PUPPY MILLS - ANIMAL HELL
By Dr. Roberta Lee
ARE YOU SUPPORTING CRUELTY TO ANIMALS?
I know that question may shock you. "Of course I don't support cruelty to animals" Is your answer. Are you so sure? Here are some questions for you to answer, to see if you are supporting cruelty to animals.
1. Did you buy your dog/cat from a Pet Shop?
2. Do you own a dog or cat that is more than six months old and not neutered or spayed?
3. Do you allow your dog/cat to roam free off leash or outside of your yard?
4. Do you hold off having your animal spayed* or neutered** because you want them/you to have the joy of the first litter?
5. Do you make sure that you are caring correctly for your type of pet?
6. Do you put them out in the elements without shelter, shade, or adequate water?
7. Do you play with your pet DAILY?
8. If you have allowed your pet to whelp, do you interview the individuals that you are giving/selling the offspring to, to make sure that they will care properly for them?
9. When you can't sell/give away the off spring do you take them to a shelter, or do you dump them?
10. Do you make sure that your pet gets good health care, or do you think that nature will take care of them?
11. Do you check out the medications BEFORE you allow them to be given?
If you answer yes, to even one of these questions, then you are, although POSSIBLY unintentionally, contributing to the cruelty of animals.
It really is a shame that most of the individuals in this country that have pets don't think of them as a true family member. They get the poor dog/cat, without thinking first, of the cost that will be involved with the care and medical upkeep that will in the years to come, be inevitable. Most dogs and cats that are healthy live into their teens. There are those that may live longer. I have a nineteen year old cat that looks and acts like she is still a young cat. But you see, I have loved and cared for her just as though she were my child. And that is what should be considered before you accept the responsibility for any pet you own. The research should be done BEFORE you invest your money and time, in getting that cute cuddly little critter, not after the fact.
Before I get into PUPPY MILLS, least you think I forgot, I want to give you some statistics to think about as you read about PUPPY MILLS and PET SHOPS.
Did you know that according to the Humane Society of the United States, MORE than 12 million dogs and cats will in one way or another enter the shelters of our communities in one year. I want you to think of how you would feel if I had said, more than 12 million CHILDREN will be placed in shelters to maybe be killed per year? That would certainly move you to action in a hurry I know. ALWAYS REMEMBER, your pet is a thinking, feeling, reasoning being, and therefore deserves respect, care, love, and your responsible actions regarding its life.
Were you aware that this was going on right now as you read this article?
DID YOU KNOW?
1. Between the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States over 20 million dogs and cats enter shelters each and every year.
2. In the same countries a total of more than 17 million dogs and cats are killed each year.
3. The average of purebred dogs in shelters is over 25%.
4. The average number of animal shelters in the United States alone is at least 4 to 6 thousand. As a mien number that is approximately 118 shelters for each state.
5. An unspayed dog and her offspring can be responsible for, in six short years, over 67,000 puppies and one unspayed cat and her offspring, can be responsible for 420,000 kittens in only 7 years.
6. The average puppy or kitten sold in a PET STORE has been separated from its mother and littermates at or before 5 weeks of age.
7. More than 50% of all puppies and kittens that are shipped from PUPPY MILLS to PET SHOPS die in route. 99 percent of all puppies and kittens in PET SHOPS, come from PUPPY MILLS.
If you buy your puppy/kitten from a PET SHOP you are supporting PUPPY MILLS.
Now, if you want to ask me why you should spay or neuter your pets, then you aren't reading, and if you are, then you are the type of person that shouldn't have a pet. AND, YOU ARE THE INDIVIDUAL THAT IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. That means that you are part of the problem, and definitely not part of the solution.
You might ask, what is the problem with a PUPPY MILL. After all there is a need for dogs and cats to fill the demand. Hay there, read what was just written. We have more than enough adult dogs and cats, and are being overrun with puppies and kittens, due to the PUPPY MILLS AND IRRESPONSIBLE OWNERS.
I want to take you into the life of just one female dog that happened to end up in a PUPPY MILL.
We will call her Angel. Angel came to the PUPPY MILL when she was just 5 months old. She was just a puppy herself. She was full of the energy of a puppy, and had a loving sweet face and personality. She was not examined to see if she was healthy, and she was not vaccinated. She was however, registered with the AKC. Angel was placed in a wire or metal cage with no flooring, except the wire or metal itself. The roof of this cage was the same as the bottom. You see, there are no clean up hassles if the fecal matter can fall down through the 5 tiers of cages to the ground. Angel has no bed to lie on. So she spends all of her time on the metal that begins to bite into her delicate, tender puppy paws, and into her skin.
