January 29, 2008

Stop Puppy Mills

When people think of puppy mills they think of ...

Popular usage of the label "Puppy Mill" has it as a large facility, where dogs are crammed into cages, fed little, uncared for, with little or no human contact, and forced to breed heat cycle after heat cycle, while an uncaring owner reaps profits.

In the past few years there have been more and more "busts" and the media has publicized the closing of some of the larger mills. In some of the pictures you see dogs stacked in cages, feces and urine covering those on the bottom rack, sometimes as many as five dogs to a crate made to hold one or two, and crates by the dozen.

Did you know that 91% of all puppies bought in Pet Shops come from just 9 states (MO, KS, OK, IA, AR, NE, SD, PA, MN)

But do you know how the health of the puppy your buying is affected by those conditions?

Owners who buy from pet stores or puppy mills, even backyard breeders often face serious illnesses requiring extensive veterinary care shortly after bringing the dog home. In some cases the dog has long-term and ongoing problems.

Those conditions make for health problems for the puppies, not only because of the conditions they are born into, the health of the mother but also because of inbreeding.

I am a member of a few doggie forums and let me tell you a story I have been keeping track of just this past week ..

The puppy miller was going to put down the senior IG's because they were all used up but thankfully IG rescue got there to save them.

The foster mom for Mandy had her a week and noticed that she looked pregnant, it was confirmed from her vet and 2 weeks later Mandy went into premature labor.

The foster mother watched and Mandy birthed a boy puppy but then started bleeding badly. The foster mom rushed her to the vet and this is what was found.

Mandy's uterus ruptured into two. If Mandy would have birthed any more puppies they would have been birthed into her belly. Mandy suffered eclampsia and needed a blood transfusion.

Let me say that again, her uterus ruptured into two.

The took the other 3 puppies via c-section. One puppy died within minutes, another puppy was very small and couldn't suckle so they were tube feeding him. He died within 2 days. The other 2 puppies are healthy.

Mandy is 9 or 10, which means (including this litter) she has birthed around 18 or 19 litters.

Makes you sick doesn't it.

So how do we stop this?

Every single puppy sold from a pet store came from a puppy mill, or a backyard breeder. How can I make such a blanket statement, tarring them all with the same brush? Simply because there is not one, single responsible breeder out there who would allow one of his or her dogs to be marketed out like regular merchandise to whomever can lay down the cash.

So how do you what a responsible breeder looks like?

A responsible breeder must know where their puppies are going.

A responsible breeder will interrogate the potential buyer about their home, family, living arrangements, other people that share their house, their past, and their future. Police interrogations have nothing on a breeder trying to find the best possible home for his or her dogs. One I spoke with a few years ago sent a five page questionnaire, on top of the fifty or so questions she asked me over the phone.

A responsible breeder will sell with a contract.

The Contract:

When you buy from a responsible breeder you will be signing a binding contract stating that if something (anything) happens, to this dog the breeder is the first to be told. This may seem a little extreme, but there is a very legitimate reason behind this. If your new dog develops hip dysplasia four or five years down the road, she'll know to pull the parents from the breeding line.

You sign that if something happens to you, and you can no longer care for your dog, she will be notified, so she may take the dog back into her care or find it a new home. (See #4)

You agree to spay or neuter your new pet as soon as possible to help prevent unwanted litters if your dog was bought as a companion.

You agree to abide by any other terms and conditions set forth in the contract. If that means getting hips certified at age two, or eyes certified, you do so.

As daunting as this is, if you think this over, you will realize that she has done this to protect her dogs. And most people have no trouble signing these contracts with a clear conscience.

A responsible breeder will take back into her care, any dog at any time that has been bred from her breeding lines. And often even dogs that were not.

A responsible breeder will do her very best to make sure that none of her dogs ever end up in a shelter.

A responsible breeder can guarantee your new dog's freedom from genetic diseases and defects for life, knowing that she has done the very best to breed best possible parent to the best possible parent and both were free from genetic problems.

Rescues will do the same thing (except for genetic testing, they don't know where the dog came from usually)

The USDA does have jurisdiction over kennels and breeders, they don't get the attention that they deserve.

Posted by Quality Weenie at January 29, 2008 02:10 PM | TrackBack

Great post; I loathe puppy mills!!!!!!

But I like your new look.

Posted by: pam at January 29, 2008 04:08 PM