Puppy mills have long been a problem in the United States, specifically the Midwest region. Puppy mill dogs live in cages 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The dogs’ only purpose in life is “to sit in a cage, constantly producing more puppies to make a profit for their owners” (Best Friends Network, 2007). The dogs have little to no human interaction. Puppy mills are licensed facilities, which mass-produce puppies for pet stores and/or auctions, and should be banned due to the horrible conditions in which the animals live; they are bred repeatedly, and often killed when having outlived their usefulness. According to Pet Shop Puppies (n.d.), Congress enacted the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA was meant to protect the animals, but instead opened up the door for dog farms. This act changed the definition of dogs from pets to livestock. Today we have moved up from dog farms to puppy mills. Puppy mills breed dogs repeatedly and have turned breeding into a multi-million dollar industry. Best Friends Network states there is an estimated 6,000 licensed puppy mills breeding approximately 500,000 dogs each year with an unknown amount of unlicensed facilities (The Skinny On Puppy Mills section, final paragraph). Puppy mill owners breed dogs, sell the offspring to pet stores and auction houses. The puppies are sent to auction to be sold to the highest bidder in order for other puppy mills to be able to continue the breeding cycle. When puppy mills run out of new dogs to breed, they will begin breeding mother to son, daughter to father, etc. creating inbreeding. Inbreeding causes many genetic problems for any breed. Page 3
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires minimum standards for puppy mills, breeders, and rescues. According to Prisoners of Greed (n.d), the cages are required to be six inches longer, wider, and taller than the dog inside. The cages have to be made of coated wire. This coated wire cuts into the paws of the...
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