As dog lovers, we must all, surely, feel a massive twang of pity and regret when we think of those puppies who have been bred for profit by breeders who are interested only in how to produce maximum volume of ’stock’ with scant regard for the welfare, health or temperament of the animals they churn out month by month, year by year.
Puppy mills and backyard breeders are alive kicking. But how? Buy why?
Pet stores, the internet and the people who buy from them!
Puppy farmers aren't the ONLY ones to blame for misery. The people who willingly dig in to their pockets and get their wallets out to hand over cash to the cynical puppies-for-profit breeders. Puppy mills and the pet stores that buy from them couldn’t care less about the fundamental principles of breeding good, healthy, and well balanced dogs.
The puppy farmer only exists because people keep giving them money. In all the coverage given to the puppy farming debate, have we missed the most obvious of points! If people simply stopped fuelling this trade, we might actually get somewhere. We can’t legitimately call ourselves a nation of animal lovers while we allow this to happen.
But the fact is, these puppy mills would be a thing of the past if:
1) People refused to buy puppies from pet stores
2) People refused to buy the puppies they see advertised in the free classified ads, newspapers or websites (this mean you Kijiji and Craig's List).
3) People took the time to educate themselves on the responsible way of obtaining a new pet from rescue societies and reputable breeders.
Seriously, if those three things happened – the puppy farmer is left with no business. No trade. No customers. No money. No motivation to keep producing puppies.
So why do people do it? Some of them are misguided, misinformed. OK, I accept that. But even so, in this year, in this day in age with ALL of the wealth of information that exists about how to obtain a dog responsibly, is it REALLY a valid excuse anymore? And for everyone who accidentally, unintentionally winds up putting money in to the pocket of puppy farmers, there’s certainly more folk who do it and who couldn’t really care less either way.
It is an ongoing disgrace that puppy mills are allowed to thrive and prosper in a country where laws, legislation and enforcement of such establishments have never really been properly crafted to a point where they have been forced out of business, whilst the demand exists – the puppy farmer will thrive. If puppy farming is to be defeated, the first point of action needs to be in changing the attitude and behaviour of the people who are buying their puppies pet stores and off the internet.
How can we change this? How do we push for a culture change? It’s going to be hard and I feel it’s going to take something big. Before considering buying a puppy from anywhere but a rescue foundation or a reputable breeder, just remember these things:
- just because a litter of puppies is advertised in a ‘legitimate’ publication, it doesn’t mean the puppy has been bred responsibly
- just because a litter of puppies is for sale in a pet shop with a licence, it doesn’t mean the puppy has been bred responsibly
- just because a litter of puppies has been bred by a ‘licenced breeder’ it doesn’t mean the puppy has been bred responsibly
“If you buy from a pet store, you’re as guilty as the puppy mill. If you don’t have the knowledge to avoid a puppy farmed dog, then you’re not yet ready to own a dog.”