It’s Puppy Mill Awareness Day! As a rescue, we’d love to honor this day by bringing to light some information about the dangers of puppy mills, and why we do what we do as a rescue to help save animals.
What is a puppy mill?
A puppy mill (or "puppy farm") is a place where dogs are bred for commercial/profit purposes. There are at least 10,000 puppy mills still operating in the USA which breed more than 2 million puppies per year.
On the flip side, did you know that over 1 million dogs are euthanized annually in shelters?
Let’s chat about how puppy mills operate. "Mama dogs" are not treated as household pets, let alone treasured family members, in a puppy mill! They are kept in cages almost 24/7 (if not literally 24/7) often without any protection from the elements; hot sun in the summer, bitter cold in the winter, rain, etc. Often the cages have wire bottoms which can be very painful for their feet. These mamas usually don’t receive regular vet care; they are unvaccinated and often not groomed properly, which means that their nails are painfully overgrown, and if they are longer-furred, sometimes very painfully matted with caked-in feces and urine. These mamas are simply the tools in which puppy mills use to make money and regard for their quality of life is not considered. They are forced to breed litter after litter, one right after the other until they can no longer physically do so. Then they are “disposed of” sometimes using inhumane methods.
The puppies are born into these same horrific conditions. They are cramped and crowded in unsanitary conditions and not socialized. In larger puppy mills, these dogs are shipped to pet stores across the country, often in inhumane ways. In smaller “independent” (unlicensed) puppy mills, these dogs are offered up for sale on Facebook, Craigslist, and other networking sites.
When you see cute puppies running around in pet stores, please don’t forget where they came from! Purchasing a puppy from a commercial pet store is often supporting the puppy mills that continue to supply these stores.
How can we stop this?
If you suspect a puppy mill is operating in your area, please report it to the police, animal control, and 1-877-MILL-TIP to file a report with the Humane Society.
When thinking of adding a new furry family member to your household, PLEASE consider adoption!
But we have some reservations about adoption.
"We’re not sure if we’re in a position to care for a dog with medical or behavioral challenges right now."
We completely understand that! Not all dogs in rescues or shelters have an abusive past or medical problems, some end up in rescue through no fault of their own. A reputable shelter or rescue will work with you to help you find a pet that will be the best fit possible for your household.
"But we were hoping to find a puppy/kitten because we want to raise one from a young age."
Rescues and shelters have puppies and kittens! This often happens when we rescue pregnant mamas, so the puppies or kittens are born into good conditions and receive proper care and socialization until they are ready for their forever homes.
How do we know if a rescue is reputable?
Great question! These are definite red flags to look out for when seeking a pet to adopt. A responsible rescue or shelter will properly vet an animal before allowing him or her to be available for adoption. This includes vaccinations, spay/neuter (very important!), and being upfront about any medical issues that they are aware of. They will provide you with proof of the animal being vetted upon adoption. They will have some type of vetting process for the adopters as well; interviews, meet and greets, reference checks, and home checks. It is important to any responsible rescue to try and ensure the best match possible for the family and the animal so that the chances of that animal staying in that household for the rest of its life are good. They will also take back any animal that they adopt out if the adoption sadly does not work out. At ECPR, we are committed to our animals for their whole lives.
Rescue can be a very emotional job and it never gets easier. Although we sometimes take in pets from very sad conditions, we have the privilege and responsibility of saving these animals and then helping them find that happily-ever-after that they truly deserve.
If you are searching for a new furry family member, (or a not-so-furry one, we sometimes have hairless pets as well!) please visit our website at www.emeraldcitypetrescue.org we update it at minimum weekly with new adoptable pets. We are happy to answer any questions that you have, give us a call daily between 10am and 6pm at 206 557 4661
(Images do not belong to ECPR, they are stock photos but an accurate representation of what conditions can be like in a puppy mill.)
Categories: adopt don't shop, Daily News and Happenings, puppy mills, animal rescue, pet rescue
Posted: September 18, 2021