Guest essay: Puppy mill law targets emotional, but valid, concern

In a recent editorial, Robert Yarnall, president of the American Canine Association, based in Phoenixville, described Gov. Full Story
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MrFixIt

United States

#1 Aug 19, 2008
I own a dog rescued from a puppy mill, lived in a cage all his life, is always scared, always fearfull. What kind of human being does this to any living creature? This little guy never saw leaves on the ground, grass, trees. He never went up or down a step and couldn't when we brought him home. The vet said if he didn't improve he might have to be put down. Love and care has repaired only some of the damage. This is some seriously bad juju going on at these places. Something needs done and I hope the politicians don't screw it up.
Common Sense

Chambersburg, PA

#2 Aug 19, 2008
I have a solution.

Stop selling dogs. Every dog lover thinks that they are doing the animal a favor but it is a form of slavery.

If you can't sell dogs then they will not be bread like slaves for the people who buy them.

I am sure you animal lovers will not like this but it is true.
Common Sense

Chambersburg, PA

#3 Aug 19, 2008
bread = bred
Carol

Narberth, PA

#4 Aug 19, 2008
Please join us on September 20 at Intercourse Community Park, Leacock township for the largest anti-puppy mill event in the country. Fun for the whole family, free food, educational material, over 40 rescue groups and such special guests as Ann Marie Lucas, Jana Kohl with Baby, Rescue Ink. Rikki Rockett, Best Friends Animal Society, Last Chance for Animals, and many others. Hear from the leaders in this fight what is going on in the Commerical Kennels in PA and around the country. Join us in a moment of silence for "The Zimmerman 80" and for the dogs still suffering in their cages. Then grab your signs and your dogs and come walk with us into the heart of Lancaster County and let your voices be heard. For more information and a schedule of the days events. go to www.awarenessday.org
Muffet

Shippensburg, PA

#5 Aug 19, 2008
Mr. Fixit, I adopted a puppy mill breeder, also,
and your description is right on. At first she
did nothing but crouch in the corner.
Heartbreaking.

To answer your last sentence, the legislators have
already tried to "screw it up." Rep. Kauffman and
Rep. Moul are two of the six who stalled HB 2525
with filibuster-by-amendment.
Justplainfoolish mess

Walnut Bottom, PA

#6 Aug 19, 2008
It's not just in Lancaster.....this problem exists in every town where puppies are sold by pet stores. A local pet store sold churned out puppy mill dogs from the midwest until very recently. They knew where the dogs were coming from and knew that they were being vague in their claims but as long as the money was coming in, it didn't matter. Beyond the fact that they stuck poor unsuspecting people with dogs of questionable backgrounds and big health issues, the reality is that they created a vacuum by which to continue shoving these animals because the bond between a pet and his owner happens quickly so returning the dog or putting it down is no longer an option.
Keep in mind that dogs that are locally bred - whether pure or mixed - also come out of puppy mills or indiscriminate breeding farms. Let's face it, what responsible dog owner would sell their animals to a pet store!
Please participate in the anti-puppy mill event by refusing to purchase a puppy from a pet store. Stop providing the demand in our town and the source will dry up. A pet store doesn't need to sell animals to survive as a business - pet food and supplies bring in big bucks, too. The problem is that selling dogs to unsuspecting people brings in bigger bucks. NO MORE PUPPY MILLS! DON'T BUY YOUR PET FROM A PET STORE!!!!
Rosemary

Macomb, MI

#7 Aug 19, 2008
When are they actually going to DO something? For several years now, all Rendell has done is talk this to death. Don't buy pups in pet stores or off the internet. How hard is this to figure out?
Muffet

Shippensburg, PA

#8 Aug 19, 2008
The Puppy Mill bill could have passed the House
in July, but a small group of representatives
blocked the vote.

The biggest opponents of the bill are, of course,
the puppy millers themselves, the AKC (yes, they
get big bucks from the breeding industry), and
a few representatives who'll do anything to
prevent Democrats from succeeding with this.

