missouri-puppy-yellowcollarRight, Wrong or Indifferent I am not a person who stands up for many causes. I donate money to some charities…mainly St. Jude’s as well and the Brain Aneurysm Foundation…but I don’t find myself being passionate about it. Recently I have been hearing more and more about the awful living situations of the dogs that are bred in puppy mills and I have found my cause… I have decided it needs to stop. That’s right! I am putting my foot down! I think we as human beings need to get the word out that Puppy Mills are wrong, and people need to be responsible for their actions when they are buying their pet. So here is me getting the word out….LET’S STOP PUPPY MILLS!

In Long Island there is a very large no kill shelter called the North Shore Animal League. They are an amazing organization. I get updates from them regularly and have been trying to spread the word about adopting pets in need whenever I can. They have been involved in the fight to stop puppy mills and have been taking in dogs that have been taken out of their bad  homes. The most recent raid was from the Midwest. 204 dogs were just rescued from 13 different puppy mills. Here’s the Full Story. If anyone is interested in supporting this Animal league or to learn more how you can help you can check out their site.

What exactly is a Puppy Mill you ask? Well the stop puppy mills website defines them as this..

Puppy mills are nothing new. These mass dog-breeding operations have been around for decades. They continue to thrive because they prey on unwitting consumers who are smitten by too-cute-for-words puppies in pet store windows and on fancy websites.

But behind the friendly facade of the local pet shop, the pastoral scenes on a “breeder’s” website, or the neighborhood newspaper ad, there often lies a puppy mill. These canine breeding facilities house dogs in shockingly poor conditions.

Life is particularly bad for “breeding stock,” dogs who live their entire lives in cages and are continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a family. These dogs receive little or no veterinary care and never see a bed, a treat or a toy. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems

Some people will argue that puppy sales are a business just as people who breed livestock or chickens raise these animals to make money. But I certainly DO NOT see it this way. As a dog lover myself it completely disgusts me to imagine these poor dogs stuck in cages, never to see the light of day. Dogs are animals that give unconditional love, and the only thing they ask in return is food, shelter and a few pets and rubs along the way.

So how can we as individuals help??

  1. Get an Education: Whether you’re thinking about getting a dog, want to educate others about puppy mills or just want to learn more, check out more information on puppy mills and puppy buying
  2. Stop Puppy Mills on Your Website, and Join Our Facebook and MySpace groups: Add a “Stop Puppy Mills” or “Puppy Buyers Guide” bannerto your website, MySpace page, Facebook page or blog, and start educating visitors about the dangers of puppy mills and pet stores. Join our Facebook or MySpace groups, too!
    We also have a Facebook application that’s benefitting The HSUS! Check it out here, or help dogs on Experience Project
  3. Help make your local pet store “puppy friendly.”
    The Puppy Friendly Pet Stores initiative asks dog lovers everywhere to work with their local pet stores to encourage them to develop and implement “puppy friendly” policies by refusing to sell puppies in their store and supporting homeless pet adoptions instead. Stores that already do not sell puppies can sign up to show that they are taking a stand against puppy mills and to “make official” their policy of not selling puppies. Learn more here.
  4.  Assist With Ads Help The HSUS place “Stop Puppy Mill” ads in national magazines and on billboards in communities around the country.
  5. Forward to a Friend Know someone who is thinking about bringing a puppy into their family? Send them a message with a link to the Stop Puppy Mills website so they can read our puppy buying tips, sign the pledge and learn more about puppy mills.
  6. Lobby for Better Laws Contact your federal and state legislators and let them know that you’re concerned about the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills and want the puppy mill issue to be a priority for Congress. Ask them to expand the reach of the Animal Welfare Act to include kennels that sell large numbers of puppies directly to the public.
  7. Speak Up Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper is a great way to get the word out about puppy mills in your community. Write your own version—a short, polite letter is most effective—or download a Microsoft Word version of the template that you can alter.
  8. Furnish Your Vet With FlyersDownload and print these flyers and bring them to your veterinarian or groomer’s office: “Getting a Puppy?” and “How to Find a Good Dog Breeder” are designed to help potential pet owners avoid puppy mills.
  9. Donate
    Help The HSUS in our ongoing campaign to stop puppy mills. Please make a donation today.

I think the biggest thing is to be responsible. STOP buying dogs from pet stores, and make sure before you buy your dog that you are buying from a reputable breeder. Check out the American Kennel Club. They have lists of reputable breeders all over the country. And if you can find it in your heart, there are hundreds of dogs out there in shelters that are just wanted to be loved.  So here is my cause people. LET’S STOP PUPPY MILLS!