staten Island, New York
sweetcaroline2339 GOLD, Staten Island, New York
11 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"there's nothing interesting about being perfect."

Imagine being locked in a wired cage hardly bigger than the size of your body. Imagine you were deprived of any opportunity to exercise, denied attention, and given scarcely enough food and water to live on. As horrifying as this may seem, these conditions are simply the alarming reality of what dogs in puppy mills are subjected to daily. Because of the horrid conditions dogs face in these mills, the government should ban and shut down puppy mills across the nation.

Puppy mills are a growing problem, but many Americans are remain unsure about what they are. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a puppy mill can be defined as “a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.” This means that the dogs are being bred purely for profit, as if the owners were treating their animals as a product and neglecting the fact that dogs are indeed living creatures. These breeders are unconcerned with the quality of the dogs they are breeding, and their goal is strictly to make money. To maximize profits for the owners, dogs receive low quality health care and medical attention. For many of these breeders, sick puppies are more frequently killed than taken to a proper veterinarian in an effort to eliminate coasts. These poor breeding practices result in dogs being born sick and shorten life expectancy.

Generally, puppies born in these mills only live there for the first dozen weeks of their lives. Some female dogs, however, are kept at the mills to produce more puppies. These unlucky dogs are bred and rebred constantly. After they give birth to a liter of puppies, they are given only a short break before they are forced to breed again. Giving birth to new pups every heat cycle is physically demanding on the dogs, and their bodies fail them at around age five. Caesar Milian and Melissa Peltier, animal experts, write that the “lifespan of the breeding dogs is often cut in half.” Once these dogs can no longer reproduce, they are deemed “useless” to breeders, and are disposed of. This process of killing the dogs is unlike euthanasia, but often violent in an order to eliminate the cost of giving veterinarian lethal injections. Inbreeding also occurs frequently in puppy mills, which subjects the dogs to an array of genetic diseases and mutations.

Up until now, no laws have been passed by the U.S. government that successfully regulate puppy mills, though there have been attempts. In 1966, the Animal Welfare Act was passed, but this law is plagued with loopholes, and is not enforced properly in most states. Since these puppy mills provide an income for thousands of Americans, Congressmen argue that shutting down a million dollar industry would be harmful for the economy. As true as this may be, Kristen Mehnus-Roe argues that it is not fair to people that purchase these puppy mills dogs that their new puppy’s life expectancy would be severely reduced because of the physical and psychological trauma the dog has experienced in a mill. If breeders wish to continue to breed, they must learn to do so responsibly.

Ghandi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” If this quote is true, then our country has a lot of shaping up to do. Every year, thousands of shelter animals die because they have no home, while breeders breed more and more new dogs for an already crowded market. If people were to open their hearts and give these strays a home, puppy mills would close around the nation, and dogs would be able to receive the proper conditions they deserve.

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