|MIHKOA -goodbye friends-|
|Barked: Sun May 22, '05 3:15am PST |
|Behind that cute little wagging tail and innocent looking eyes lies a dark secret that is just waiting to be unleashed. That adorable puppy behind the glass window is just so adorable and pathetic looking, who wouldn’t want to take it home? Don’t you want to rescue it? It just looks so sad! That is one of the many pet shop tricks that they use to entice you into buying that extremely overpriced dog. If you only you knew about its past, and where it came from, you would never purchase any thing from a pet shop, not even a single dog bone. Why, do you ask? Well that is just what I plan to tell you in this paper. Why you should NOT buy a dog from a pet shop.
It all seems so innocent a trip to the mall, then a quick visit to the pet shop to “just look” at all the cute little faces waiting for a home. You take one out and play with it in one of those small rooms. You sit on the floor and wrestle with it, pet it, and all of a sudden you feel something in your heart tug a little. You love this cute little thing and after only 5 minutes of being with it! This is the one! That one dog that was meant for you! You love the cute little thing so much, who cares what breed it is! The employee comes back around to check on you and the little pup, and you cave in. “How much,” you ask. Of course the employee has no idea and has to run to the book to find out. Wow! It is on sale! Only $588.00! What a steal! Especially since it was originally $999!! Well you just know you have to “rescue” the sweet little pooch even though it bites a lot, and runs around like crazy. You decide to get that extra warrantee for safety sake just incase something is wrong with the dog. So the bill goes on the credit card, and the puppy goes home with you. What a happy story! A wonderful purebred puppy rescued from a pet shop (at an awesome deal). Sounds normal to you right? Well now let me tell you about where that cute little puppy came from.
Nearly all puppies sold at pet shops across the nation have one common dark secret in there past, they were raised in a mass breeding facility know as a “puppy mill”. What’s so bad about that you ask? Well, imagine you are a beautiful female Siberian Husky with amazing markings and an awesome temperament. One day your family that you have been living with for 2 years has to move and you cannot go with them. An add goes in the paper saying that you are looking for a good home and not 2 days later some man comes and takes you away from your family.
The man puts you in a crate in the back of his truck and off you go. When the truck finally stops the man takes you out of the truck, and puts you into another crate. It is a very small crate only big enough for you to turn around. The next day the man comes around and shoves something that may very well once have been a male Siberian Husky at one time in the cage with you. The male dog is extremely aggressive, and wont let you near the dishes that hold the food or water. There is no shelter to protect you from the sun, or the rain, and the man who put you in here rarely brings food or water, and when he does it isn’t very edible. Not that it matters because that mean male wont let you within 6" of it anyway. Nature runs its course and you have to breed with the mean male. Still it is very hard for you to stay well enough to have the puppies, but being a good mother you deliver. Your paws are tired from standing on the wire mesh floors, and your poor babies have you learn quickly the rules of the male or be killed due to his aggressive behavior. You nurse them as best you can but some do not make it, they are too sick from the moldy food and putrid water the man brings you. The fleas and flies drive you mad and the itching never stops. All of a sudden not four weeks after you delivered these puppies the man comes back to your cage and pulls out all your puppies. They are gone, and again you are alone with the mean male. This cycle continues for you and things only get worse as time moves on. All the itching and scratching has made your skin raw, and your fur begins to get thinner, and thinner, until one day it is patchy and bare skin is all that is against the wind and rain, not fur. The feces below your crate grows taller and taller and now you stand in your own feces. The pads on your feet are swollen and raw. There are many open soars all over your body. You are nearly skin and bones, and if it were not for the death of one of your puppies you would have had nothing to eat in nearly a month. Your body aches from the massive amounts of puppies you have had, and the strain is apparent in your hips when you try to move. When ever the man who brought you here walks by your growl and bark at him. You are more aggressive now than that first mean male the man put in with you.
With all this trauma to your body and soul still more lives are within you, waiting to be born. The puppies are born, only two this time. You raise them like the last ones, and try as best you can. After four weeks the man comes around and takes them from your cage, but then just minutes later he returns to your cage. You snarl at him, and bark, warning him of the terror you will unleash if he comes to close. The gate opens again, and a long pole is shoved in the cage with a metal lasso on the end. He quickly loops it over your head and drags you out of what has become to be known as your home. You fight vigorously to get away, but it is hopeless. The man drags you further and further from the cage and the other 60 or so barking dogs. The man then stops and pulls out this small black thing and holds it in his hand. There is a loud noise and then black. Your life is over.
