What if Daisy were the last one?
My thanks goes to Hope Schultz at WebVet for alerting me to a story about puppy mills that aired tonight on Nightline.
You can watch the video for yourself. But, don’t be fooled by the guy who claims to be running a “cutting-edge facility” that is based on “humane” animal treatment. His breeding facility is every bit as bad as any other puppy mill facility. The dogs are in wire cages without room to move (just look at the size of the kennels the Blue Merle Sheltie is in) and they have no social interaction or room to run. The guy claims that the hamster wheel he’s got a dog running on is more humane than letting the dog run outside in the mud. Forgive my frustration, but OH PLEASE! Really? Even the hamster wheel is made out of wire and is probably hurting the dogs feet just as much as the cage he just came from.
I guess what made me the most sad was seeing the Golden Retriever rescued by Main Line Animal Rescue (the same rescue group featured on Oprah Winfrey). She had been given up because she could no longer breed. Lucky for her Main Line was there to pick her up because many dogs are just shot and killed since they are no use to the breeder anymore. Looking at that Retriever was like looking at Daisy.
The dog’s belly hung down really low, as a result of the numerous litters she had had litters throughout her life. And, it was clear that her puppies had been weened recently. Daisy’s belly is also symbol of the number of litters she has had in her young life. As I have mentioned before, her vet said she was kept pregnant as often as was possible. She even said that if it were available, Daisy could have had a tummy tuck with all the stretched skin hanging down from her belly.
The Retriever also had scars on her head and snout – the Main Line caregivers surmised that she had received these scars from dog fights – probably over food. I have long thought that Daisy’s scars were received from other dogs, possibly in fights over a resource like food. No wonder she’s so cautious about having me watch her eat.
The guy from Main Line Animal Rescue also said that many of these breeding dogs walk in a crouch (low to the ground) because of all the years spent living in a wire cage. Now I sit here wondering…Was the way Daisy walked (when I first got her) due to fear? Or, was it due to the living conditions at the puppy mill? Or, was it both? It had never occurred to me until today that her crouched walk could have been due to a wire floor. How sad. It makes me want to cry.
So I ask you..
What if instead of buying a dog from a pet store everyone went out and rescued a dog instead?
What if the laws in every state were stronger and we could do inspections of these facilities on a regular basis and shut don the ones that are inhumane?
What if we cared enough to NOT buy a dog from the back of a van or from a stall in sombody’s barn?
What if we educated people on puppy mills and what happens there and where the puppies go?
What if we stopped giving these people a source of income?