Great message from Justplainfoolish. All the
puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills.
No responsible small breeder would ever sell
a puppy to a pet store for resale. The local
pet store has been lying about that all along.
Their dogs come from a broker who deals with
puppy mills all over the country.
I Feel Your Pain

Landisburg, PA

#9 Aug 19, 2008
The problem with the bill, and the reason it was rightly not immediately passed, is there is some vague language that needs to be clarified, so that small show breeders who are NOT breeding the guts out of poor quality, unhealthy dogs aren't penalized under the new laws.

Once it is worded so there is no ambiguity, it will be backed by responsible breeders and the AKC. You AKC bashers should know that the AKC has endorsed the bill with the wording cleared up, but it now has to wait for the House to reconvene.

The AKC has also implemented many new programs and rules to force puppymillers to go to garbage registries, like the ACA, CONtinental Kennel Club (goes by the initials CKC, but is NOT the reputable Canadian KC), APRI, DRA, and too many others. These register anything, including mutts just so the millers can up the prices and make more profit. A gerbil was registered as a Shetland sheepdog with two of these junk registeries.

A responsible breeder is easy to recognize in one question. Ask to see the results of the OFA, CERF and VetGen screenings for the parents of the pups. If they don't have them, or worse, don't even know what they are, RUN AWAY. Responsible breeders test their parent dogs through these agencies for things like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, heart defects, VonWillebrand's disease, eye problems, etc., that can be handed down genetically in the breeding animals. If the test results are not good, the dogs would not be bred by a responsible breeder.

NO responsible breeder intentionally creates mutts and give them cutesy, made-up breed monikers, like morkie, shih-poo, jug, bug, or puggle. If you are happy owning a mix, and they can be nice pets, adopt one from a shelter, not some greedy person breeding them for profit with no clue aobut genetic health. I have both mutts and purebreds, so don't go there, if you are about to say I'm bashing mutts. I'm not. Just call 'em what they are. And goodness knows there are enough of them at shelters waiting for homes, so why make more?

All of you who want the puppymills closed could do it in a year, if you really wanted to. Teach others NOT to buy from petshops. That simple. Yes, some dogs will be euthanized, but no more than die in shelters everywhere just from lack of homes already. These puppies are a cash crop to the millers. That is obvious by the way they are treated. Don't buy the pups, they make no cash, they go farm something else they CAN sell.(Hopefully sweet corn. Good sweet corn has been expensive and hard to get this year.)
GVJ

Kingston, PA

#10 Aug 19, 2008
This issue is so important that in order to be proud of the State you live in. These Horrors must be addressed. My priase for those who are speaking out.
Muffet

Shippensburg, PA

#11 Aug 19, 2008
GVJ,
Agree. And the people speaking out in these
posts are knowledgable, informed, and
passionate about the issue! Unusually
intelligent blogs today, well worth reading.
anno

Barnegat, NJ

#12 Aug 19, 2008
I have had a number of pets in my 50+ years and I cant stand to see an animal abused..I had 2 beautiful dog die 3 yrs ago and am now the PROUD owner of 8 gorgeous babies from the same breeder..not a puppy mill..but a loving home breeder that treats her dogs better than most humanes treat their children...Dont knock all home breeders...Some of them turn out very loving, healthy, beautiful babies. If I had a bigger house I'd have more. I also have an older dog of my sons that I have been sitting for the past 8 years...All are well and taken care of...
Open Minded

Rincon, GA

#13 Aug 19, 2008
None of the statutes they are trying to pass seem unreasonable. This is what I would consider basic humane pet care, and I will continue to write to the state representative's to let them know they need to pass this ASAP. Like previous poster's have said, if everyone stopped buying these poor dogs from pet shop's then the puppy mills would not be making a profit. If you really want a certain breed of dog, you should check into a rescue group. They have one for almost every breed (got my greyhounds through one) and most are very responsible, caring people who are trying to save a breed they love. Also the humane society is great choice (also had a dog from there and she was wonderful).
Local Yocal

East Mansfield, MA

#14 Aug 20, 2008
Open Minded wrote:
None of the statutes they are trying to pass seem unreasonable. This is what I would consider basic humane pet care, and I will continue to write to the state representative's to let them know they need to pass this ASAP. Like previous poster's have said, if everyone stopped buying these poor dogs from pet shop's then the puppy mills would not be making a profit. If you really want a certain breed of dog, you should check into a rescue group. They have one for almost every breed (got my greyhounds through one) and most are very responsible, caring people who are trying to save a breed they love. Also the humane society is great choice (also had a dog from there and she was wonderful).
I do have to state tho.

