I just watched a video on puppy mills, and my heart still cannot stop aching.
As i was thinking back to the video, a question came to mind: can this business ever be extinct? They mentioned that 50,000 puppies are bought each year by Americans from pet stores, if there were no more puppy mills, who is going to fulfill this massive demand? Will individual breeders be capable of supplying? To live up to the demand, the care provided for each dog has to be significantly reduced; will breeders then turn into 'puppy mills'?
Or is puppy mill just like drugs or even littering, we can all do our share in helping, but can never make them extinct?
I'm not sure. Pet stores seem to be getting away from selling puppies in general. It seems like Petco and Petsmart had puppies at one time, but now instead they coordinate with local humane societies for a pet adoption day, which is a great thing to do.
The thing is the vast majority of pet store puppy buyers have no idea they're getting ripped off cost wise (many pet store puppies are way more expensive than a well bred and Ch sired puppy of the same breed). And definitely they have no idea that 99% of all pet store puppies come from puppy mills. I think a lot of it is pet education.
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
I don't think it will ever be stopped. People want "pure bred" puppies and the ones at pet stores are cheaper so average people can afford them. People don't have the sense to think ahead that a more expensive puppy from a reputable breeder would be healthier and live longer so it would actually save them money long term. Nobody wants to believe that their puppy came from a puppy mill and they can't see the big picture that they shouldn't support this type of business. All they can see is the little face in the cage at the pet store "looking for a home". If those puppies were not available, people would have to adopt the thousands of shelter dogs that are looking for homes. There will never be a shortage of dogs available because there will always be stupid pople who buy a dog and then get tired of the responsibility so they turn it over to a shelter.
every time I have talked to someone who has purchased a dog from a pet store the price was a lot more than I know most good breeders charge for their pups. The owners were amazed that they could buy a pup from me that had a written guarantee on common health problems and stating I would refund the purchase price if a genetic defect developed. Prices on both coasts seem to be even higher in pet stores and from breeders.
I agree- people are paying anywhere from $1200-$2500 or more in a pet store, and most breeders sell healthy, pet quality pups for a fraction of that. Education really is the only solution-the demand for puppies needs to be lowered by educating people about what they are getting into when they buy a pup-otherwise alot of them just get turned into a shelter when they becoem a problem and they go get a new puppy. Also, if more people were aware they could get purebreds easily from shelters and rescues, they would. There is such a misconception that most shelter dogs are "mutts." Now, as to if that will ever happen...for the msot part, probably not. Trying to reach that many people on a level that will affect their decision making is pretty daunting. BUT, if a large portion can be made to understand where the pet store pups come from, and enough pressure put on legislatures to better control the breeding industry, I DO think a significant change can be made in the number of mills, as well as the type of treatment the dogs receive. I imagine breeding will always be a profitable venture for some-but if they could just enforce higher standards for them, at least the dogs would not be sufferring so much. Living in captivity without love is not good, but what is horrible is being forcibly bred until your uterus falls out, being covered in sores that arent treated, and being cramped into a wire cage your entire life. I think if they passed simple laws that said the dogs cant be kept in cages-and the pens must be a minimum size, have to have daily free access to the outdoors, must receive routine vaccinations, wormings and twice yearly vet checks, and could only be bred once a year, starting at the age of two, and setting a maximum number of pregnancies-that would make a huge difference in these dogs lives. No, it isnt what it SHOULD be, but honestly, I just dont see mandatory health testing and such happening. That would take away all profit, and they wouldnt stand for it. But the changes I mentioned could be made with a minimal impact on their profit, and in the long run, might even benefit the mill owners as they would have less loss. Sorry, I am on a soapbox now.
i dont get why people buy cats or dogs from pet stores. they are over priced anyway and they can get them cheeper by a breeder plus all the problems they have. if everyone stopped buying them and really stood up to the petstores im sure they would change their way's but i dont see that happening. its sad
Well, people buy from pet stores because: 1) They don't know the cruel reality behind pet stores; where the dogs come from. 2) They don't know breeders exist; lack of knowledge. 3) Too lazy to go through the trouble to look for a breeder and doing the reasearch; pet stores are much more ocnvenient to go in and 'shop' for a pet.
BTW, is there such thing as Cat Mill? Where do the kittens in pet stores come from?