What you just read is the common life of a puppy mill dog. Puppy mills are an extra income for farmers out west who can grow no crop in the off season. The United Stated government actually encourages puppy mills to supplement the income for farmers. These farmers usually know nothing of dogs, breeds, or common care of a dog, only that the more they can produce the more money they will make.
At puppy mills the bitches (female un-spayed dogs) are bred in every heat no matter the conditions, and are forced to pump out litter after litter to produce as many puppies as possible. The farmers do not care about the conditions of the dogs and only give the dogs the minimum amount of nutrients necessary to keep the animals alive. Because of the horrid conditions the dogs are kept in, nearly all of them acquire diseases. Distemper, Parvo, Bordatella, Mange, the list goes on and on. Other problems the dogs must deal with are worms, fleas, ticks, mosquitos, UV rays, unsanitary drinking water, and so on. Besides all of these problems many of the dogs have hereditary defects such as hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, social disorders, and aggressive behavior. Puppies are taken from there mothers too soon, and are not socialized to living with human beings. Most puppy mills sell there puppies to pet shops from $100 to $150. They are shipped out in crates in the back of an eighteen wheeler, and between 30-50% of the puppies shipped never even make it to the pet shop, they die in transit.
When the trucks arrive at a pet shop they open the door and let the manager in the back and they decide which puppies they will keep and which will be sent back. The ones that are not too sick will be kept and sold, the very sick ones will be sent back to the breeder to either be killed or used as breeding stock, or perhaps not make it back at all.
There are laws in place about the conditions that dogs must be kept in, but there is far too few officers to enforce these laws. The only way to stop puppy mills from continuing is for people to stop buying puppies from pet shops. Many people do not even realize where these dogs come from, much less about the actual type of dog they are buying. Many dogs bought from pet shops are brought to shelters within the first few years of there life because they develop behavioral problems, or medical problems that there owner can not handle. Puppies bought at pet shops are usually an impulse buy and the person buying the dog usually has no idea about the type of dog they are buying. For example is it a herding breed, a working breed, a sporting breed or a toy breed? Most consumers don’t even know what those breeds mean, much less which dogs those names are tagged to.
Well, now that dog is home with you and you notice it has a limp and coughs a lot. You bring it to the vet only to find out that not only did you pay $500+ for it, but now come the vet bills because the dog you bought is sick. First you need the antibiotics for the kennel cough and some other drug for the hair-loss it has. Well, that wasn’t so bad, but then that little limp keeps getting worse and worse. You finally decide to take the dog in for x-rays, and what do you know, your puppy at 8 months old has hip dysplasia. What the heck is that you wonder? Hip dysplasia is a genetic defect found in dogs usually older dogs (7+) who have had very active lives and worn down the cartilage in there hips. Now the vet tells you that you need to see a specialist for your dogs hips.
A surgery is the next course of action because the limp is so bad that sometimes your sweet little pup wont even walk on one of the hind legs. $3,000.00 for a hip replacement at age 1. Your dog gets better and the hip is doing great. One day six months later you are petting your dog and notice a small lump on the back. Hmm.... what could that be you wonder? Well, after more trips to the vet, they decide that the lump needs to be removed. The vet tells you how strange it is that such a young dog should have a lump like that. When they get inside they find that it is two lumps, not one, and they take them out.
You wait and wait, it seems like an eternity while you go about your daily routine, waiting for that call from the vet to tell you what the lumps were. The call comes in, what do you know, your dog has cancer. What do you do now? Your dog is 2 years old and has cancer. Can you afford that sort of treatment after all the bills you have already paid for the dog, but another question. Can your dog handle that sort of treatment. You are shocked and crying, you love your dog and cannot believe what has happened! How can this be?
This is the result of a puppy mill. Puppy mills produce sick, weak, debilitated dogs and sell them to the unknowing consumer at astronomical prices. More often than not the dog that comes from a pet shop will be sick and will suffer all due to the greed of human beings. If everyone stopped buying dogs from pet shops the horrid puppy mills would be shut down, and put out of business because there would be no demand for there product. But as long as people think they are rescuing that sweet dog and paying all that money they are only keeping the mills in business. There are millions of dogs put to sleep each year in animal shelters because they are sick or no one wants them. Why not really rescue one of them, and stop puppy mills in there tracks?!
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