A LOT of rescues need to lighten up a little with the application and terms of adoption. I went to a hobby breeder because the rescues made it appear easier for me to adopt a Chinese baby, than to adopt a rescued dog.
I really think their drive to protect the animals comes across as too much work for a " used" dog. Buying from a reputable breeder DOES require effort, but not the over zealous type that I encountered.

I am for a banned pet owner list.
Surrender a pet or get convicted of a crime against pets.. you're on the list!
Justplainfoolish mess

Walnut Bottom, PA

#15 Aug 20, 2008
Per Anno "Dont knock all home breeders...Some of them turn out very loving, healthy, beautiful babies."

I honestly don't think anyone is knocking home breeders across the board. I'm sure many are decent, honest folks. I am, however, knocking the breeder who sells dogs to a pet store - whether they are breeding dogs in the midwest or Chambersburg area - because s/he is a full blown puppy miller as no reputable dog lover / hobby or home breeder will sell their dogs to pet stores.
Chambersburg

Gardners, PA

#16 Aug 20, 2008
Am I correct in saying that most puppy mills in Pennsylvania are Amish. You know all you have to do is look at the Amish farms and how awlful all their animals look. I have seen horses in fields that look awlful(Skinny, Ragged and actually look sad.) I wonder if the legislators have some kind of deal with the lobbyists that these laws cannot get passed.
YoYo

Greencastle, PA

#17 Aug 20, 2008
Justplainfoolishmess wrote:
It's not just in Lancaster.....this problem exists in every town where puppies are sold by pet stores. A local pet store sold churned out puppy mill dogs from the midwest until very recently. They knew where the dogs were coming from and knew that they were being vague in their claims but as long as the money was coming in, it didn't matter. Beyond the fact that they stuck poor unsuspecting people with dogs of questionable backgrounds and big health issues, the reality is that they created a vacuum by which to continue shoving these animals because the bond between a pet and his owner happens quickly so returning the dog or putting it down is no longer an option.
Keep in mind that dogs that are locally bred - whether pure or mixed - also come out of puppy mills or indiscriminate breeding farms. Let's face it, what responsible dog owner would sell their animals to a pet store!
Please participate in the anti-puppy mill event by refusing to purchase a puppy from a pet store. Stop providing the demand in our town and the source will dry up. A pet store doesn't need to sell animals to survive as a business - pet food and supplies bring in big bucks, too. The problem is that selling dogs to unsuspecting people brings in bigger bucks. NO MORE PUPPY MILLS! DON'T BUY YOUR PET FROM A PET STORE!!!!
I couldn't agree more. I used to work for a local veterinarian & you wouldn't believe the number of dogs brought to us (post-local pet store purchases)for well animal checks only to find out they had serious medical conditions &/or serious genetic problems. I tturns out yeh, this pet store's suppliers were puppy mills. It was so sad to see that these people had spent hundreds of dollars to purchase these dogs, then to spend hundreds more to either treat them, surgically correct them or just provide the appropriate care for them per year. It disqusts me everytime I walk into a pet store to buy food or supplies & see people "awing" over the pets & not realizing what they are doing to the puppy mill & pet store markets by purchasing these animals. I have a great compassion for the welfare of animals but the bottom line is when you continue to buy....the suppliers will keep supplying.
Go to the local shelters or any of the breed rescues if you really want to make a difference in a dogs life. There are so many great dogs there that are in need of a loving home (& you will find purebred dogs as well). So many people consider pets disposable once the novelty wears off & they realize they actually have to train & care for this pet they either dump it at the shelter, to some unsuspecting farmer or along the road somewhere. Do you really need a purebred,champion,AKC dog for a companion? NO! Unless you plan on breeding or showing it's completely useless. Help the dogs that really NEED your love & affection, ADOPT FROM THE SHELTER!!!!! You are actually SAVING A DOG'S LIFE!!!
I Feel Your Pain

