All Things Dog Blog
Together we can stop puppy mill suffering!

We can stop puppy mills! If we all just say no to buying animals from pet stores then puppy mills will be forced out of business. It’s that simple!

If there’s anyone out there who’s unfamiliar with the terms ‘puppy farm’, ‘puppy mill’ or ‘puppy factory’, they refer to the mass breeding of puppies for profit, generally in very poor living conditions. Sadly, this is where the cute little puppies you see in pet stores most likely have come from.

Not only do these pups and their poor mums, suffer from caged life in disturbing conditions, but they are also more likely to develop psychological and behavioural issues in the future as a result of this poor upbringing. The time between 3 weeks to 12 weeks is a crucial development time for young pups and spending this time in isolation wreaks havoc on their psychological development. Worse yet, the female adult dogs are forced to breed every time they come into heat until their pup rearing days are over… with no hopes of finding a loving home. It’s a truly barbaric practice.

Unfortunately people don’t realise when they buy animals from pet stores that this is what they are supporting. That’s why getting the word out is so important. With so many wonderful dogs out there on death row it’s tragic that people still buy from pet stores and, knowingly or not, support puppy factories while they do. So many fabulous dogs are euthanised every day while waiting to find homes. If you are looking for a loving canine companion the RSPCA and other dog rescue organisations have plenty of delightful dogs who are just waiting for the you to come along.

I know many of you out there are educated about the horrors of puppy farms. The outraged response to a Facebook post about Julia Gillard getting a spoodle was an indication of just how strongly many of you feel. And I’m really happy to see such strong energy directed to encourage rescue dog adoption. I fully support the cause of rescue dogs. However, as a serious poodle & poodle mix lover, I want to address the backlash on what many people refer to disdainfully as ‘designer dogs’. As a labradoodle, my dog Pluto is classified within this label. Yes, she’s a mixed breed dog. But no, this doesn’t mean that she came from a puppy farm or that she was mass produced or kept in isolation.

I wasn’t as educated on this topic when we adopted Pluto, the furry, chocolate love of our lives. And I may well have made a different choice had I been. My beautiful shaggy girl isn’t from a pet store but from a registered breeder. We spoke to her breeder often and in detail about her rearing. We saw weekly photos/videos of her frolicking out in the grass with her puppy mates during her first 10 weeks of life. And we drove up to the Gold Coast where we personally met her beautiful mother who gave birth to two litters and then happily retired from puppy rearing. Please don’t pass judgment on these lovely dogs and their owners without any information at all on their actual circumstances. There are honest, dog-loving breeders out there who put their hearts fully into raising dogs to the best of their ability.

BUT, if any of you out there, for whatever reasons, plan to purchase a dog from a breeder, please thoroughly RESEARCH your breeder and make sure they are registered with the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC). Find out as much as you can. Make sure you are not inadvertently buying from a puppy farm. Rescuing a dog in need is definitely the best ethical choice, but buying from a trustworthy breeder is a step up from buying from a pet shop for sure.

We can do it. We can stop puppy mills. Please think about the implications when you adopt your furry mates. Rescue dogs make fabulous pets and your choice WILL make a difference.  Puppy factories can be stopped if we spread the word. I really feel that if people knew what was going on in the pet store industry they would not be able to bring themselves to buy from pet stores. There’s an excellent website www.oscarslaw.org which provides educational information about puppy factories as well as petitions and leaflets to print out if you’d like to get behind the cause. We can work together to stop this cruelty and even something small like sharing a website link on Facebook can help to make a difference.

2 Responses to Together we can stop puppy mill suffering!

  1. Susanne Edwards says:

    Excellent Post!

    A dog is a big commitment, so why not take the time to do the research? The dog may be with you for some 16 years, so is it not worth a few weeks of learning first!

    If you have done your research then you should have found some “reputable” places to purchase your dog. If you are thinking of a certain breeder, book an appointment to meet them, ask to see where the dogs are raised. Most have the pups in the house and are exposed to family life which is ideal, but even breeders of good quality dogs may prefer to have the mother and pups in a separate area, especially if the breeder has more than one breeding bitch, so if you can, go see with your own eyes.

    The best breeders are often the toughest to like. They are very strict with who can own one of their pups and may well demand to be kept informed of the pups progress. For private sorts like myself I find that a bit much, but I know that should I have a worry the Breeder will be there to advise, even years later. So it’s a trade off I can cope with.

    Pups from puppy farms are separated from their mothers too early, are often in ill health, I know of a few who were full of worms and covered in fleas! The buyer had been told the pup was 8 weeks old, the vet took one look and said it was likely 6 weeks at the most.

    We were shocked to see the puppies in the glass boxes at the pet shops here, to us that screams puppy farm, but it obviously doesn’t to all Australians.

    So, as you’ve probably gathered, I am all for Oscar’s Law!

  2. zoe says:

    Thanks for your input. And it is shocking Susanne. If people weren’t accustomed to seeing it they would be shocked like we are. Just like many people expect dogs only need to eat a neat bowl of processed kibble two times a day to get all their nutrition. When you are brought up with something like this as a given reality you just believe it.

    I fully believe we can stop it. So many people are horrified when they find out what is going on behind the scenes. And the pups who are raised in these environments grow up much worse for wear. Studies (such as this one by the Best Friend Animals Society: http://bit.ly/sTBlsR ) show that these pups have more health problems and difficulties coping successfully with normal existence.

    We just need to get the word out there. There are enough good reasons to sway any prospective pet owner. If you want a well adjusted dog and you don’t want to support animal cruelty it’s an obvious choice! We can vote with our dollars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *