Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Puppy and Kitten Mills: A Blight on Animal Welfare

EllieMae: A St. Bernard Puppy purchased from a reputable breeder. She is adorable and treasured deeply, by Vicki, her owner.

Several days have passed since I watched the Oprah Winfrey special program airing the frightening facts about Puppy Mills. The program left indelible images on my mind of the suffering and neglect that these baby animals experience and still continue to haunt me.

Oprah's show was deeply touching and informative. It was a vehicle which will hopefully will serve to educate the public about the plight of pet store puppies and kittens. The show focused on several stories, which brought to light the  horrific lives which Puppy Mill dogs and cats, considered only to be livestock by their owners, must endure.

Most of these breeding animals produce at least two litters a year, while at the same time are imprisoned in wire cages, not ever having touched their paws to the ground and are devoid of human compassion, a gentle loving touch, or the proper medical care and nutrition that they need.

The shocking fact that Oprah disclosed on the show is  that 95-98 percent of puppies and kittens for sale in pet stores have been obtained from these mills. Is it any wonder that these puppies and kittens often are very often sickly and unsocialized?

The follow up message that Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States made, is compelling. He said,"The puppy mill industry will thrive as long as consumers are kept in the dark about the “mass production” of purebred and designer dogs. With your help, we'll shed light on the cruelty of puppy mills and put them out of business for good. We can't do it without your help!"  He urged animal lovers to remain committed to stopping the business of Puppy Mills.

You can view clips of the show by visiting  Oprah's Past Shows.

What steps can you take as a concerned animal lover to help put an end to Puppy Mills?

  • You can adopt dogs and cats from shelters instead of purchasing them from a pet store.
  • You can contact  a purebred rescue group to find the breed of dog or cat of your choice.
  • You can purchase a pet through a recognized breeder who is committed to the safety and protection of their sale animals and will be supportive to you for the life of your pet.
  • You can educate your friends about how pet stores obtain their puppies and kittens and about the miserable lives that their mothers must endure.

Please take a moment to watch the video,When Dogs Bite, The Story of Penelope, A Puppy Mill Dog, uploaded to You Tube by reckless1962  and visit The Dog Liberator


Vicki said...

Like clock work, I watch Oprah daily. But I knew when this subject was going to be on her show I would not be able to watch it. I can not watch anything that shows any animal being abused, neglected, or harmed in any way. I wish there was a law put into place that would make such crimes a felony.

Joanne said...

This was one of the most powerful shows that I have seen. I knew puppy mills existed but I never knew they were on such a large scale. Overpopulation was also addressed and I am still having nightmares about all the dogs that were euthanized and then discarded in a dumpster. Horrible. Now we have to put up a billboard by Harpo Studios and hope that Oprah will do a show on horse slaughter

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful that the local PetSmart cats for adoption are from the local shelter. None of the cats are from kitten mills and they do not offer dogs for adoption unless they have an adoption day and the shelter brings the dogs.
Unfortunately the stories are true. the mills are disgusting and filled with suffering , sad animals. We can all do our part to educate people and maybe with each person we educate we will be one puppy or kitten closer to stopping the mill trade.

pamie said...

Didn't Mr Percell say that one-third of pets in Shelters are PURE BRED? WOW...

If fear of a mixed-breed is stopping you from adoption...FEAR NO MORE!


AG said...

Puppy and kitten mills have been around forever. People have been fighting for legislation against these mills for a long time. Maybe with this show being aired and exposure of this practice once again in the headlines something will be accomplished.
In my opinion, animals adopted from local shelters seem to sense they are being saved. As for mixed breeds, I think they are great.
So people who are interested in getting a dog or cat, please go to your local shelter and save a life.

Anonymous said...

As a shelter volunteer, I find animal suffering tremendously painful. I see the results of puppy mills. And yes, many of our dogs are likly purebreds (although papers are almost never turned in with the dogs). Pure or mix, there are dogs in shelters who might die because people insisting on shopping and disreputable places. These dogs deserve a good life as do the ones who are sadly born into such misery as those puppies on Oprah's show. And the story for cats isn't much different although we hear more about the puppy mills. Please... don't shop, ADOPT! The life you save may be the best pet you've ever had. These animals know you are sparing their lives and they will love you that much more for it.

PS. I wish these people who run puppy mills could suffer as their puppies and kittens and mom/dad dogs/cats do. I wish them no better than how they treat these innocent animals. Maybe then they'd understand how they harm God's precious creatures. Then again, maybe they wouldn't. Very sad.