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Puppy Mills – Created by Greed

You’ve probably seen the recent developments in the news concerning so-called “Puppy Mills.” Indiana cities would be prohibited from banning the sale of dogs from puppy mills if a proposed bill passes this legislative session.

Lawmakers amended Senate Bill 134 to grandfather in communities that banned the sale of dogs from puppy mills, but it would still take away all future local control.

State Humane Society Director Samantha Chapman said the amendment isn’t enough.

“That would include the 14 ordinances that have passed, they would be able to stand. However, any community, any locality, city or town moving forward would not be able to pass any type of a humane pet store ordinance to effectively regulate the sale of dogs and cats in their communities, which is an egregious attack on local control.” Chapman said.

So, what is a “Puppy Mill?” According to the US Humane Society; “Puppy mills are inhumane high-volume dog breeding facilities that churn out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers. Dogs from puppy mills are often sick and unsocialized. Puppy mills commonly sell through internet sales, online classified ads, flea markets and pet stores. In fact, the majority of puppies sold in pet stores and online are from puppy mills. Responsible breeders will be happy to meet you in person and show you where the puppy was born and raised—and where their mom lives too.”

The US Humane Society adds: “In puppy mills, mother dogs spend their entire lives in cramped cages with little to no personal attention. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are abandoned or killed. Due to poor sanitation, overbreeding and a lack of preventive veterinary care, the puppies from puppy mills frequently suffer from a variety of health issues, creating heartbreaking challenges for families who should be enjoying the delights of adopting a new family member.”

I strongly agree that “Puppy Mills” can be a significant problem if not run correctly. In fact, my family had to euthanize a pet we had for seven years due to a condition called “Springer Rage Syndrome.” This originally wonderful Springer Spaniel came from a loving family. We adopted him as this family was being relocated 3,000 miles for their job and didn’t want to put the dog through the location process.

As a lover of Springer Spaniels, I was happy to help out the family and this was during a time where our family was unusually dog-less😊. For seven years this dog was a delight and wonderful companion to the family and all he met. Then suddenly he would have these sudden episodes where his eyes would glaze over and he would snap at or bite people. The cause – “Springer Rage Syndrome.”

As we researched what to do and how to treat this syndrome, we learned that nearly every case of this affliction comes from cross-bred and not pure-bred dogs. Cross-breeding almost always comes from “Puppy Mills,” and not so-called “Responsible Breeders.” The biting events become unpredictable and far too often, and with young grandchildren around constantly, and no cure or rescue to be found, we had to put the dog down.

If you love an attentive pet like a dog, they become family, and it is heartbreaking to lose them, regardless of the circumstance. Due to the way we acquired this dog, we had no way to know that he was likely a “Puppy Mill” dog. Quite frankly I doubt that the original owners knew either.

So, why do “Puppy Mills” exist? Is the proposed Indiana bill a right step, or should “Puppy Mills” be outlawed all-together?

Well, just like illegal drugs, guns, and other so-called needs people have, it’s all about money. “Puppy Mills” exist because the cost of pure-bred dogs, from “Responsible Breeders,” is far too high for most young families to afford. For example, a pure-bred Springer Spaniel costs between $3,000-$8,000 depending on blood line. We recently shopped for Miniature Schnauzer pups and their costs were $3,000-$6,000 per pup.

So, the “Puppy Mills” see these exorbitant costs and cut into the market by “mass-breeding” their pups to make a profit. “Puppy Mill” dogs sell for anywhere from 20%-70% lower than pure-bred dogs. It is estimated that there are 10,000 Puppy Mills across the US and these mills deliver 4.3 million puppies a year to the market, leading to multi-millions of dollars in profits.

As is usually the case, there is fault in both camps. Puppy Mills can be and usually are bad, but not all Mills cross-bread their dogs. “Responsible Breeders” obviously play a part as well as they could run their businesses far more economically minded and seek less profits, which would result in lower costs and prices.

In the end, like anything you purchase, the message is “Buyer Beware.” Make sure the dog you are buying is a pure-bred. Make sure it has all the original “certified” papers because “papers” can easily be faked or copied and edited. Ask for medical records, records of shots and any other information related to the dog’s birth and development. Check out the parent dogs – ask to see their records as well.

A dog can and will become a loving, caring, and devoted, member of your family. Make sure you have made the best choice you can when adding such a beloved pet to the family. But most importantly, do your research so that you’re adding a loving dog you can have for years of companionship and enjoyment. Do this to avoid the heartbreak and struggles of poor health and breeding. If you do the research and make the informed choices, you will have a wonderful loving devoted companion for many years to come!!!

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