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Friday, Sep. 30, 2016

How Much Is That Doggy In The Window.....Too Much!!

Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 5:25 PM

These two pups are Boomer and Delta's babies that SEPR rescued in January. They were not part of a mill, but most likely some backyard breeding for money.
Have you ever wondered where puppies come from? No, I'm not talking about the birds and the bees lesson, but rather what is their background. Unfortunately, 99% of all puppies that you purchase at a pet store are from a puppy mill. What is a puppy mill you ask? Just what is sounds like. It is a large scale dog breeding facility where females are bred every heat cycle until they can no longer produce litters. They exist in horrendous living conditions, sometimes never seeing the light of day. Many are housed in semi trailers, old agriculture buildings, and salvaged cargo truck boxes. Their small, wire cages are stacked on top of one another with feces and urine dropping on the residents below. Many are crammed so tightly in a cage their legs and bodies become deformed. They are not given necessary veterinary care. They suffer from rotted teeth, wounds from fighting with cage mates, their fur is so matted they are not able to see, eat, walk, or deficate. They are fed poor quality food, just enough to keep them alive. They are not exercised, and suffer through extreme weather conditions. And what happens when they can no longer make money for the owner? They are shot, abandoned, tossed out with the trash, or rarely relinquished to rescue groups. Many of these dogs are in such poor health, so mentally traumatized, they have no idea how to be a dog and a cherished member of a family.

Iowa is ranked #2 in the nation for the number of puppy mills. This seems to be a popular form of income for the Amish and Mennonite people. Over 23,000 adult dogs are being bred. Many facilities house up to 500 dogs at a time. Puppy mills are USDA licensed and sell their puppies wholesale through pet stores, brokers, and dealers. State licensed facilities have more than 3 intact breeding dogs and sell offspring directly to the public via ads, internet, etc. The USDA is to conduct routine inspections of these facilities. There are not enough inspectors to properly carry this work load. Furthermore, in my opinion, dogs are not livestock and should not be treated as such.

So what are you getting when you buy a puppy from one of these facilities? A puppy that has probably been a product of inbreeding which can lead to health problems, a puppy that has not been properly socialized, has been taken from it's mother and litter mates too soon. A puppy that may have aggression issues due to overcrowding, and competitive for food and space. These puppies can be difficult to potty train because it has been acceptable to mess in their crate.

If you are insistent on getting a puppy as a pet, check the shelters, insist on seeing the pups mom and dad if you buy elsewhere. Ask to see the facility. Go to the site, ask questions, and get legitimate records from a vet showing the pups current medical records. Don't accept excuses as to why you can't get this information or see the parents. It is the owners way of hiding what they don't want you to see.

If you would like more information about where these mills are, who is running them, and how to put an end to the suffering, go to www.iavotersforcompanionanimals.org

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Good advice, BUT with a responsible breeder, you may not be able to see the dad. Good breeders often use stud service from another breeder to avoid inbreeding and make the best possible pairing. Many do not even own a male. In this case, just ask for proof of the father's genetic tests. A good breeder will never use a stud without this proof.

Also, while I very much encourage adoption, if you must be sure of a dog's temperament and health, buy from a good breeder. If you can handle the possibility of genetic problems and just need to be sure of temperament, adopt an adult. Many adopted dogs come from bad or unknown backgrounds. These dogs need loving homes, too, but they may not be right for you. It's better to get the right match for your family and situation than adopt a dog out of sympathy only to have to turn around and give it up again. If you're not sure about a dog, work with a rescue that needs foster homes. You can try out several dogs while helping the rescue at the same time. You might fall in love with the first one, or you may foster several before you find your new family member.

-- Posted by withbaitedbreath on Sat, Sep 29, 2012, at 10:06 AM

You have some valid points withbaitedbreath, and I appreciate your insight. However, just because a dog is of a certain breed does not mean that it's temperament will be a certain way. Dogs are individuals and can have individual personalities. They also are a products of their guardian. Just like kids, they act the way they have been taught, or not for that matter.

Go to any shelter, rescue, look on any Craig's List ad and you will see over and over, ''Don't have time for the dog'', ''We are moving and can't take the dog'', Having a baby and can't keep the dog''. It has nothing to do with the behavior of the dog, but rather that of the owner. Any responsible shelter or rescue will not adopt out a dog that has human aggression issues. If you have a dog with these types of issues, you need to get help from a trainer or have the dog humanely euthanized.

Most shelters and rescue also temperament test their dogs before adopting them out. If you work with a foster organization, you will have a pretty clear understanding of the dogs personality. Shelters can be an extremely stressful environment for any animal. Walk down the halls of the kennels and listen to the barking, watch the jumping, smell all of the different smells, and tell me you wouldn't be a bit on edge. Take a dog out of that environment and you may have a completely different dog. Make sure you talk to the animals caregivers and ask all of those concerning questions, but remember a dog lives in the moment and does not let the past define him. I've seen many scared, over zealous, and shy dogs blossom into wonderful family pets because someone took the time to work with them and teach them manners.

As far as breeding dogs to be mans best friend, I see no reason for it. Do you really think that every dog a breeder sells lives happily ever after with its original owner? If they did, we wouldn't be euthanizing as many dogs each year as are born. If they did, I wouldn't be donating thousands of dollars and countless hours to save them.

-- Posted by Foster Mom on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:29 PM

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It's a Dog's Life
Stephanie "Foster Mom" O'Brien
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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer
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