"People want "pure bred" puppies and the ones at pet stores are cheaper so average people can afford them"
??? Have you ever priced pet stores? The prices are outrageous! Many to most reputable breeders have a lower price, health guaranteed puppies, with gentic guarantees and lifetime support/return policy. Stop by your local shop one day and ask some prices. The ask around here for prices for the same breed and compare.
People are like slinky's, not really good for much. But its still fun to push them down the stairs.
3-4 MILLION healthy animals die in shelters and rescues every year because there are no homes for them. 46% of dogs in shelters are pure bred. 34% are aged between 6 weeks and 6 months old. So if americans stopped buying pups from pet stores and puppy mills closed down could the void be filled, the answer to that is a resounding YES PPL just need to be aware, or be made aware of the slaughter going on every day.
***Edited By: flip195 on 4/12/2008 11:24:18 AM*** Reason: zdd
I must have mis-spoke on the cheaper part. I have not priced a pet store puppy. I just assumed they were cheaper because they run "specials" and "sales" and sell in quantity. I try not to even look at them if I'm at the mall because I feel so bad for those little guys in the cages. Bbkoo asked about Kitty-mills. You don't hear much about that so it can't be as big as puppy mills. Or is it?? I know a lot of cat breeders advertise a "cageless" environment for their cats so cage cat breeders must exist. But kittens are so much better off if they are handled a lot and exposed to a normal home environment. I usually only see DSH kitten in pet stores and I would imagine those are just from people with unspayed cats and accidental litters. My friend got her persian at a pet store but that was the only time I've ever seen one there. Hers was older than a kitten is usually sold and her eyes are the wrong color so that's probably how she ended up in a pet store.
As far as I can see, from my view point up here in Canada there are a few reasons why the puppy mills thrive. Not to say there are none up here, but they are few and far between. First, as someone already mentioned, people are ignorant and oblivious as to where those puppies came from. There are few government regulations to stop the mills from selling the dogs to pet stores, and few regulations to stop pet stores from selling those dogs to the public. There are so few inspectors allotted to inspect these horrible places. The rules for conditions at mills are weak, to say the least. The political will seems to be absent, to eradicate the mills. My suggestion would be massive rally's to protest, newspaper articles and flyers handed out to the public, and protests right in front of the biggest pet stores. I think it can be done, with a supreme effort, and huge commitment.
Sad truth is that many people find the questionares and wait lists from good breeders too much to take. I have afriend who wants a dog, has the typical i want it now attitude. She wants a pug, many of the breeders she looked at dont want to sell to anyone with children or other dogs, pet shops and BYB dont care about these things. She understands that these breeders only want the best for their dogs, but still wants a puppy. She even said to me, last night in fact, that the next one she finds for around 200 bucks she is going to buy is she doesnt care about breeding or health. This is someone who has heard me for 10+ years talk about good breeders and rescue etc.
She did look into rescue, but the only one she could find is in Calgary and basically refuses to adopt out of the city.
when people meet my dog (which is a mix due to my uninformed purchase but I love her anyway), they always say, "oh she's so cute, you should breed her!!! You'll make so much money!" (she's spayed so it wouldn't happen anyway). And when I tell them that a good breeder doesn't aim to make money, they say,'Really?" I know that is not the whole issue but a big part of puppy milling is money. Part of that is because they don't realize the costs of breeding a dog and the time you have to dedicate to the new litter. This is a capitalistic society and it seems to come down to the bottom line. So until people take this issue seriously and remove the dollar signs out of their heads, pet stores and puppy mills won't stop. I admit, I was just as uninformed as these people were when I bought my dog; I didn't buy her at a pet store but at a place that 'specializes in non-shedding mixes". But now that I'm aware of the issues, I wouldn't breed my dog anyway as she is a mix and there are enough of them in the shelters that I don't need to add to them. Mind you, even if I was a breeder, I'm not sure I could part with the puppies anyway...regardless, unless people slow down and think about their purchase of a puppy, puppy mills and byb's will profit!!!! :(
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland
One of the contributing factors with puppy mills is that there are very few laws to protect the animals. I am not sure if running a puppy mill is illegal, but if it is then officials should try and go after them. We all know that pet stores get there puppies from mills, so animal rights groups should push pet stores to indicate where they get there puppies. If pet stores are forced to indicate there supplier, then you have a better chance of attacking the source head on. Animals should have laws to protect them as well.