Posted on January 4, 2015
A New Year’s Resolution to Help Eradicate Puppy Mills
Happy new year, dear readers! I wish you and your four-legged family members much joy and good health throughout 2015.
I have a special favor to ask of you. I am hoping you will add the following to your list of New Year’s resolutions:
Before the end of 2015, I resolve to do at least one thing to help eradicate puppy mills!
Thank you in advance for letting me butt in on your list of New Year’s resolutions. Please tell me what you hope to do in 2015 to help eradicate puppy mills, and I will enter your name into a drawing for a goodie bag (contains treats for you and your pets) generously provided by the ASPCA.
The term “puppy mill” refers to large scale commercial breeding facility that produces large numbers of puppies, while neglecting the overall health and psychological well-being of their dogs. In most puppy mills, the dogs are kept in deplorable conditions. This production formula maintains low overhead and maximizes profits. There are more than 4,000 licensed puppy mills operating within the United States, and there is no telling how many are in operation that are unlicensed.
Business is booming for puppy millers because people continue to willingly purchase puppies from pet stores. Retail pet stores sell more than 500,000 pups a year, ninety-nine percent plus of which are born in puppy mills. The other source of income for puppy millers is Internet sales. Their incredibly attractive websites entice unwitting individuals to purchase puppies site and sight unseen.
Your New Year’s Resolution
What are you willing to do to help eradicate puppy mills? Here are some ideas to consider:
- If you purchase products from a pet store that sells puppies, immediately stop and desist! Add the icing to the cake by having a candid conversation with the store manager advising him or her exactly why you will be taking your business elsewhere.
- Take the ASPCA’s official No Pet Store Puppies Pledge stating that you won’t spend a single dime at a pet store that sells puppies. Tweet about this pledge and post it on your Facebook page.
- Educate people you know about the increased incidence of health and behavioral issues in pups purchased from puppy mills.
- When you meet people who want to adopt a puppy, teach them how to avoid a puppy mill purchase. They should avoid a pet store purchase at all costs, and should stay away from Internet sites advertising their “livestock”. Teach them the motto, “Never purchase a puppy, site and sight unseen.” Encourage these adopters to work through shelters, rescue organizations, and/or responsible breeders.
- Be a voice of change within your community, particularly if you live in a state where puppy mills are thriving (Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Arkansas, to name a few). Attend an organized rally (consider organizing one yourself), sign a petition, address the topic at your local schools, and write letters to your legislators.
- Volunteer some time with an organization that provides rehabilitation, foster care, and placement of adult dogs who have been rescued from puppy mill breeding programs.
- If you have cared for a puppy mill dog, share your story with others. Talk and write about your experiences. Share your story with the ASPCA where it will be shared with others.
Remember to let me know what you hope to do in 2015 to help eradicate puppy mills, and I will enter your name into a drawing for a goodie bag (contains treats for you and your pets) generously provided by the ASPCA.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy new year,
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.