Puppy Mills Essay

Topics: Dog, Puppy mill, Dog breeding Pages: 6 (2185 words) Published: April 15, 2012
Victoria Meilinger

English 11011

Mr. Parsons

Puppy Mills

Imagine walking into a pet store and having puppies give you the saddest looks with their great big teary eyes. Everybody is tempted to take these puppies home because they just appeal and hit every nerve in every way. By spending money on a puppy from a pet store, you support a really ugly industry. This industry is known as puppy mills. A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs (ASPCA). Puppy mills are easily distinguished by their inhumane conditions and the constant breeding of unhealthy and genetic defective dogs solely for profit (Prisoners of Greed). Puppy mills make dog’s live very tortured lives. All puppy mills should be banned because of their cruelty to these poor innocent animals.

Puppy mills were established in the 1940’s after World War II. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggested breeding dogs as an alternative to wide spread crop failures in the Midwest. The farmers liked this idea because breeding dogs was cheaper and there was less physical labor involved than in growing crops. They also did not have to worry about the weather. The farmers took their chicken coops and rabbit hutches and repurposed them for dogs and the retail pet industry. The farmers had little knowledge of the puppy industry and often had very little money to start this venture. They did not know that puppies needed companionship and they also skipped veterinary care for the puppies. This led to the substandard condition of puppy mills. Retail pet outlets grew so the demand for puppies increased. Major retail stores such as Sears, purchased dogs for their pet departments and pet store chains were born (Wolf). The state of Missouri is the largest puppy mill state in the country .It is estimated that the value of the puppy mill industry to this state is 40 million dollars a year. The puppy brokers also needed a puppy supply store for the east coast, so they convinced the Pennsylvania farmers that puppies were the cash crop of the future. They gave seminars to teach the farmers how to operate their own breeding facilities. Lancaster county PA has earned the nickname of the puppy mill capital of the east (ASPCA). Puppy mills continue to thrive because they prey on consumers who are smitten by the puppies in pet stores or on fancy websites (Stop Puppy Mills).

The reality of a puppy mill is that it raises dogs in cramped, crude, and filthy conditions. Puppy mills are distinguishable by their inhumane conditions. They also breed unhealthy and genetically defective dogs for profit only (prisoners of greed). Dogs are kept in either wood or wire mesh cages or simply tethered to a tree. One facility in Arkansas had cages hanging from the ceiling of an unheated cinder-block building (PETA). Wire cages are used to minimize waste cleanup. Many of the puppies lose their feet and legs because they are caught on the wire floor and they are cut off as the dog struggles to free itself. There is usually no heat or air conditioning in a puppy mill. The dogs will either die of heat stroke in the summer or freeze to death in the winter. Food that is fed to the dogs in the puppy mills is usually purchased from dog food companies by the truck load. The dog food contains sweepings from the floor. There is so little nutritional value that the dog’s teeth can rot at an early age (Prisoner of Greed).

Dogs that are bred in puppy mills can experience a multitude of problems ranging from physical to mental due to the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions of the cages. Because the puppies are never allowed out of their cages, this can cause dogs to become mentally unstable. It is not uncommon to see dogs barking and running in circles. They have no social interaction with people. They are never given toys or treats. This also makes it difficult for the dogs to become a part of a...
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