October 1, 2013

Operating a puppy mill is itself a criminal activity

There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States today. Most of the dogs at these mass-breeding facilities have no quality of life. They live permanently in small wire cages with little or no human attention, no exercise or veterinary care.

While there is not a legal definition at this time, the case of Avenson v. Zegart (1984) defined a Puppy Mill as, "a dog breeding operation in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits." 

The ASPCA defines a puppy mill as, "A large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs-who are often severely neglected-and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices." 

Now, the term, "large-scale" congures thoughts of warehouses and factory farms, which is accurate in some instances. However any situation in which dogs are being bred for profit without proper care, exercise and human interaction consitutes a puppy mill. 

An example of a small-scale puppy mill was brought to my attention just today: 

San Diego firefighters responding to a report of a garage fire stumbled on an illegal marijuana grow and a puppy mill inside a Chula Vista area home. The bedrooms in the home were used for the puppymill and grow operation, so the family, including a 3 year old, lived in the living room. Officers found 60 to 80 marijuana plants and around 20 puppies, including  Yorkies, Bulldogs and Doberman Pinschers. The dogs were confiscated by San Diego County Department of Animal Services. 

Source: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Puppy-Mill-Marijuana-Grow-Baby-Chollas-Creek-House-Fire-San-Diego-225961591.html#ixzz2gV7YmUtg

Now these people sell their puppies either to a "puppy store," on the street or online, to the highest bidder.  You too can have one of their puppies. It doesn't matter who you are or what you plan to do with those puppies.

Do they care if you plan to abuse or torture the puppies? No
Do they mind if you plan to use the puppies as bait in an illegal dog fighting syndicate? No. 

Do they mind if you plan to sell the puppies to a lab for vivisection? No. 
Do they care if you plan to make a stew of the puppies and eat them for dinner? No they do not.

All of these things acutally happen by the way. I'm not making up fantastical stories to get you going. It's just that we don't want to accept that there are people who would be that evil. 

There are people who would be that evil. 

These are criminals, people. These are the "bad guys." Operating a puppy mill is itself a criminal activity, because it constitues abuse and neglect of animals, which is a Federal offense. We want to put them out of business. 

If not for the dogs who are abused and neglected in the puppy mills, please don't buy puppies from craigslist, a "puppy store" or off the street. Go to your local shelter, where the buyer is screened, (no convicted animal abusers are allowed to adopt) and the animals are given proper medical care, food, water, human contact and exercise. 

If you're looking for a reputable shelter near you, try petfinder.com., or contact your city or county for more information. 

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