Some of you may be asking, what is a Puppy Farm?
Puppy farms, also known as puppy mills or puppy factories, are inhumane businesses that breed dogs indiscriminately for money without caring for the dogs. They are unregulated breeding facilities owned by disreputable breeders.
Dogs are bred far too frequently, are kept cramped together in filthy conditions, and are not socialized properly with other dogs and humans. Female dog should only be mated two to four times in her life otherwise there is a big strain on her health and her body – this is something that puppy farms definitely do not follow – they mate their females as often as they possibly can as they are all about mass production and making money. Research has shown that if a mother is stressed out during her pregnancy, it can have an impact on her puppies. Puppy mills are highly stressful for all dogs, which isn’t a great way to come into this world.
Puppy farms pups get pulled away from their mum and litter at far too young an age, often at only four or five weeks when the earliest a puppy should be separated from its pack is eight weeks. More often than not, these breeders do not care about the health and strength of the breed, which often results in bad health, genetic illnesses, behavioural issues and problems with housebreaking and training. The fact that these puppies are kept in cages means the pup doesn’t learn from it mum and it doesn’t learn the natural instincts of being a dog. For example, these pups don’t learn to eliminate away from their food and bed so when they end up in their new home, they often have a lot of difficulty with toilet training.
Oscar’s Law is a campaign established in 2010 to abolish factory farming of companion animals, and the sale of companion animals from pet shops, online trading sites and to promote adoption through rescue groups, pounds, shelters. Oscar is the pup in this photo, it is his story that inspired the Oscar’s Law campaign. Please support & read more about Oscar’s Law at http://www.oscarslaw.org/index.php
Buying from certain pet stores or online trading sites can sometimes mean you are supporting puppy mills. And if you are supporting puppy farms, you are contributing to the suffering of these poor dogs.
So please think twice when you see that adorable puppy staring at you from the window or on the internet! Do your research before making any rash decisions. Ask lots of questions, go visit the place where the pup has been bred, meet the parents and make sure the breeders are breeding for the love of it. Oscar’s Law have an Ethical Breeder Buyers Guide up on their website, click here to have a look.
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) have a fabulous spreadsheet on their website which shows what puppy farmers do versus what reputable breeders do. So click here to have a look. It’s a great resource.
My next two posts will provide you with some helpful hints as to the types of questions you need to ask when deciding on where to get your dog from; including questions for breeders, shelters and rescue centres. Stay tuned!!
Anonymous July 16, 2012 at 1:24 am
Thanks for raising awareness!
Lisa Klibansky July 17, 2012 at 12:04 am
Hey Mel, thank you for spreading awareness! In the spirit of good natured debate though, I have to say that while I agree with the essence of what you are saying, I don't agree with the actions you are suggesting. Teddy is from a pet store. Once the puppy is born, it deserves a loving home no matter where it is from. Prevention is essential, of course, but I believe the answer to the problem is to bring the issue into the public eye and lobby the government to pass legislation that outlaws these organisations. To take your suggestion and abstain from giving an innocent puppy a place to live and be loved doesn't help the problem. Puppies from pet stores may come with issues, and Teddy did struggle with toilet training at the start, but once you overcome that, they are still just as beautiful and special and deserving as any dog. Keeping a puppy cooped up in those glass cabinets at a pet store is sickeningly cruel – the whole business should be brought before the courts and prosecuted for gross animal abuse. I think though, the emphasis needs to be on penalising the people who run the puppy mills or pet stores, not turning our back on the dogs. We need to love and support all puppies and dogs no matter how they started out in life.
Mel Thurin July 17, 2012 at 10:40 am
Hi Lise. It is a difficult subject and it took me some time to write that post. I see where you are coming from, every puppy deserves a loving home. The purpose of my post was to raise awareness of puppy mills and as you suggested bring the issue to the public eye. Oscar's law is a movement aimed at lobbying the government to outlaw these organisations. However, whilst there is a market that continually buys from pet stores there is going to be a demand for the supply of these dogs. By raising awareness, my aim was to try and minimise this demand and to arm people with the information they need to make an informed decisions. Thanks for continually following my blog! I am loving the feedback!!