Friday, November 07, 2008

A Puppy Mill Puppy's Story

Ryan and I are planning on attending and helping with a protest in Indy next month for puppy mills.

Puppy mills are where dogs are bred purely for profit. The conditions in these places are awful. Multiple dogs are often placed in kennels together without enough space to even turn around. Most females are bred during each and every heat cycle. The dogs are left to lie in their own excrement and some even have excrement falling from cages above them from other dogs. Most of them can't even walk on grass or walk at all because their feet are so badly deformed from standing on wire cages all their lives.


The dogs are sometimes inbred and it is very common for dogs to have congenital abnormalities because of the breeding habits of the owners. The dogs with the congenital abnormalities are sold off as quickly as possible so the new owners will have spent their money before they even realize it. Many pet stores, especially large chains such as Petland and Uncle Bill's in Indy, get a good majority of their dogs from puppy mills. This is why people are so often suckered into buying a sick dog without even knowing it.

So after doing a little research. I came across this story that I found very touching. As I get more specific info about the protest we are particiating in, I will let you guys know. In the mean time, please take the time to educate yourselves and anyone you may know who is considering a new pet. Adoption is the best answer, but there are plenty of breeders out there who are not in the puppy mill business. All you have to do is research the breeder a little. Two of the main things to consider is: are the breeders willing to let you see the conditions the dogs were born into? And are you able to see the parents? If the answer to either one of these questions is no, then there is probably a reason.


Some of the photos after the story are graphic, so watch the little ones as you scroll down. There may be images you don't want them to see.



A PUPPY MILL PUPPY'S STORY
I don't remember much of the place where I was born. It was cramped and dark, and we were never played with by the Humans. I remember Mom and her soft fur, but she was often sick, and very thin. She had hardly any milk for me and my brothers and sisters. I remember many of them dying, and I missed them so.


I remember the day I was taken from Mom. I was so sad and scared, my milk teeth had only just come in, and I really should have been with Mom still, but she was so sick, and the Humans kept saying that they wanted their money and were sick of the "mess" that me and my sister made.


So we were crated up and taken to a strange place. Just the two of us. We huddled together and were scared, still no Human hands came to pet or love us. So many sights and sounds and smells! We are in a store where there are many different animals! Some that squawk! Some that meow! Some that peep! My sister and I are jammed into a small cage. I hear other puppies here. I see Humans look at me through the glass. I like the "little humans", the kids. They look so sweet, and fun, like they would play with me! All day we stay in the small cage, sometimes mean people will hit the glass and frighten us, every once in a while we are taken out to be held or shown to humans. Some are gentle, some hurt us, we always hear "Aw they are so cute! I want one!" but we never get to go with any of them.


My sister died last night, when the store was dark. I lay my head on her soft fur and felt the life leave her small thin body. I had heard them say she was sick, and that I should be sold at a "discount price" so that I would quickly leave the store. I think my soft whine was the only one that mourned for her as her body was taken out of the cage in the morning and dumped.


Today, a family came and bought me! Oh happy day! They are a nice family, they really, really wanted me! They had bought a dish and food and the little girl held me so tenderly in her arms. I love her so much! The mom and dad say what a sweet and good puppy I am! I am named Angel. I love to lick my new Humans! The family takes such good care of me, they are loving and tender and sweet. They gently teach me right and wrong, give me good food, and lots of love! I want only to please these wonderful people! I love the little girl and I enjoy running and playing with her.


Today I went to the veterinarian. It was a strange place and I was frightened. I got some shots, but my best friend the little girl held me softly and said it would be okay. So I relaxed. The vet must have said sad words to my beloved family, because they looked awfully sad. I heard Severe Hip Dysplasia, and something about my heart... I heard the vet say something about back yard breeders and my parents not being tested. I know not what any of that means, just that it hurts me to see my family so sad. But they still love me, and I still love them very much!


I am six months old now. Where most other puppies are robust and rowdy, it hurts me terribly just to move. The pain never lets up. It hurts to run and play with my beloved little girl, and I find it hard to breathe. I keep trying my best to be the strong pup I know I am supposed to be, but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the little girl so sad, and to hear the Mom and Dad talk about it might now be "the time." Several times I have went to that veterinarians place, and the news is never good. Always talk about Congenital Problems. I just want to feel the warm sunshine and run, and play and nuzzle with my family.


Last night was the worst. Pain has been my constant companion now, it hurts even to get up and get a drink. I try to get up but can only whine in pain. I am taken in the car one last time. Everyone is so sad, and I don't know why. Have I been bad? I try to be good and loving-what have I done wrong? Oh if only this pain would be gone! If only I could soothe the tears of the little girl. I reach out my muzzle to lick her hand, but can only whine in pain.


The veterinarian’s table is so cold. I am so frightened. The Humans all hug and love me.They cry into my soft fur. I can feel their love and sadness. I manage to lick softly their hands. Even the vet doesn't seem so scary today. He is gentle and I sense some kind of relief for my pain. The little girl holds me softly and I thank her, for giving me all her love. I feel a soft pinch in my foreleg. The pain is beginning to lift, I am beginning to feel a peace descend upon me. I can now softly lick her hand.


My vision is becoming dreamlike now, and I see my Mother and my brothers and sisters, in a far off green place. They tell me there is no pain there, only peace and happiness. I tell the family goodbye in the only way I know how-a soft wag of my tail and a nuzzle of my nose. I had hoped to spend many, many moons with them, but it was not meant to be. "You see," said the veterinarian, "Pet shop puppies do not come from ethical breeders." The pain ends now, and I know it will be many years until I see my beloved family again. If only things could have been different.


(This story may be published or reprinted in the hopes that it will stop unethical breeders and those who breed only for money and not for the betterment of the breed)
Copyright 1999 J. Ellis





6 comments:

Andrea said...

Oh my gosh, breaks my heart and makes me sick all at the same time!

*Jen* said...

Those pictures are awful! Oprah has done several stories about puppy mills lately. Those poor puppies!

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