About Me

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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.

Monday, April 21, 2008

How Much is That Puppy in the Window?

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.


Nancy said...

I saw the Puppy Mill show on Oprah and I felt the same way... so sad! As much as I love my dog, it is hard to imagine that those poor dogs, could be loving someone unconditionally if they just had a chance.

I got my dog from an animal rescue group and plan to do the same again, if anything ever happens to her.

Thanks for the information.

Josie said...

Leslie, I saw that show on Oprah as well. I happened to be at home that day. I agree "Make adoption your first option." Most people just want a dog as a pet or a companion, and the dogs at the shelters are great for that.

More than that, I think people need to stop anthropomorphizing their dogs. This is what makes me really sick.

Puppy Mills are allowed to be run the way they are because people are looking for substitution babies, rather than pets. I love dogs, but not when they're treated like babies. We always had dogs when I was growing up, and even when my daughter was a child, and they were treated as pets, but they knew they were dogs, or as my daughter used to say, dawgs.

I once had a border collie who was so smart, he saved my life. I loved that dog. We got him from a shelter, and he was one of the best dogs I ever had.

geewits said...

I appreciate Oprah getting the word out, but why was this new to her? I've known about the horror of puppy mills for eons. I didn't see the original show, but I saw the ads for it and she was all, "I just found out..." 60 Minutes, Dateline, and all sorts of shows have been reporting this for years. I think that's where she got Sophie and had to wait for Sophie to die to do a story.

Mental P Mama said...

My beloved Dora was rescued from a kill shelter when she was 4 weeks old. I cannot bear to thinks about those puppy mills. Heart breaking stuff for helpless animals.

Paulie said...

I saw that Oprah show where she donated a room. I have never had a dog and probably won't get one but it sure is awful the things that some have to go through. I was not aware of this.

Paulie said...

I forgot to ask my question . . . how do you know that the dogs at a shelter were not from puppy mills?

Liz said...

I'm not going to look, oh no.

Momma said...

And this is why I (a) am a monthly donor to the ASPCA and (b) I get my dogs from a breeder that I know very well and keep in close contact with. She even makes baby books for the dogs, which include pictures from each week, development milestones, shot record, family tree, etc.

Up until we got our first Samoyed, we always got rescue mutts. The first Samoyed was one we rescued from a home where she wasn't wanted. The next one we bought. Then we bought an English bulldog for our daughter's 17th birthday (the only thing she wanted...guess who's dog she is now?). We have bought two more bullies from the same breeder. Now that I've had good dogs, I'm scared to try a new breed or go back to rescues. Who knows, though. Maybe the next dog will come from the shelter.

Peace - D

Daryl E said...

Excellent advice, a wonderful post! I am always pushing friends who want a pet to get a cat or dog who has been rescued ..

Gotta say I agree w/geewits .. nothing new about this .. its sadly gone on forever ..

leslie said...

We got our first boxer from a "family breeder." And she (dog) ended up with cardiomyopathy so she had to be put down at age 2. Then we went to a very well-known and reputable breeder and got Star, another boxer, who lived to be almost 12 - very old for a boxer. Then I got the cocker spaniel, Robbie, from another "family breeder" and ended up having to put him down because of his extreme aggression. (i.e. he bit me twice and others, too, and would NOT obey even after having extensive obedience training. The biting was the end.) So if I ever get another dog, I'll get a boxer from a reputable breeder.

Ruth D~ said...

Good post, Leslie. And one that will make a difference. How can people . . . do what they do? to animals and to each other?

But then, look at all the good that is done. Let's focus on that.

Judy said...

I don't like those puppy mills. We drove over 600 miles one way to get our Chocolate Lab, because I trusted the breeder, and we aren't disappointed either. Good post.

Rosie said...

we went all the way to Belgium from france to get Porridge. I would never buy a dog from a pet shop

kewpi said...

I am so glad she did this show.It reaches so many peole.I didn't know they were as bad as they were seen on her show.Another thing to remember , is people who breed dogs at home, are just a 'step' away from a puppy mill.

Country Girl said...

Some of these things I didn't even know. Thanks for the information, Leslie!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Well done for posting this, Leslie.

Anonymous said...

Leslie, I am wondering why you got your pet from a breeder and not from a shelter or rescue group?

About the other comments, I don't understand why "momma" is scared of rescue pets. Puppies come in at shelters too..

norahlynne said...

Dear Leslie,

While I commend what you are trying to do, I must request that you credit the artist, John Weiss and his title, Hot Chocolate, for the image you are using. Also please link to our page: John Weiss images where viewers can see more of his work.

Best Wishes,

Norah Lynne Brown
vice president
Gallery One, Mentor OH

Pretisha said...

I agree. The puppy mills are cruel. But the puppys that are already in the pet shops, what happens to them? If no one buys them then where will they go? Will they end up back to where they came from?

Anonymous said...

sweet puppy

seen you experienced hard things,
this helped me a lot


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