The Problem With Puppy Mills

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When I was younger, there was this run-down pet store kind of close to the market where my parents would go grocery shopping. Every time we went to the grocery store, I would beg and plead to stop by to play with the puppies and check out the guinea pigs and hamsters. My parents obliged and off I ran to the pet store called All About Animals. I’ll never forget that place. The people who worked in the store were very easygoing and often didn’t care if a clumsy child picked up one of their small, fragile puppies. That pet store was a huge part of my childhood. When I found out where the store got their puppies, I felt betrayed and sick that I even set foot in the store.

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Little did I know these puppies came from one of the many large scale commercial operations that breed dogs for profit. These terrible operations are called puppy mills. After learning about this, I stopped going to the pet store and soon, the place was shut down (not because of the puppy mills but most likely because the owners couldn’t properly care for any of the animals). Not too long ago, I noticed that Debby’s Petland, a small pet shop chain located in some of the local malls, was also shut down. This is another small victory in the step for creating a more humane world for animals.

DON’T BUY PUPPIES FROM THE PET STORE!

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I know it’s hard to walk by a pet store and not want to buy one of those adorable little pups. However, most of these cute creatures came from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are large-scale commercial operations that breed dogs for profit. They thrive on people who fall in love with the puppy in window. According to Best Friends Society, about three to four million puppies are raised in puppy mills each year.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT PUPPY MILLS?

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  • The adult breeding dogs are often the most mistreated of them all. They usually spend 24 hours, 7 days a week in a small cage where they are isolated from humans.
  • A single female could give birth to 60 pups. When she becomes too old to birth anymore, she’s simply killed.
  • These dogs often live in the filthiest of conditions; cages are filled with urine and feces, the dogs are often covered in ticks, and many have untreated injuries or malformations. 
  • Puppy mills try to maximize their profits by not spending a sufficient amount of money on buying their dogs necessities such as food, housing, and veterinary care.
  • Many of the puppies bred in a puppy mill will have some sort of illness or a genetic or emotional problem. Others could have medical issues that will end up costing you thousands of dollars to fix.

Although running a commercial breeding facility of this size isn’t legal in any of the fifty states, it is poorly regulated by the USDA (as is everything else… I find that the USDA pretty much fails at everything having to do with animals). According to the ASPCA, auditors visited 81 facilities and reviewed records documenting 28,443 violations over a two-year period. This would be a good thing if the USDA shut all of these facilities down. But they didn’t. Despite all of these violations, these facilities were allowed to continue breeding. This happened back in May, 2010 but the USDA still seems to be oblivious to the abuses these dogs have to endure.

National Geographic talks about why Puppy Mills are not humane.

WHERE ELSE CAN I BUY ADOPT A PUPPY IF NOT AT A PET STORE?

1. YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER

In my personal opinion, I think that more families should ADOPT their new best friend. Animal Shelters are full of great dogs just waiting to become the perfect addition to a family. Sadly, there are some dogs that will end up waiting forever. Some dogs never get to experience what it’s like to be loved unconditionally. Which is why I prefer people adopting over them buying purebreds from local breeders.

2. LOCAL BREEDERS

I am somewhat biased when it comes to buying from breeders. I think that mixed breeds are the way to go but I know that they are not for everyone. I don’t like that purebred puppies are (most of the time) a result of an incestuous breeding process, in which two related dogs have puppies together. I know that the dogs don’t know any different; it’s not the nature of it that bothers me. However, breeding two related dogs increases the chances of genetic mutation, physical deformities(example: German Shepherds are known for having hip problems later on in life) and disease. Purebred dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than mixed breeds because of these reasons.

3. RESCUE GROUPS

I understand why some people spend all the money to buy purebred dogs. Some families want a great family dog that is known for being loyal and calm so they may decide to go with a Labrador Retriever, which is known for being a great family dog. Or you may be a farmer who needs a great guard dog for your sheep, so you go with the Border Collie. Some situations require or incline you to buy a purebred dog simply for the characteristics that they were bred for. For those of you who are inclined to buy a purebred, I highly recommend searching for a rescue group in the area. There is a rescue group for every breed of dog, some more common than others. These may cost just as much as buying them from a local breeder, but these dogs are in greater need of a home.

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The honest truth of the matter is that WE are the only ones who can really stop puppy mills. Make sure to let everyone know where these pet stores get their puppies. Tell your friends and family not to buy their new best friend from the store down the street. Once these pet stores run out of consumers to buy their products, they will be forced to shut down. This will weaken the puppy mill(s) that once supplied them and will hopefully run them out of business for good.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK THESE OUT:

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Pit bulls: The Most Misunderstood Dog Breed

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We’ve all seen at least one story on the news; “BOY INJURED AFTER A DOG ATTACKS!” “MAD PIT BULL ATTACKS, KILLING ANOTHER DOG!” “POLICE SHOOT PIT BULL AFTER IT ATTACKS A WOMAN WALKING DOWN THE STREET!” There have been so many of those stories that some cities (such as Miami, Denver, and Cincinnati) have started to put a ban on owning Pit Bulls. Note: There is really no such thing as a “pit bull”; it’s just a term used to encompass all American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Recently, in Douglasville, GA, they proposed that no one is allowed to buy a pit bull. If someone already owns a pit bull, they must “register them or face a fine of up to $500, keep them indoors, in a covered pen, or behind a fence at least six feet high. Out in public, they must be muzzled (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).”

