Hello, dear readers!
Someone on our Facebook page was upset over a post about puppy mills, and wanted to know how it’s been allowed to go on for so long, and who had the power to stop it. The answer is actually really simple. WE have the power to stop it. Consumers have the power to make or break ANY industry, and puppy mills are not immune to our all-powerful shopping fist.
There are thousands of ‘commercial breeders’ (and those are ony the ones actually registered with the USDA). So, for all these thousands of facilities, how many inspectors do we have? The horrifying answer is about 85. So, when we wonder how they get away with so much mistreatment, and why so many agencies such as the Humane Society have to step in and pick up the slack, this would be why.
Yes, the problem is MASSIVE, but you, and I have all the power we need to stop it. We can do it using only our mouths and wallets, in fact. I have compiled a handy-dandy list of everyday, simple things we can all do, and it doubles as a set of talking points to share with your friends, family, co-workers, strangers in line at the grocery store, and anyone else who will listen.
1. Puppy mills operate under a nice veil of secrecy thanks to the sale of dogs and cats online being oh, so easy and currently legal.
Don’t buy a dog or cat online, and if anyone you know is even thinking about doing that, hit them in the head with a magazine and say “NO!”.
2. Write your city, county and state authorities and urge them to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. Cities across America are doing this, so urge your authorities to join the good fight. This is literally as simple as googling the person, then shooting them an e mail.
3. Feel free to write the federal government, and ask them to ban the sale of dogs and cats online. There are several agencies which may have power, but ultimately, your Congressman or Senator will be a good go-to. I realize asking most of them to DO anything is a hard sell, but you know what they say. The squeaky wheel gets greased.
4. Do not shop in any pet store that sells dogs and cats. Not even for pet supplies or a shiny new goldfish. Just don’t do it! Some pet stores work with local animal rescues and offer dogs and cats for adoption. This is a wonderful thing, and something we should support, but make sure they don’t sell any animals, and that the rescue group they claim to be offering pets for is one you can actually meet with and contact. A reputable rescue will make you formally apply and go through their process, so if anyone gives you a price and is ready to hand over a dog or cat, that’s NOT a rescue animal.
5. Please don’t fall for the ‘designer dog’ craze. Maltipoo, Puggle, Morkie, Goldendoodle, etc..these are all simply mixed breed dogs. They are wonderful, but they are not ‘special breeds’ despite what someone may tell you. Our animal shelters and rescues are literally flooded with dogs of all mixes (and lots of purebred dogs too) so always go to your local shelter or peruse petfinder.com to find rescues in your area who will likely have the ideal dog for you.
6. If you’re looking for a dog or cat and want a specific breed, leave your criteria and interests (and all contact info) with your local shelters and rescues. Just because they don’t have what you’re looking for on Monday does not mean they won’t have it soon!
7. Report, report, and report! If you suspect any dodgy breeding activity in your area, witness any kind of animal abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to report it! Your local police department and/or animal control will always allow you to make these reports anonymously, and this includes dogfighting. In fact, special hotlines have been set up for the reporting of dogfighting, so don’t be shy!
8. Last, but never least..educate. Yourself, your friends, your family, and anyone you can.
Here are some absolutely wonderful resources.
To report puppy mills, contact the USDA. http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome
The Humane Society of the United States also wants to know if you suspect a puppy mill! www.hsus.org
(They’re very accessible and friendly, and will usually respond promptly with more help and advice to make sure your report goes where it should)
National Mill Dog Rescue, inspired by a very special girl named Lily, has done amazing work saving thousands of animals from puppy mills, and educating the public about these horrible places. Here is their Facebook information: https://www.facebook.com/NationalMillDogRescue?fref=ts
Their official site is here: http://milldogrescue.org/
They, along with the HSUS have some very gripping, educational, heartbreaking and amazing videos all over Youtube. They take you along as they expose puppy mills, and show you firsthand the condition the dogs are found in. But it’s not all tears, because they also show you all the happy endings, amazing transformations, and the recovery of even the most severely abused, injured or starved dogs.
So, the short answer to a very long question is: YOU!
You can stop this.
Owner of Shiloh’s Dog Boutique
“Where Fashion Meets Compassion”
Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ShilohsBoutique