Puppy Mill Action Week was initiated by the Humane Society and is purposefully the week before Mother’s Day as a reminder of the harsh and brutal conditions to which mother dogs are subjected. It was started in order to raise awareness of puppy mills and to educate those who want to acquire a dog so that they adopt, not shop.
Puppy mills mass-breed dogs in inhumane conditions for profit. The needs of the mother dogs and the puppies are not met, often resulting in sick and diseased animals. Mothers and pups live in cramped and unsanitary cages, and exist without proper socialization. Puppies born in these environments often have genetic defects from the poor health of the mother, as well as from in-breeding within the mill. The mother dogs can die due to giving birth to so many repetitive litters, or are dumped at a shelter when they can no longer reproduce, or left alone and forgotten. The mothers also can contract various forms of cancers, which are left untreated. Check out this link to learn more about puppy mills.
When choosing a dog, remember that personality matters, not breed. And by the way, mutts are awesome! There is no truth to the myth that purebreds are better than mutts. In many cases, purebreds have more genetic-related problems than mixed breeds. In reality, it is the mutt that will manifest the best of breed DNA it carries, resulting in a super-mutt or super resilient immune system. According to Dogtime.com, “ They have more variation in their lineage, which means that genetic diseases that come with recessive genes are more likely to be suppressed by dominant genes.” Not to mention the physical uniqueness that comes with a mixed breed can be adorable! No two will look exactly the same!
The Humane Society states that “the majority of puppies sold in pet stores and online are from puppy mills.” If you must get a purebred, don’t buy from these sources. Remember only to buy from a responsible breeder. You’ll want to look for a breeder who will show you where the puppy was raised and will allow you to meet the mother; someone who will let you look through the litter and spend time with the puppies so you can select the one that resonates with you. However, you might want to check with your local animal shelters before you do. There are many purebreds who get placed in shelters due to poor planning by the owner, or for many other reasons. You might just find what you’re looking for, and without paying thousands of dollars!
If you’d like to help raise awareness and reduce the demand for puppy mills, here are 5 Actions that can Save Puppies. If you are ready to adopt a dog, here are 6 tips on how to avoid puppy mills. And for Florida residents who want to do something more directly, see here. Through these suggested actions, together we can end the suffering of dogs in puppy mills and one day eradicate them for good.