Mills or Pounds? That's the Question.
Imagine two stores side by side. One says “PUPPIES!!” in bright lights, and bold text. A giant “SALE!!!” sign sits in the window. The second store says “Helping Paws” in plain text. A “Please adopt me” sign sits in their window. You walk into “Puppies”. You see about 20 glass cages with 5 or 6 squirming balls of fur in each. The bottoms of each cage is
covered in waste. The only thing separating the puppies and the waste, are thin wire bars. Some puppies are curled up in the corner of each cage, barely moving. An over enthusiastic sales woman bombards you with questions and facts about each dog. Next door in “Helping Paws”, the floor is cement. There are pens with 2 dogs in each. You see an outdoor area with a few dogs running around. Some dogs have only 3 legs. Others are covered in scars. They are ugly, unlike the cute fluff balls in the other store. The question is: Which store would you get a dog from?
Sadly, the majority of people would go to the store with the cute little puppies, without realizing what evils they are endorsing. All of those puppies, and the puppies in many similar stores, are known as “Perfect Prize Puppies”. They are cute and perfect puppies, that are products of horrible practices. Those puppies come from puppy mills. A puppy mill, in short, is a place where people continually breed female dogs to make a product. What's wrong with that you may ask? Well, there are three things:
The female dogs are given little to know time to rest in between births. Meaning as soon as a dog gives birth it will be forced to breed again.
In many mills, dogs are forced to be 10 to a cage, with no room to stand or turn.
The puppies suffer as well. Many puppies become seriously ill, and some unfortunately die or get very ill shortly after getting adopted.
The purpose of these mills is to make as much money as possible off the dogs. The more puppies born, the more money for the mills. Many puppies are sold too early.
Some are sold with serious illnesses. The practice is illegals in only a few states. Many of the states have no or little laws addressing this issue. Places like the ASPCA work hard to get dogs out of their terrible predicaments. The ASPCA estimates that there could be as many as 10,000 puppy mills in the United States. Some stores may show certificates to prove that their puppies are not from mills. This is a trick. Breeder NEVER EVER sell their dogs through stores. They want to see who is buying their pups. There are many tricks to tell if a place endorses a puppy mill or not. To learn those tricks, visit the official ASPCA website. Next time you think about getting a new addition to your family, think a bit harder about where you are getting your new furry friend from.
Kiara W. is an 8th grade student in Boca Raton, Florida.