The Life of a Puppy Versus the Profit of a Breeder
Could you imagine buying your child a dog for her birthday and the pet dying the next day? According to Amber Hunt, the Rennie family has experienced such lost when after losing their elderly chocolate lab, Griswold.
Daniela, the mother of the Rennie family, thought taking her kids to Pet land would cheer them up. Like most people do, the family feel in love instantly. Henry, an adorable schnauzer mix stole her kids’ hearts, “This little guy caught our eye, and we saw he wasn’t selling”. Daniela gave in to her children in the hopes their hearts would be healed. Unfortunately for the Rennie family, their adorable new puppy died eight weeks later.
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Shortly after finding out the puppy was ill, the Rennie family buried their second dog that year. This is a common occurrence among animals from puppy mills similar to Henry. Imagine, vegetable crates full of young puppies being shipped around the world. Animals experiencing a life covered in feces with little room is not what animals like Henry deserves. Puppy mills are so inhumane they lead the government to get involved.
Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have worked together on this issue. The Animal Welfare Act is in place to hold breeders to standards set by the government (“Puppy Mills” 29). Even with these standards set by the government, breeders are still findings ways around this act.
Because of health statics and inhumane living conditions, puppy mills should be no more and breeders should be held to higher standards. Pets from quality breeder are healthier than pets from puppy mills. Emotionally and physically puppies from quality breeders are heathier. Most animals that have been neglected or abused develop behavioral problems,” Breeding dogs at mills might spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements, or crammed inside filthy structures where they never get the chance to feel the sun or breathe fresh air” (“A Closer Look at Puppy Mills”). Many dogs from puppy mills are fearful of people and every day norms for a dog. For example, a puppy could not know what grass is.
A lot of puppy mills dogs are not exposed to grass. Their first experience is normally inquisitive and hesitant. Training a puppy mill dog may be a challenge. A puppy mill dog may have difficultly being house broken, walking on a leash, sleeping timely, and eating. Physically, puppy mill pets can experience both exterior and interior health conditions. Just from looking at a puppy mill puppy one can see a multitude of conditions such as: emaciation, overgrown fingernails, matting, and dental hygiene.
Inwardly, puppy mill pets can suffer conditions such as: blood disorders, kidney and heart disease, shortened or missing limbs, and heartworms (Lacoste). If the condition is recoverable, this means a large amount of medical bills for the families. For many families such as the Reenie family, medical help is still not enough to save a puppy mill pet. The government is not doing enough to prevent unsanitary conditions in puppy mills. The government has issued the Animal Welfare Act,” In 1970 Congress reacted by amending the 1966 Animal Welfare Act (which originally regulated sales of animals to research) and set minimum standards for dog breeders. The U.
S. Department of Agriculture enforces the standards” (“Puppy Mills” 29). Although the federal government has played a role this is mostly a state by state issue. In 1977, federal regulations know as puppy lemon laws was enforced. These regulations differ from state to state (“Puppy Mills” 29).
For example, In California, San Francisco, has passed a law that only allows pet shops to cell rescue dogs. The San Francisco Board of supervisors feels animal lovers will fully support their decision, “Most animal lovers are horrified at the thought of keeping their beloved family pet in a dirty wire cage for a second — let alone a week, month or even years. Yet, that is the fate of many animals at large-scale commercial breeding operations across the nation, including the mothers of many puppies and kittens sold in pet shops” (Pasha-Robinson). Many puppy mill owners try to get around laws like the one previously discussed in San Francisco. Puppy mill owners will try to sell puppies online. The government acted by adding a provision to the Farm Bill and making a statute called the Puppy Uniform Protection Statue,” Congress included a provision in the 2008 Farm Bill banning the foreign importation of dogs less than six months of age for purposes of resale.
Introduced during the same congressional session was the proposed Puppy Uniform Protection Statute (PUPS), which would uniformly regulate all Internet puppy wholesalers, but at the time this article went to press, the bill remained stalled in committee” (“Puppy Mills” 29). In 2014, U.S. Department of Agriculture started to enforce regulations on national ports of entry. Not all states have the same regulations, “Unfortunately, 21 states have no laws on the books regulating commercial dog breeders—and a number of states that do require breeders to be licensed and inspected by the state only require commercial breeders to meet USDA standards of care” (“A Closer Look at Puppy Mills”).Unfortunately, after all the work the government has done, there are still an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States including both licensed and unlicensed facilities (“About Puppy Mills”).
The loopholes in the government need to be fixed for puppy mills to be fully eradicated from the United Sates. Although owners of puppy mills save money from lack of care and over crowdedness, the amount of money saved will never amount to the medical bills and hurt customers go through. Profit is the main motivation for a puppy mill owner. Most puppy mills have a license to sell pets to Pet Stores but of course some without a license still prevail. A puppy mill can hold hundreds of animals at a time. Contrary to what most would think, the smaller the puppy mill does not mean the better the conditions.
Puppy mills have the ability to breed a multitude of different breeds both large and small. Puppy mills save money by not paying for veterinary care to their animals. Puppy mills do not keep dogs that cannot be of profit to them,” The bottom line is that puppy mills are all about profits. Any money spent on veterinary care, quality food, shelter, or staff to care for the dogs cuts into the profit margin” (“About Puppy Mills”). Instead of euthanasia, puppy mill owners will kill their dogs in heart breaking ways such as shooting them (“About Puppy Mills”).
The amount of money puppy mill breeders save will never amount to the value of a puppy’s life. Even with the health statics, the loupe holes in the government’s regulations are keeping puppy mills in action. When trying to avoid buying a puppy mill pet, one should avoid buying dogs from pet stores. If the breeder does not have the dog’s past history such as medical records or the parents of the puppy, a new perspective owner should walk away. A new perspective owner should go see where he or she is buying their puppy from (Lotz). Checking out the location, conditions, and regiment your puppy is on is always a great idea.
A sign to look for when avoiding puppy mills is how many breeds of puppies the breeder sells. If the breeder sells multiple breed of dogs, new perspective owners should find another breeder (Lotz). Ask your breeder for vaccination records. If the puppy is from a puppy mill odds are the puppy mills did not spend money to get the puppies vaccinations. When going to visit or receiving your puppy, look at their their coat for matting, eyes for infection, and feet for ingrown nails (Lotz).
Most quality breeders will go out of their way to make sure the new perspective owners of their puppy are not going to end up putting them in a shelter. Most breeder will make perspective owners fil out an application, do a home visit, and create a contract. This contact may include information like their health coverage thus far, if the animal was neutered or spayed, and if anything changes return the dog to breeder (Lotz). Most puppy mills do a bill of sale. At the end of the day, people need to make sure they know what not to do when buying a puppy (Lotz).
The government has not stopped puppy mills but knowledgeable people could make a difference by only buying from quality breeders.