The bans put on pit bulls all have one thing in common: they degrade all pit bulls for something that only a small amount of them do. To get a better understanding of what I’m trying to say, think of it this way: they treat the breed like American’s treated Muslims after 9/11. After one group of Muslims crashed the plane into the World Trade Center, Americans have blamed the entire race for that one event, even though I bet most Muslims are really nice people who have no intention of causing any harm. The American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit bull can be a wonderful breed of dog for anyone as long as they are socialized correctly. They are known to be good-natured, amusing, and extremely loyal. They do well in families and are almost always obedient and eager to please their master. However, they are not recommended for most people because most people do not understand how to properly raise and treat a dog. (Learn tips on how to train your dog by visiting Cesar Millan’s website. He is also on the TV show called Dog Whisperer and has wrote several books about raising your dog).

Back when I still had driving lessons, my driving instructor Ashley would always tell me about her pets at home. I have a terrible memory, but I believe she had two dogs and a cat. All I remember is the stories that she told me about her cuddly and super sweet puppy. I asked her what kind of dog she had and I was shocked when she told me her dog was a pit bull. How many of you picture a pit bull when a friend of yours talks about a dog you’ve never seen before? In most cases, these dogs are looking for the same thing every other dog on this planet looks for: someone to love them.PitBullTerrierTiggerFetch1

Media is another reason Pit Bulls are being banned in certain cities. For example, the most recent proposition to ban this breed was because the mayor stated he had seen them “on TV” causing “incidents.” Who’s to say these reporters are right in their dog labeling skills? It’s not like they ask their owners what kind of dog it was. They label the dog as they see it. The media often identifies these animals as Pit Bulls when they really don’t know what kind of dog attacked.

Luckily, so many people out there agree that it’s wrong that one group of dogs are being singled out. There have been a growing number of organizations dedicated to rescuing Pit Bulls from owners that no longer want them or dogs that have been surrendered.pitbaby2

I HATE EVERYTHING about NFL’s Michael Vick. He should be SHUNNED, not praised.

Michael Vick GO TO HELL!

I might be losing readers by saying this, but any fan of Michael Vick is not welcome here. So if you have any respect for this man, get the fuck off of my blog. It’s people like him that help get Pit Bulls banned from these cities.

In July 2007, Vick and three other men were arrested for charges of operating an illegal dogfighting ring, which Vick had nicknamed “Bad Newz Kennels”. It was set up in 2002 shortly after Vick was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. The dogs were kept behind his home in Surry Country, VA. Vick pleaded guilty of funding the organization, operating an interstate dogfighting ring, and participating directly in some of the dogfights himself. He also admitted to help kill six underperforming dogs with two other people. Police took 66 dogs from the home. Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, followed by three years of probation.

Why I hate Michael Vick:

  • He is supposed to be a role model for the youth of America. People look up to him and inspire to be him. When Michael Vick got off with only a few minor charges for such a large crime, it might have given people the wrong idea that they could get away with doing it too.
  • In an interview, Michael Vick said he likes who he is and wouldn’t change his past, even if he could. Therefore, he does not regret hurting all those dogs and ruining their lives.
  • Don’t believe his bullshit. Vick says that he’s sorry and wishes he did something to stop the dogfighting. Don’t be fooled by his lies! He was in the dogfighting business for six years! If he had wanted to stop the cruelty, he could have easily accomplished it.
  • He participated in killing at least a half-dozen dogs. He did this in various ways such as hanging them, suspending from a crossbar with a nylon rope, and drowning them (holding them upside-down while their heads were forced into a bucket of water).
  • He apologized to the NFL, his fans, and his teammates. Not once did he apologize do his victims, the dogs.

I’ve been dying to openly display my hatred for this man and it seems appropriate to talk about it in this blog post. If I could come up with a word stronger than hate, that’s the word I would be using. I feel like a kettle boiling on the stove, steam fuming inside of my body. It’s only a matter of time before it pops the lid off. If you know me, you should know I’m not one to hold grudges. There are exceptions to the rule; Michael Vick is one of the very few exceptions.

I still hate that people call his story “a comeback”. If you want a comeback story, read about the dogs that survived the hell that Michael Vick put them through. THOSE are good stories! Michael Vick should rot in hell for the things he did to those dogs. People need to realize the difference between being a good athlete and being a good person.

How you can help

Pit Bulls?

  • Tell your friends and family that the owners of these dogs are to blame for their attacks, not the dogs themselves.
  • Get a Pit Bull. Show others that there is no reason to ban this breed from cities.
  • If you live in a city where there is a ban on Pit Bulls, protest and say that it’s not right.
  • If you know or see anyone involved in the dogfighting business, report it to the police.
  • Share this blog with others.

Also, check out these websites:

Best Friends Animal Society

Best friends rescued 22 “Vicktory” (Pit Bulls taken from Michael Vick) dogs and found 20 of them new homes!

ASPCA

Pit Bull Rescue Center

Really cute video, proving that not all Pit Bulls are bad dogs.

 

If you own (or owned) a Pit Bull, tell me in a comment below what you think about the breed and/or the experiences you’ve had with your Pit Bull. Even if you’ve never owned a Pit Bull, tell me what you think of these bans certain cities are putting on the dog.