There can be a lot of opinions swirling around pets and pet care. What are the best toys? What’s the best way to train your dog? What’s the best fur comb for dogs and cats? What cat litter should you use to best eliminate odors? Is there a best technique for keeping dogs calm during fireworks and thunderstorms? (By the way, if you have opinions on any of these, sound off in the comments!) But there is one topic that there should be absolutely no debate on: puppy mills. Specifically the fact that they are awful and should never be allowed to operate.
Puppy mills work under inhumane conditions, purely for profit of the owners rather than any consideration for the well-being of the dogs they provide to sellers around the country. Dog mothers are locked up in pitiful conditions, often malnourished and kept in cages that are little more than prisons for pups as they produce endless puppies to be sold. This is why it is wise to reconsider purchasing a puppy from even mainstream pet stores or from online sellers–such puppies are often the direct result of puppy mills. (This is often why we encourage seeking out pet adoptions via shelters or adoption agencies, who can better verify the animal’s origins.)
Aside from adopting from shelters, you can also take further steps to stop the cruelty of puppy mills. First, you can encourage your local pet stores to join the Puppy-Friendly Pet Store initiative, where the store supports adoptions rather than sells puppies directly.
You can also be advocate against puppy mills, raising awareness of their awful existence in your community–as well as with your federal legislators. Contact your representatives (and encourage many others to do so as well) and let them know you decry the treatment these entities impose upon innocent animals. With enough public outcry, the Animal Welfare Act could possibly be expanded to ban large kennels from selling puppies directly to the public.
And don’t just stop with informing your friends and peers. You can work alongside vets and shelters, libraries and schools, providing brochures and fliers (such as those created by the Humane Society) that inform the wider public about the often overlooked suffering found within puppy mills and the steps that can be taken against them.
How would you take action against puppy mills? If you’re considering getting a new dog, have you considered adopting?
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