Most of us have heard something at some stage or another about the puppy mills or factory farmed dogs that exist in many countries around the world. For many unsuspecting animal lovers this seems unthinkable that animals are kept in such cruel conditions to supply the demand for puppies, yet still they are totally mislead into buying an animal from a disreputable breeder or farmer.
Puppy mill or factory farmed dogs is mass breeding of dogs and they live in horrific, filthy conditions without any form of veterinary aid sometimes in small cages stacked on top of one another or others in large dirt pens surrounded by electric fencing wire to stop them from escaping. All of these are conveniently hidden from the public eye.
There can be anything from 40 to 700 animals that face a lifetime of cruelties such as:-
- Dark cells without access to daylight
- Painful paws from walking on wire floor cages
- Inadequate food or water
- Constant breeding throughout their lives
- A loud wall of noise from other dogs barking around them
- Coats matted from faeces and stained with urine
- Ear infections and ear mite infestations
- Painful gum and dental disease
- Eye problems and/or blindness
- Continual confinement
- Deprivation of any social, psychological and basic needs
The final sad result being that these creatures shy away from any human touch, pace back and forth or turn in circles and some even go insane. When they are no longer productive they are then killed.
The façade that pet shops and internet sites puts out when advertising cute fluffy puppies coming from a loving environment to the unsuspecting public, is incredibly misleading and deceptive and in the long run, very sadly, many people and organizations profit from this extreme cruelty.
What is frightening from all of this is the fact that these puppies end up having behavioral and health problems and that owners are forced to spend even more money on an animal. Certainly in some cases, if the animal does not fit in due to a behavioral problem or becomes too expensive to treat then it are just abandoned and it is here that we have a vicious cycle occurring with many animals ending up on the streets!
What is even worse is that many of these rescued animals have to be sadly put down as they are unable to cope with a normal life.
How can we help stop these horrors? We all need to join together to make a difference:-
- Warn relatives, friends and people in general to beware of buying puppies from pet shops or internet sites. They are not tested for diseases or given any health check and once home in a different environment can often become ill and die. They also often claim that the animals come from a home environment which can be totally untrue.
- If you want to adopt an animal, choose a cross-breed and visit your local shelter to see what they have available. At Aanifeira for example, it is quite rare that we rescue a pure bred dog but we do have an array of beautiful mixed-breeds that would eat your heart out. They all would make wonderful pets and just need an opportunity to have a home.
- Shelters such as Aanifeira with a no-kill policy work hard to save all animals and have recently begun rescuing litters of puppies from the local pound in an attempt to ensure that these youngsters are given an opportunity in life to have a responsible owner. This again is a further option for those looking for a puppy.
- If you are looking for a special breed of dog to adopt and prefer to go through a registered breeder then check that the breeder is in fact officially registered and is on the breeders’ register. Look into the breeder’s background and visit the premises before making a decision. Many countries have different forms of regulating breeders and this information is readily available to the public.
- If you are looking for a special type of breed, there are those rescue shelters that specialize in saving one type of breed only and they do a wonderful job in taking these animals in. For example, in the U.S. there is the non-profit educational organization called GREY2K USA dedicated to the welfare of greyhound dogs. It is totally run by volunteers and this month they have a campaign running as ‘Adopt a Greyhound Month.
- Another extra advantage of taking a dog from a shelter is that you will always be able to have backup advice to ensure that you have all the information necessary for adopting a dog into a new environment.
- The best out of all this is that you are giving a dog a home that might otherwise not have this opportunity and it will make you feel so good!
In Australia for example, they have started a campaign called ‘Oscar’s Law’ (named after a dog that was rescued from a puppy factory in central Victoria and which had suffered extreme neglect) which enables people to stand up and tell the Government that “We do not want companion animals factory farmed anymore” and “We no longer want the pet industry to mislead us about what is acceptable for our animals”.
For those who have not seen the living conditions of a puppy mill or of how they come out from these horrific conditions, then check out these two videos below. The first is from Oscar’s Law and the second is from Pets Haven who rescued two ex breeding dogs that were in such a horrific condition, they had to be euthanized due to their untreatable medical conditions.
Take the step and think before purchasing a puppy from a pet shop or the internet and in this way we will help block this despicable trade and stop the suffering.