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Puppy Mill Report
Puppy Mills, The Tragedy Continues
One thing you should know before you make a decision to purchase a puppy from a Pet store is that in doing so you will be contributing to the livelihood of an inhumane puppy mill breeder. You will actively be condoning the wretched existence of thousands of breeding stock dogs who lead lives of misery and desperation. Do you really want to a high price for your pet? Can you live with the fact that half million puppies die annual they even make it to a pet store? And are you ready to deal possibility that your new pet will soon manifest one or more of illnesses, viruses, congenital defects or temperament problems so rampant in puppy mill dogs?
Perhaps, you think, the special purebred dog that's caught eye must be an exception. He will be one of the 10 percent of pet shop dogs not bred in puppy mills. Or perhaps you feel that by nurturing this puppy you can make up for the tremendous suffering it's already seen in its short lifetime.
In fact, the only way you can end the suffering is to walk away from this dog. Putting more money into the pocket of puppy mill breeders and their pet store clientele can only propagate the cruel cycle.
You might or might not already be aware of the travesty of puppy mills. Roughly 5,000 in number as of late last year, these operations are largely concentrated in rural sections of six midwestern states - Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Treating dogs as nothing more than a commodity, they ignored the fact that these highly sentient creatures require and deserve care and companionship.
The most common puppy mill scenario is of dogs living in crowded, makeshift pens, unsheltered from extremes of heat and cold. The animals are usually malnourished and without adequate supplies of fresh water. Wire cage bottoms allow the dogs' excrement to pass through the cage, but this waste is usually not cleared away, and the animals can become crippled from walking on the wire. In non-wire bottomed enclosures, the dogs simply live in their own excrement.
Breeding stock bitches are made to have litters at every heat, usually twice a year; when the size of their litters begins to dwindle, after about five years, they are killed because they can no longer turn a profit. Puppy mill owners knowingly breed genetically defective dogs. They also sell puppies too early thus the animals are younger and cuter in the pet store, but diseases and congenital defects haven't had time to incubate and manifest themselves yet. Most operators provide neither the socialization nor veterinary care the puppies need.
Puppy mill owners commonly falsify registration papers, a fact even the American Kennel Club, the nation's largest registry, has acknowledged in press reports Breeders sell to unscrupulous brokers, middlemen of tragedy who crowd puppies from many mills into tight, poorly ventilated quarters, where disease can spread fiercely. Pet store personnel often have the hapless pups waiting hours to be picked up at the end of an already long, miserable journey. For these services, consumers pay prices marked up exorbitantly from what the breeder initially received.
If you are skeptical that the picture could actually be so bleak, consider these figures released last May by the California Assembly Office of Research. The non-partisan study revealed a 48 percent chance that the state's pet store puppies are ill or incubating an illness at the time of purchase; dogs imported into the state rather than raised locally are three times as likely as others to have problems.
If you are strong enough to walk away from the pet store window and pursue a more humane channel of acquiring a companion dog, you will be part of the solution to this tremendous problem. Time and again, informed consumer boycotts have proven to be a fast-acting, effective weapon. And while the efforts of caring legislators and animal protectors cannot be abandoned, it was the powerful one-two punch of intensified media coverage and a boycott initiated last May by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and supported by the ASPCA, that seems to finally be making a dent in the problem. HSUS investigator Bob Baker, who has spearheaded the documentation of puppy mill abuse since 1980, says of the boycott, "This is the first time we've had any success. There is no doubt that we've stemmed the tide."
OPR does not adopt outside of the state of Ohio, no exceptions. If you live outside Ohio and wish to adopt a Pug, please refer to your local Pug rescue.