So, I'm sure by now we've all read articles asking us not to buy puppies from Puppy Mills, right? But what, by definition is a "puppy mill"?? Well, Wikipedia defines a "Puppy Mill" as such:
- sometimes known as puppy farms,
- are large-scale dog breeding facilities that operate under substandard breeding conditions,
- causing the development of chronic health problems, temperament issues, and hereditary defects in puppies that come from the mills.
For those who aren't aware, Canadians have been seeing a whole lot of newspaper articles lately about Puppy Mills and Quebec. Quebec has long been known in Canada as a "Puppy Mill Capital". The newspapers are finally pushing this information on us, though this has been a problem for a very long time. Those of us here in Ontario no-kills are constantly taking the Quebec's shelters' overflow because they shutdown large-scale operations multiple times a year and then have nowhere to put the dogs.
Here are two recent articles about Quebec's Mills:
Quebec battles reputation as puppy mill capital
Puppy mill foes turn on pet stores
What can you do? Don't buy that puppy in the window. It may seem like you're "saving" that puppy from the store, but the problem is that there will always be another dog to replace that puppy you saved if you buy it. If you leave it there, it will still get food and water ... it's not like you're leaving it there to die. The puppy may not be enjoying the standards of life that you or I expect dogs to enjoy, but neither are the many dogs and puppies living in your local animal shelter. Why not go save one of those??
The difference between the two dogs?
The pet store dog will be replaced by another and you are giving the Mill another excuse and another reason to keep on breeding (not to mention to potential problems you will have to deal with with a mill puppy).
Unless you're at a no-kill animal shelter (which are few and far between), you are giving that Shelter dog a chance at life. Even if you are at a no-kill shelter, there are always animals that the shelter has to turn away (and in turn, often doom that animal to euthanasia or life on the streets), but if one more animal is adopted from that shelter than that is one more animal that that shelter can help.
Do everyone involved with rescue a favour and don't buy from the pet store. You aren't helping anyone but yourself and the puppy mill that dog came from. Do you have any rescue stories you want to share? I know many people enjoy talking about that so I figured I'd open the panel - feel free to share!