For me, this is a blanket rule across the species (parrots, budgies, love birds, reptiles, tortoises, turtles, cats, bunnies, rodents, chickens, monkeys etc) , but let’s focus on dogs, as this is the area that most people will be able to relate to.
Breeders or puppy mills have become a big, cut throat business. Nobody breeds for any other reason than to make some cash off the selling of their dog’s children. Breeders will tell you it’s expensive to bring up puppies, and that they don’t really make much money. Ok, so they have chosen a crap business, but it is still a business, and in my research and experience, when animals are at the core of any ‘business’, there is bound to be a level of cruelty involved to a greater or lesser extent, (and a large mill does make money that is for sure).
Here is how the ASPCA describes a puppy mill ‘Bulldogs on sale! Yorkie puppies available here! Have you ever wondered where all these cheap puppies for sale in pet stores come from? The answer is that they are produced in factory-like environments known as “puppy mills.” Puppy mills are large-scale dog breeding operations where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Puppy mills treat dogs like products, not living beings, and usually house them in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, socialization, or even food and water.
The cute puppies for sale at your local mall were probably bred from dogs who don’t play outside or get groomed. Puppy mill dogs are typically kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs—and cages can be stacked up in columns (which means waste falls on the dogs housed below them). Compromised health and conditions like matting, sores, mange, severe dental disease and abscesses are often widespread. Many puppy mill puppies are born with or develop overt physical problems that make them unsalable to pet stores—which means they end up abandoned or just left to die. Many sick puppies do manage to end up at pet stores, though, where the new puppy owner unknowingly purchases the sick dog.
Breeding dogs at the mills sometimes spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements—or crammed inside filthy structures. Female dogs usually have little to no recovery time between bearing litters. When, after a few years, the females can no longer reproduce or when their breed goes out of “style,” the dogs are often abandoned, shot, or sometimes starved until they eventually die.
LCA describes the role of a brood bitch ‘Female dogs kept in puppy mills their entire lives are called “brood bitches.” They are typically undernourished and receive little veterinary care, in spite of being kept perpetually pregnant. Their puppies are frequently taken from them before being weaned. As a result, some puppies do not know how to eat and thus die of starvation. At approximately six or seven years of age, when they can no longer breed more puppies, “brood bitches” are killed’
Some of you reading this post will have collected your prize pooch from a home type breeding set up. The dogs may be better cared for, possibly even ‘loved’, but it is still a business, and it is the business of
- Making money from the reproductive possibilities of a sentient being
- Endorsing and orchestrating the rape of your bitch
- Bringing more puppies into an already over loaded animal welfare system
- Supporting an industry in which puppies (even at 8 or 10 weeks) are too young to leave their mothers, and their mother is still playing out her role. She is a puppy making machine, never really allowed to experience the full joy of motherhood
Allowing your dogs to have a litter of puppies is also a ‘no-no’ in our books. There are too many puppies available for adoption in shelters. Those puppies who don’t get adopted as cute and cuddlies, grow to be adult dogs, and each day that passes their chances of getting a forever home starts diminishing. Spend a day at a busy animal shelter and see the crisis created of managing large quantities of unwanted dogs with any kind of humane set up.
I am astounded when I visit an affluent home, and they either have allowed breeding, or have not neutered or spayed their animals.
So why buy a puppy from a breeder? These are some of the reasons I have heard sited,
- ‘I just love daschunds, they are my favourite dogs’
- ‘My kids really want a small puppy like Paris Hilton’
- ‘You never know what you are getting from an animal shelter’ (I have heard this sentiment expressed about adoption of human babies too!)
And so it goes on ….. So, we have a daschund from an animal shelter, the last time I looked there were some teeny weeny dogs available for adoption, and you have absolutely no idea what you are getting when you buy from a pet shop or breeder. In fact, those pedigree breeds often display more physiological problems further down the line.
So what leaves a bad taste in my mouth on this particular subject?
- Pets that have not been neutered or spayed
- Buying from pet shops
- Buying from breeders
- Allowing your own dog/ dogs to breed
Visit a reputable animal shelter and let them assist you in finding the right dog for your home and your needs. Drop the aesthetic attachment to one particular breed and find your doggy soulmate. After all, your mum loved you regardless of how you looked and behaved when you came into this world!