Living is Southwest Florida, current citizens are use to the sight of miniature dogs running around with comical articles of miniature clothing on. The possibility of running into one of these dogs in our copious outside malls is so common these malls have built stores selling these tiny companions. From corporate companies such as Pet Kingdom to Little Rascals Puppies in Gulf Coast Town Center, it has never been easier to purchase a toy puppy.
Now what could be the problem? Who wouldn’t want one of these tiny, cute puppies? These are probably the only questions that go through peoples’ heads when they think about purchasing a puppy from a pet store. What many people don’t consider is, where do these puppies come from? Well, what if I were to tell you that that cute little puppy in the window came from a puppy mill. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, defines a puppy mill as “a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.” Puppy mill puppies are sold to pet shops, over the internet, through newspaper ads, and at flea markets.
According to the ASPCA, puppy mill dogs are kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. They’re provided with inadequate veterinary care, unsanitary food, and water. Most breeding dogs will spend their entire lives crammed in filthy cages, never experiencing fresh air, exercise, or basic grooming. These dogs live in conditions that most people would consider inhumane and cruel. Female dogs are bred at every opportunity. That means that a female dog would have given birth to ten litters in only five years. These dogs are, usually, just killed after they become unable to reproduce. While puppy mills should just be made completely illegal, one of the main complications with how our government handles this social problem is how many of these licensed kennels are inspected. According to the Humane Society, It is estimated that there are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. Fewer than 3,000 of these are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
I bet you won’t look at a pet store pup the same after reading this blog. Women think they are so trendy having a mini Chihuahua cooped up in their purses. They don’t realize the amount of pain and suffering some dogs had to go through just so they can make a “fashion statement.” What really grinds my gears is the abundance of dogs that are in an animal shelter. These dogs, which are proven to be healthier than puppy mill pups, are euthanized because they can’t find a home. Yet, people are willing to splurge on these sick puppies keeping puppy mills in business. So the next time you walk by an animal store and you see that cute puppy in the window remember the notorious little quote: Don’t shop…adopt!