When Angel is 6 months old, she goes into her first heat (estrus), and she is bred to a male that is in the same plight as she is. In approximately 62 to 65 days, Angel gives birth to 5 beautiful little puppies. Of course, during her pregnancy she has not been seen by a vet, due to the financial costs to the owner of the PUPPY MILL. However; as luck would have it, she has a fairly healthy litter. But there is nowhere for them to lie. These tiny puppies have to lie on the metal also. Trying to get into position to care for her pups and feed them, Angel lays on one of them and it dies. This happens on day one. She noses her dead baby, and tries to lick it, but it is still, and cold, and dead. This puppy was not removed for 5 days.
When Angel goes to get nourishment her food bowl is full of feces that fell from the cage above her, and so she has to try to eat around it. When she goes for the much-needed water to keep her hydrated so she can make milk for her babies, it also is full of fecal matter. So eventually, she becomes undernourished and dehydrated. But Angel is trying to be a good mother, and she tends her babies with tender loving care. Because this is her first litter, there are no real health problems with either the mother, or her young.
At about 10 to fourteen days all of her puppies have opened their eyes. The second week passes and conditions in the cage continue to worsen. Just three weeks later, a hand reaches into the cage and takes all of the puppies away from Angel. Angel is frantic. Her babies are gone. She cries for a while, then she begins to pace. Her cage is so small that she is pacing in a circle. Angel waits for the return of her puppies but they never return to their mother.
The puppies have been placed in a crate. There are so many puppies in the crate that there is no room for food or water and the puppies are piled one on top of the other. They are loaded onto a truck to travel over 1000 miles to a bundler, who barely feeds and waters them, but does pick through the crate to remove the dead puppies that were not strong enough to survive the freezing cold conditions in the trailer, and the lack of food and water. The living are then loaded into another crate, in the same conditions, this time to be delivered to a PET SHOP. Of course the PET SHOP doesn't have to pay for the dead that arrive in the crate of suffering puppies. By this time the puppies are almost 6 weeks old. They are bathed so that they will look PRETTY for you to see in the PET STORE. The puppy you pick to go home with you, up to this point, has probably never been individually seen by a veterinarian, and has had no loving contact with a human being. Canines imprint at 21 to 28 days so this puppy has been deprived of that critical human bonding period. What type of life that puppy will have from then on, and how much you can restore that human relationship, is partly up to you the new owner. But it will depend on the individual personality of the puppy too. How much emotional damage has been done to the puppy in being yanked away from its mother and siblings at such a vulnerable age? How traumatic the shipping was to the pup. It may have emotional problems that will show up in training. It may have health problems that will show up later in life. And if this puppy is not one of the lucky ones, the owner will grow tried of it soon, and either toss it out to fend for itself, or take it to one of the shelters, to either be adopted, or KILLED.
As for Angel? Well, she is still in her cage. Still trying to eat her food around the fecal matter, and drinking unfit water. She will be bred again in just a few months when she comes into heat again. For most dogs that is about every 6 months. And the story will repeat itself again, and again, and again. There will be one difference though. Angel will become weaker with each litter, due to lack of proper nourishment, exercise, adequate health care, clean surrounding and last but not ever least, lack of love. And on the day that Angel dies, her wonderful silky little body has grown thin, covered in the filth of the years of laying in excitement, her little emaciated body is covered with open oozing sores, and the life, the excitement and wonder that was in her eyes as she came to the PUPPY MILL, has been replaced with eyes that are dull, sad, lonely and full of pain.
So, such is the life of thousands and thousands of Angels, in the thousands of puppy mills across the face of America. Almost 99% of all puppies and kittens that you see in a pet shop come from a puppy or kitten farm. Of course the owner of the pet shop will tell you that they visit the "breeder" of their shops. DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT! Their "breeder" is a PUPPY MILL! Pet shop owners will tout the fact that their puppies are AKC registered. Yes, well we will go into that in the next chapter on puppy mills - Animal Hell!
If you love dogs, if you want a puppy, NEVER, NEVER BUY IT FROM A PET STORE.
Thought for the day: "All life is precious, and worth respect and love."