Landisburg, PA

#18 Aug 20, 2008
Justplainfoolishmess wrote:
Per Anno "Dont knock all home breeders...Some of them turn out very loving, healthy, beautiful babies."
I honestly don't think anyone is knocking home breeders across the board. I'm sure many are decent, honest folks. I am, however, knocking the breeder who sells dogs to a pet store - whether they are breeding dogs in the midwest or Chambersburg area - because s/he is a full blown puppy miller as no reputable dog lover / hobby or home breeder will sell their dogs to pet stores.
Very well said. I feel if you bring life into this world, of any form, especially if it can't ever support itself, you are responsible for it for the rest of its life. That means screening the home you place it in, as well as agreeing that it can come back to your home for any reason at any time, so there's no need for shelters to be over-run.

As far as a "banned pet owners list", actually, responsible breeders in the area tend to discuss it when one has a bad experience with someone, and they keep a private "do not place" list between themselves. Being a part of rescue helps a responsible breeder keep track of surrenders and bad placements of their own breed.

I will concede some rescues are a tad too "micro-manager"-ish to me. I know many rescues where not having a fenced yard is an automatic dealbreaker. "No fence, no dog". I feel if owner has displayed the responsibility of walking their current or previous dog adequately, there's no real problem with an unfenced yard if the dog is already good on a leash, and rather couch potato oriented to begin with. That's one reason I don't do "organized" rescue anymore. If someone calls me to take in one of my breed, I will do so, and place it, but I do it all out of my own pocket, and don't fundraise. Fortunately, not too many of my breed go unwanted in this area.
Justplainfoolish mess

Walnut Bottom, PA

#19 Aug 20, 2008
YoYo -you noted "everytime I walk into a pet store to buy food or supplies & see people "awing" over the pets & not realizing what they are doing to the puppy mill & pet store markets by purchasing these animals."

I'd like to make a suggestion if you don't mind....please DO NOT purchase dog food or supplies from any pet store that openly sells dogs and cats for profit, not placement. PetSmart, Franklin Hardware and Pet Center and Tractor Supply all sell abundant pet food and supplies for reasonable prices without pushing animals in cages from questionable sources. When PetSmart or Franklin Hardware promote animals they are rescue animals, shelter animals, strays or animals brought in by owners who no longer want them. Any associated costs are for responsible neutering and vaccines. There is only one Pet Store in the Chambersburg area that I am aware openly sells dogs and cats from questionable breeding environments. Don't support them until they stop selling their back yard bred, hobby bred, puppy mill dogs!
Local Yocal

East Mansfield, MA

#20 Aug 20, 2008
Justplainfoolishmess wrote:
YoYo -you noted "everytime I walk into a pet store to buy food or supplies & see people "awing" over the pets & not realizing what they are doing to the puppy mill & pet store markets by purchasing these animals."
I'd like to make a suggestion if you don't mind....please DO NOT purchase dog food or supplies from any pet store that openly sells dogs and cats for profit, not placement. PetSmart, Franklin Hardware and Pet Center and Tractor Supply all sell abundant pet food and supplies for reasonable prices without pushing animals in cages from questionable sources. When PetSmart or Franklin Hardware promote animals they are rescue animals, shelter animals, strays or animals brought in by owners who no longer want them. Any associated costs are for responsible neutering and vaccines. There is only one Pet Store in the Chambersburg area that I am aware openly sells dogs and cats from questionable breeding environments. Don't support them until they stop selling their back yard bred, hobby bred, puppy mill dogs!
My hobby bred dogs will beat up your rescued dogs anyday! JUST KIDDING ALL!

Pet Supplies Plus has better pricing than the big box stores, so I have found.

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