If you know me, there is one thing that I cannot stand and that is the overabundance of puppies.  This happens when “breeders” decide to breed their respective dogs frequently throughout the year.  An excellent sustainable breeder will only breed the female or Dam once a year and up to 3 times for the lifespan of the adult dog.  For years I have been quite upset and very vocal about the hazards of excessive breeding and the role it directly plays with unhealthy dogs, which can cost the future pet owner thousands of dollars in vet bills and the necessary euthanasia of the innocent pet.  This is one of the most difficult OpEds that I have had to write, because of the gross negligence of the owner, as well as anger for the future pet owner.

The Story

I also write this piece from personal experience.  Twelve years ago I adopted Coco Bean, a female Cockapoo.  I met the breeder at a doctors appointment and the only reason was that I had my little black Cockapoo with me at the appointment.  She thought Max was really exceptional and began to share that she raises exceptional Cockapoos.  She wrote down the name of her farm.   We set a time with to view the puppies but really didn’t know the benefits of asking questions back then.  Looking back on my experience, I have learned since then.   Remember, the most important questions come from researching experienced breeders.  This is very important because you can gather information about the breeder and their ethics or lack thereof.  I didn’t ask enough questions, questions such as “how many times do you breed the dam each year, how many puppies do you have at one time, how old was the dam when she was first bred, have you ordered the specific tests for the female, and when do you plan on retiring the Dam”? Also, can I see the Dam and Sire and do you socialize the puppies inside or outside?.  I add that only because socializing a dog will help with making sure the puppy is well balanced.  It also helps with separation anxiety.

We went to the farm and started looking at the puppies.  I was not very excited about any of them. Both of us thought the markings were not right. We noticed they were all outside in a little fenced in area.   I thought this was a bit odd as they were really young and didn’t have all of their protective measures required by state law.  After working with my current breeder I now think that is not appropriate to have them outside and I would rather adopt a puppy that is inside at that age.   There were a lot of puppies at this farm, which I thought was a red flag.  So many of them, they were everywhere.  We were getting ready to leave, her boyfriend and business partner brought to us a beautiful chocolate brown with blue eyes.  We both fell in love with her immediately. She was so docile and quiet, which now I know is a potential problem.   We chose a name at that very moment.  We decided right then that we were going to put a deposit down on her. The breeder put her away and while John was speaking to the other breeder I excused myself and went into the barn where there were a lot more babies and I found her, at the end of the barn on top of a pile of sawdust.  I could not believe it, nestled in a pile of sawdust.    I was shocked and I wanted to cry and take all of them home.  Joining the conversation in process the second breeder [who bred Coco] said that they did not dock the tail, remove the dew claws because their hired vet did not believe in doing these two and I might add very necessary things, especially the dew claws.   Looking back, I should have left and not adopted her, but she looked healthy enough.  Although I say this we are still glad she was a part of our family.  She changed our lives and had a huge impact on every person she met.  My personal feeling is that she and her other partner are nothing more than a puppy mill and unfortunately, they do a really good job at hiding that fact due to not having cage upon cage stacked on top of each other but lots of room for puppies to run.  Stacking the cages on top of each other does not constitute a puppy mill, but its the number of puppies that categorizes it as a puppy mill.

What makes a puppy mill a puppy mill?.  Well, Britannica Dictionary defines a puppy mill as the following:

Puppy mill

Sometimes known as a puppy farm, is a commercial dog breeding facility. There are an estimated 4,000 puppy mills in the U.S. that produce more than half a million puppies a year. Commercial kennels may be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture and state and local jurisdictions which may inspect the kennels routinely.
30 puppies or more moves into the category of a puppy mill.  Just because the USDA is involved in monitoring these farms, doesn’t always mean it is humane and sustainable.  Because there are so many, and the fact they pop up very quickly and it becomes more difficult to monitor.  When it crosses the line of sustainability, meaning the number of puppy mills exceed the number of hired investigators to investigate each facility then things start to fall through the cracks.   Only then, you have problems.  After hours and hours and days and days of asking questions [remember, asking questions and doing your due diligence makes you smarter]  learning about breeds and things to look for within a breed.

Both the male and the female should be healthy, and should be at least two years old before breeding

Then there is this, Puppy Trafficking

Yes, you read that correctly, puppy trafficking.  Not only is the latter going on, but smuggling is another thing.  Both of these businesses are very lucrative.  I do want to specify that both are dangerous and disgusting.   I found a news article online posted by The Telegraph published online in Europe claims that the puppy trafficking industry is worth more than £100m’ and converting to US Dollars is approximately $128,034,825.47  which is an astounding number.  You can see it is a lucrative business at the mercy of the innocent animal.  Another disturbing fact is that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or  RSPCA warns that there could be up to 100 gangs operating “like drug cartels” breeding disease-ridden dogs for sale in the UK.   Bringing this into the United States holds a set of problems, not only is it a health hazard for humans by transmitting unknown diseases from animals to humans, but it also creates a problem for future breeding in our country, which can become elevated and deliver more sickness to our otherwise healthy animals.  We as a country need to stop this destructive practice and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.  It needs to be treated the same way we treat criminals in our country.  In my opinion, there is absolutely no place for this type of business.  It’s morally wrong and extremely inhumane.  

 

Change the way to adopt a family member

You are in control and can be the difference in continuing the practice of inhumane adoption.  We can be the ones to make sure this does not continue in the United States.  It is important to remember that adoption in the United States is the key.  There are plenty of beautiful puppies right here that need homes.  Establishing these guidelines will help these practices to become commonplace will ensure that humans adopting a pet will have the best experience possible.  We want the best for our pets.

 

To the health of your pet and yours

 

Lani

 

 

 

 

 

References:

The Telegraph Dated Monday 29 October 2018 Puppy trafficking industry ‘worth more than £100m