Last Updated 17 Apr 2020

The Truth Regarding Puppy Mills

Category Truth
Essay type Research
Words 1072 (4 pages)
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Page 2 Puppy mills have long been a problem in the United States, specifically the Midwest region. Puppy mill dogs live in cages 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The dogs’ only purpose in life is “to sit in a cage, constantly producing more puppies to make a profit for their owners” (Best Friends Network, 2007). The dogs have little to no human interaction. Puppy mills are licensed facilities, which mass-produce puppies for pet stores and/or auctions, and should be banned due to the horrible conditions in which the animals live; they are bred repeatedly, and often killed when having outlived their usefulness.

According to Pet Shop Puppies (n. d. ), Congress enacted the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA was meant to protect the animals, but instead opened up the door for dog farms. This act changed the definition of dogs from pets to livestock. Today we have moved up from dog farms to puppy mills. Puppy mills breed dogs repeatedly and have turned breeding into a multi-million dollar industry. Best Friends Network states there is an estimated 6,000 licensed puppy mills breeding approximately 500,000 dogs each year with an unknown amount of unlicensed facilities (The Skinny On Puppy Mills section, final paragraph).

Puppy mill owners breed dogs, sell the offspring to pet stores and auction houses. The puppies are sent to auction to be sold to the highest bidder in order for other puppy mills to be able to continue the breeding cycle. When puppy mills run out of new dogs to breed, they will begin breeding mother to son, daughter to father, etc. creating inbreeding. Inbreeding causes many genetic problems for any breed. Page 3 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires minimum standards for puppy mills, breeders, and rescues. According to Prisoners of Greed (n. ), the cages are required to be six inches longer, wider, and taller than the dog inside. The cages have to be made of coated wire. This coated wire cuts into the paws of the dogs causing severe infection, loss of limbs, and sometimes death. The USDA does not require dogs to be exercised. There is no requirement as to how clean the cages have to be kept. Often, the dog cages are stacked on top of one another to save space. The dog’s feces and urine drops through the coated wire bottom onto the dog(s) below. There are many differences between puppy mills and licensed rofessional breeders. A professional breeder only breeds to improve or sustain the breed. Puppy mills breed for purely profit. Professional breeders will only breed their dogs a maximum of once a year. Some breeders only breed their bitches every other year. Puppy mills breed their dogs repeatedly. When a person purchases a puppy from a professional breeder, the facilities, which the parent dogs live, is available for a tour. Puppy mills wholesale their puppies to stores and auction houses only. Puppy mills and private auctions are not licensed to sell directly to the public.

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This means the purchaser is unable to see the conditions of which the parent dogs live. Professional breeders will retire their dogs once they are too old to be used for reproduction. Retirement means these dogs get to live out their life as a family pet. Puppy mills kill the dogs, dump them on the side of the road, give them away, or send them to animal control once they are not able to reproduce. According to the USDA, animal control is not required to keep a surrendered dog for any length of time. Animal control is free to euthanize the animal when the owner brings them in. Page 4 The USDA has many responsibilities.

The USDA is responsible for inspecting yearly all professional breeders, puppy mills, and rescues. When the USDA inspects the officer is required to enforce the federal AWA. The USDA does not always fine or shut down puppy mills when the officer discovers a violation. These facilities are allowed to continue to operate while the animals are kept in poor conditions. According to Prisoners of Greed (n. d. ) “there are over 4,000 federally licensed breeding kennels”. In Susan Montee’s report (2008), Missouri State Auditor, the USDA “failed to inspect 1,111 of 2,769 licensed animal care facilities in 2006. The same report states only 27% of licensed facilities were inspected in 2004. In Claire McCaskill’s report (2004), Missouri State Auditor, the USDA has received three negative reports in the last seven years. These reports inspections by the Missouri State Auditor happen every other year. The issue being the USDA is required annually to inspect every licensed animal care facility and is not even inspecting half. Puppy mills treat their dogs like livestock. The dogs live in small cages, stacked on top of each other, with a coated wire bottom cutting into their feet.

The dogs breed repeatedly with no attention paid to genetic defects. Sick puppies are often produced and sold to pet stores. These pet stores in turn sell the sick puppies to the public (S. Rhoades, personal interview, June 7, 2009). There are people, which have the mindset of only buying from pet stores because they only want a purebred puppy, and do not want to pay the prices professional breeders charge. (S. Rhoades June 7, 2009) There are many pure bred dogs on death row at animal shelters all over the Midwest. (S.

Rhoades, personal interview, June 7, 2009) It is important the general public knows the truth regarding where that cute puppy was born, and where its parents live. (S. Rhoades, personal interview, June 7, 2009) There are also breed specific rescues, which have Page 5 only purebred puppies and dogs for adoption. As long as we have dogs on death row do not breed or buy, adopt from the local animal shelter or rescue. (S. Rhoades, personal interview, June 7, 2009) Page 6 References Best Friends Network, The Skinny on Puppy Mills [A. Abern]. (October 20, 2007) http://network. estfriends. org/puppymillrescue/news/19928. html Pet Shop Puppies, Incorporated ( n. d. ). The Joy of a Puppy. Brochure distributed by Pet Shop Pet Shop Puppies, Incorporated [no author]. (2004-2009). The Truth Behind Pet Store Puppies. June 3, 2009, http://www. petshoppuppies. org/psppuppymills. htm Prisoners of Greed [no author]. (n. d. ). Puppymills Breed Misery. June 3, 2009, http://www. prisonersofgreed. org/Commercial-kennel-facts. html Rhoades, S. (June 7, 2009). Personal interview with S. Rhoades, Follow Me Home Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, http://www. followmehome. org

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