I read an article in the paper today about how to help put puppy-mill operators out of business. Oprah did a show a few weeks ago about an investigation into puppy-mill operators by Lisa Ling. She went undercover and was able to secretly film what actually goes on in those places. It was horrid - cruel, filthy, and even evil. I was going to put a photo on here to show what a puppy-mill dog looks like, but after viewing pages of them, I was too heartbroken to do it. Just google "puppy mills" yourself to see them. You will cry.
After my student left this afternoon, I turned on the TV and there was Oprah at a place in Chicago, called PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving), a no-kill humane animal rescue center where the dogs aren't caged; rather, they each have their own "room." They get to play with each other and even have a rooftop grassy area where they can run and frolic, chase balls and each other, and get fresh air and exercise. Oprah decided to sponsor a room in memory of her black cocker spaniel Sophie who recently died.
At the ASPCA site here, they list 10 ways you can help fight puppy mills.
1. Don't buy your puppy from a pet store. It has most likely come from a large-scale, substandard commercial breeding facility where parent dogs are caged and bred as often as possible, and give birth to puppies who could have costly medical problems you might not become aware of until after you bring your new pet home.
2. Make adoption your first option. Go to your local shelter where you will be able to save a life and possibly even find a purebred. Or you can go to a breed-specific rescue organization that you can find on the internet.
3. Know how to recognize a responsible breeder. Reputable breeders look for good appropriate homes for their puppies and will not allow just anyone to buy one. They check you out even more than you check out their puppies.
4. See where the puppy was born and bred. Always ask to see the breeding premises and meet the parents, at least the bitch. You should also ask for an adoption contract that explains the breeder’s responsibilities, health guarantee and return policy.
5. Never buy a puppy from the Internet. Those who sell animals on the Internet are not held to the Animal Welfare Act regulations―and therefore are not inspected by the USDA. It would be the same as going to a puppy-mill.
6. Share your puppy-mill story with the ASPCA, if you think you've been scammed. The more evidence they can get, the more likely they'll be to bring forth legislation to ban these mills.
7. Speak out! If you are disturbed by the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills, and would like to see legislation passed that ensures that all animals bred to be pets are raised in healthy conditions, you must speak up. You can keep up-to-date about current legislation to ban puppy mills by joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.
8. Tell your friends everything you know about puppy mills and how they can get a puppy at a shelter or rescue center.
9. Think globally. Just as I'm doing right now, use your blog or web site to make others aware of these puppy mills and the cruelty they impose on these helpless animals. In this way, we can get them abolished.
10. Act locally. When people are looking to buy or adopt a pet, they will often ask the advice of their veterinarian, groomer or pet supply store. Download and print ASPCA flyers and ask to leave them in the offices of your local practitioners.
We got our wonderful boxer Star from a reputable breeder and she lived a long, fulfilled, and loved life with us. Friends of ours had Star's sister so we'd get together a lot so the two dogs could stay in contact, get plenty of fun and exercise, and it was a good excuse for a social event. I wrote about Star back in January and if you missed it, you can read Star and see photos here.
- Delta, British Columbia, Canada
- I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.