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When you’re an animal lover you get lots of emails, right? Most break your heart and as much as you’d love to give to ALL the causes, you just can’t.  But this one really struck a chord for me.  It might for you too, and if it does please consider donating even $5 – it all helps.

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The dog’s name is Cassie.  She’s a little, wide eyed white Lhasa Apso who’s been a breeding machine for some very greedy, very evil puppy mill people in Oklahoma. You can read her story here.

Lucky for Cassie, she was just rescued by North Shore Animal League, out of Port Washington, New York.

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the North Shore Animal League America is the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization.  Its website says it has saved the lives of over 1 million dogs, cats, puppies and kittens at risk of euthanasia.

Cassie’s deformed paw might be amputated

But not so lucky for Cassie – she needs several surgeries because of living in miserable conditions, caged 24/7 for four years, pumping out puppies.  She’s one of the worst cases of animal abuse ever seen by the rescue doctors.  Here’s what they found:

  • a permanently tilted head, because of a chronic ear infection
  • several bilateral hip dysplasia – that happens when you live in a tiny cage your whole life
  • popping kneecaps – patella luxation, a painful condition that causes the kneecap to pop out of its groove
  • a deformed  left foot that might have to be amputated
  • hernia
  • dental care from chewing on the meal cage daily for 4 years, trying to escape

OK enough! This is getting too sad… what WE CAN DO, all of us, is be sure we’re not supporting puppy mill operators.

Let’s shut down puppy mills: here’s how

To find a good quality Morkie, start with your local rescue groups, humane society and pound.

Check your LOCAL newspaper or find a Morkie breeder online. Although it’s o.k. to look for a Morkie online, NEVER buy one that way. When you buy a dog online, your’e buying from a puppy mill. Period.

Be sure to ask to visit the breeder’s kennel or home, and see the other Morkies and dogs they have. Otherwise, you could be buying blind.

To be sure you’re not buying from a puppy mill, here are some hints about buying Morkie puppies or any dog breed, from reputable breeders.

First, where you should NEVER look for a puppy

In a pet store. Even if the manager assures you the dogs are from a good breeder; they’re not. No halfway decent breeder would put her puppies into a pet store environment. Pet store dogs are bought wholesale from puppy mills.

Online... o.k. it’s alright to LOOK online for available puppies, but never complete the deal online by sending money for a puppy that’s going to be shipped to you. That’s almost certainly the mark of a puppy mill dog.

Did you know that According to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association, last year more than 200,000 puppies were bought online by American families eager to find just the right pet for themselves or their kids.

That’s staggering — and it rarely ends happily, especially for a designer dog like a Morkie. These dogs are sickly, cruelly treated and abused and receive absolutely no medical care.

The problem with Puppy Mills

Puppy mills, as the name suggests, churn out pups by the thousands, under extremely cruel and inhumane conditions, for one purpose only: the almighty dollar. It is estimated that there are 4,000 puppy mills in the U.S. that produce more than half a million puppies a year!

That’s 30 to 40 litters each and every year, per puppy mill.

The dogs are underfed, abused and never given medical care.

Warning signs that you’re probably dealing sign-morkies-for-salewith a puppy mill

  1. The “breeder” is local, but no, you can’t visit. Instead, he or she wants to meet at a halfway point, a mall or car-park.
  2. You can visit – but you see 3 or more different dog breeds running around. This is a red flag that the breeder isn’t committed to one breed or hybrid and is just breeding whatever dogs she has around in order to make money.
  3. Dirty or stinky facilities. Genuine breeders love their dogs and put their care first. The home and puppy area should be clean and tidy and a safe environment for the puppies and parents.
  4. Hand painted signs on the road, advertising puppies for sale.
  5. Puppies are always available, and the breeder will let you take one at Christmas, Easter, etc. No good breeder will release a puppy during these high- stress times and no responsible breeder always has a handy supply of puppies.
  6. Stay away from anyone who’s selling puppies at a public place like a flea market, yard sale, swap meet or pet store, or out of the back of a pickup truck, car or van.
  7. Be suspicious of the breeder who doesn’t demand that you spay or neuter your puppy. A genuine breeder will ask you to sign an agreement that your dog will NOT be bred.

Remember, WE are the key to stopping puppy mills!

More reading

Click to read more about Cassie’s story