Last week my daughter attended HAWS Day Camp. During camp, they had a presentation about puppy mills.
This past weekend we attended the Waukesha Kennel Club Summer Splash event.
Wow, talk about two completely opposite ends of the spectrum. As everyone knows, I just love animals. Love how they were created, how they help us as service dogs and K9 dogs, the unconditional love they give – even after being abandoned or abused – just love them. At the Summer Splash event, one lady stopped over with her adorable sheepdog. I immediately said, “I love your dog!” Her instant response? An enthusiastic, “Me, too!!” And that right there is the difference.
Also at the show, we saw many, many attendees with their show dogs in small metal crates, often stacked three high on a cart. This was for outside transportation ONLY; they did not live in these crates. My daughter commented that those metal crates “looked like the ones in the puppy mills.” Again, what a difference – one is for security, safety and yes, to keep them nice to show. The other? These tiny metal crates are their HOMES! Not for an hour or so, but their ENTIRE LIVES.
I honestly can’t imagine what these dogs go through. Can you imagine living your entire life in a metal coffin? That’s about how much room puppy mill dogs have. No medical treatment, no decent food, no sunshine, no toys. The worst part? No love. No caring touch. Ever. When the dogs can no longer breed, they are abandoned or killed. But! There are a few success stories (keep reading for one!)
According to HSUS, there are 10,000 puppy mills currently active in the United States. 194,000+ dogs are kept solely for breeding, and 2 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year! So, what can we do? How can we help?
- Kiss your dog, cat, lizard, hamster, rabbit – whatever pet you have.
- Adopt from reputable shelters. Pet Finder’s web site can help you locate rescues in your area.
- Speak out! Tell friends, family and even share on social network the dangers of puppy mills. Education and awareness are key! Use #StopPuppyMills in your posts.
- Support organizations that fight against puppy mills. Support can be in the form of monetary donations, volunteering your time, writing letters and/or helping to organize events.
B.B.’s Success Story
B.B. had never seen sunlight. Living in a North Carolina puppy mill, in a tiny, rusty cage in the basement, she was forced to have litter after litter. When the HSUS team found her, her eyes were practically crusted shut; her paws were matted with filth. Thanks to supporters like you, she was rescued (along with nearly 150 other dogs) and placed in a loving home. Read B.B.’s full story here.