Puppy Mills Where did your adorable puppy originate? Oh, look! Look at that cute little doggie in the window! Adorable, aren’t they? So young. Fluffy. Clean. Most estimates say that 90% of the beautiful pets we buy from pet stores come from pet mills. The following will hurt your heart – and that’s as it should be. Know where your next furry family member comes from – meet his or her mother – and have mercy on them. These are images from actual puppy mills taken by inspectors and posted at canine-world.com. Living in filth. Rotten food in filth crusted containers. Skeletal animals. Sick puppies with dead litter-mates. Dead bodies laying out untended. Open sores, untreated. Rotten teeth lead to disintegrated jaws. Row after row of stacked cages. These dogs do not know a gentle touch or kind word. They are objects. Commodities. Living meat producing the puppies, kittens, ferrets that we see in pet stores. Bred until their bodies wear out. No medical treatment. Some mills have admitted to bashing in the heads of non-productive animals and throwing accidentally cross-bred pups into shallow graves and burying them alive. The first cocker spaniel we rescued was Mene (pronounced as Minnie). Told about her by a friend, she faced death. Why? Because she had not gotten pregnant after being bred several times. She and the other dogs around her lived in a tiny fenced dog runs with a concrete floors. Mene was lucky; it’s not unusual for such dogs to lose an eye from accidental spray when the kennel is cleaned with a high pressure water hose. We paid the standard fee for an adult Cocker Spaniel at that time and told the dog ‘breeder’ where they could shove her AKC papers. It took weeks for Mene to lose her fear of being inside our home with us. It took months for her to show that she finally felt safe and loved. Mene never lost her fear of humans she did not know well, soiling herself if a stranger approached. Please be aware – Mene’s life, miserable as it was as a breeder dog, was much better than most pet mill animals! When she finally realized that she was loved…that a hand reaching for her would pet gently, the degree of gratitude she displayed was enough to break a normal heart. And enough to anger a normal person. Bottom line: If you buy from pet stores, you support cruelty. Some states have made progress. In some areas, puppy mills are banned. In Oregon (2010) House Bill 2470 was passed, known as the Puppy Mill bill. It limits Oregon breeders to 50 (fifty!) dogs per facility. Fifty dogs! Do you know anyone that is capable of giving fifty dogs a decent life? Please don’t buy from pet stores. Don’t support pet mills. If you buy from a breeder, inspect their kennels. See your new baby’s parents. Be sure that you’re not supporting cruelty.