If you’re a dog lover, please join in and help stop puppy mills. I’m not going to share a lot of nightmarish pictures or stories, but I do want to let you know why it’s more urgent than ever to stop puppy mills now, and how you can help.
Puppy mills: just the facts
- There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States
- Over 2 million puppies bred in mills each year
- An estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year, thanks to simple overcrowding and oversupply of dogs
- Estimated number of puppies sold annually who originated from puppy mills: 2.04 million puppy mill dogs are sold online and at pet stores
- Estimated number of puppy mills in the U.S. – 10,000
- Estimated number of dogs kept solely for breeding purposes – 167,388
*from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) 2014 Puppy Mill Facts and Figures report and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Pet Statistics
How to stop puppy mills now:
the top 10 things you can do today
1. Starve them out. If you don’t buy your puppy from an Internet seller or from a pet shop (where puppy-mill puppies are sold), puppy mills will go out of business.
2. Adopt first. Check shelters, rescues and the websites below.
3. Think long and hard. Before you get a puppy on impulse, think about it. Is your lifestyle now – and for 15 years — suitable for a dog? Can you afford a dog? Do you have the time for a dog?
4. Shop local. If you make the decision to go with a Morkie breeder, stay local. You MUST check the breeder’s background and VISIT. Visit the home where the mother dog and her puppies live so you can be sure it is an ethical breeder.
5. Speak out! Tell friends, family and social networks about the evil of puppy mills.
6. Know the law. Check your state’s dog breeding and selling laws. If you have a puppy from a puppy mill, know how to protect yourself and enforce the laws that are already on the books. Start here: www.animallaw.com
7. Change laws. Support and recommend legislation that regulates the breeding and selling of animals.
8. Support front lines. Organizations that act as watchdogs over breeders are so important. Consider supporting them with your money, time (volunteering for shelters and rescue groups) or talents (writing letters, organizing events, vaccination programs):
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) – http://www.aspca.org/
- Animal Welfare Institute – http://www.awionline.org/
- Animal Defence Fund – http://www.aldf.org/
9. Write letters. Write to your state and federal legislators. Write letters to editors of newspapers local and national. Express how disturbed and appalled you are by the unethical breeding practices and inhumane treatment of dogs kept in puppy mills. Leverage your position as a voter to make change happen.
10. See it? Report it. If you see something unethical or abusive, tell your local animal law enforcement agency and follow up.
Boycott groups who condone puppy mills
MENNONITES are among the biggest offenders when it comes to puppy mills
The website Snopes.com, which tracks down rumors and innuendo on the web, has been trying to prove something that’s been going around:
that Amish own 20% of the nations’ puppy mills in the USA
The Amish community is a relatively small and isolated group of Christians who live throughout the American Northeast and Midwest and abide by the lifestyle and technology of a bygone era. Their beliefs include the idea that dogs and puppies are livestock. That’s especially concerning because many Amish are not known to treat livestock well.
While it hasn’t been proven conclusively that Amish own 20% of puppy mills, it is known that Amish people make up a small percentage of Americans, with an estimated population of roughly 300,000. But, according to animal welfare groups, the Amish are prolific dog breeders.
Here’s how most Amish treat their horses: like dirt
Lest Canadians feel they have the market on ethical treatment of animals…
From “Well they don’t happen here in Canada right?” WRONG. They do 80% of puppy mills in Ontario are owned/operated by the Amish & Mennonite Communities – they don’t just have “quite a few dogs,” they have hundreds if not thousands.
When you are buying that cute little puppy from an Amish or Mennonite, you are not seeing the tops of the barns or outbuildings where the breeding adults are being kept. Most often, they will only bring out a few puppies for you to view, so you cannot see the conditions in which the breeding adults are being kept in.
While many puppy mills are located in Quebec, puppy mills operate from coast to coast in Canada. Animal protection groups believe that the vast majority of puppies sold in pet stores in Canada come from puppy mills.
Puppy mill dogs are not only sold in pet stores, but also through the internet, at flea markets or advertised in local newspapers. They can also be sold directly from the mill although visitors are generally not allowed inside the facility to see the conditions in which the breeding dogs are kept.
Holier than Thou???
“Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) is a worldwide Amish and Mennonite charitable organization run by volunteers that log in over 200,000 hours of work a year. Annual donations made by mostly “plain people” are $116,168,060, according to Charity Navigator. BUT 98.8% of this money actually goes toward relief efforts in the US and around the world. (Some charitable organizations give less than 70% to their actual cause)
“CAM is run by a volunteer board and has only three paid positions, the top CEO making $45,895 a year. CAM has staff, bases and distribution networks in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Haiti, Nicaragua, Liberia
Consider boycotting any and all efforts of Christian Aid Ministries until they clean up their act.
Resources to help you take a stand
Great sample letters:
Scroll down to bottom of the page, “Find Your Officials” on this page to find your local representative.
How to organize a peaceful pet store protest