Fighting Words: Should dogs be bought from puppy mills?

Two reporters discuss the buying of dogs from puppy mills.

YES- Alexis Garcia, Reporter

Puppy mills are inhumane facilities that breed dogs until they’re too sick to continue. The puppies produced are then treated like cash crops. Yes, this is bad. However, the dogs produced in puppy mills still need homes and families to take care of them no matter what their background is, so buying the dogs from puppy mills should be allowed for the sake of those dogs. According to the Humane Society of the United States, an estimated 10,000 puppy mills are currently active in the country. About two million puppies originating from puppy mills are sold each year. The large number of dogs sold from puppy mills is as such because most dogs sold in pet stores originate from puppy mills. The higher the demand for puppy mill puppies, the more the mills will produce.

This results in many puppies potentially being without a home. When people protest puppy mills by boycotting the dogs produced, the dogs end up not having anywhere else to go other than pet stores or back to the mills. Furthermore, the pet stores holding these puppy mill dogs potentially have conditions just as bad as puppy mills.

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, pet stores ensure maximum profits by not spending money on proper food, housing or veterinary care. From the lack of food, healthy environments, medical attention and overall healthy human interaction, this can cause the dogs to develop bad habits, like becoming antisocial and barking at anything all day long nonstop.

Along with antisocial behavior, the dogs can develop medical issues from being held in pet stores for an extended amount of time. A number of pet store employees end up selling the dogs to owners without letting them know of the issues since the employees often don’t even know of the issues themselves.

Keeping people from buying puppy mill dogs from pet stores causes these issues to happen and only makes the dogs suffer more. Although stopping puppy mills is a very valid thing to want to do, doing so by making the dogs go non purchased by people who just want to give them a nice home is the wrong way to go about it. Instead, the focus should go to encouraging higher and stricter health checks at puppy mills.

People can also choose to write their state and federal legislators about the awful conditions of puppy mills and boost their interest in closing them. It’s agreeable that puppy mills should be stopped immediately, but the dogs already produced by them still need a proper home to live out their lives. A number of people are willing to give them that healthy home if they can simply continue to buy them until the puppy mills finally close down and have no more dogs able to be bought.

NO–Elissa Blankenship, Online Reporter

You might think you’re saving a puppy from the cruel disaster that is a puppy mill, but in reality, you’re feeding the demand and profit for these mills and encouraging a cycle of animal cruelty. Purchasing dogs from puppy mills or pet stores that are supplied by mills increases the profits of this unjust enterprise and funds inhumane practices regarding the breeding and mistreatment of caged dogs. A number of families and college students own dogs, so the importance of knowing the background of the dog should be emphasized. With an estimated 10,000 puppy mills operating in the U.S., two million puppies are bred every year and only 167,388 of those dogs are in USDA licensed facilities. Puppy mills, either unlicensed or licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, put profit margins over the health and treatment of dogs.

These dog breeding operations often lock animals in breeding cages 24-hours a day. They practice inhumane euthanization methods and the over-breeding of unhealthy or malnourished animals. After birth, puppies are often ripped away from their mothers too early, risking a multitude of health issues and psychological development problems.

The conditions of these facilities are often disease-prone areas, and with so many unvaccinated animals this can cause great risk of death or terminal illness, leading to outrageous vet bills for a dog that was already expensive to buy in the first place. Many puppy mills practice the euthanization of older dogs when they can’t be bred anymore. These euthanization tactics are inhumane and sometimes include drowning, asphyxiation or the shooting of animals.

Puppy mills that sell dogs to pet stores must be licensed under USDA regulations, and many puppies shipped to these stores don’t live through the shipping process. The dogs are shipped in closed crates and kept for more than 12 hours without food or water, later to be sold in stores that don’t necessarily take good care of the animals either. Paying hard-earned money for a dog that will become ill isn’t worth the risk. Rescuing one puppy from a mill is only worth it if you get the dog for free because purchasing it supports the mill. Buying dogs from pet stores contributes to the problematic cycle of mill breeding, which depends on the background of the store and who supplies these stores. By purchasing these animals, people allow the mill to continue operating, and this is partly why boycotts have occurred at some pet stores.

To ensure you pick a happy, healthy animal whether by adoption or purchase, pet owners need to be aware of their animal’s background, including its behavioral history and the environment in which it was raised. A caged animal is likely to have emotional damage and abandonment issues. We don’t treat humans with this type of cruelty, so dogs or other animals shouldn’t have to suffer either.

If America claims to be the land of the free, then the same concept should be applied to dogs or any animals in permanent cages.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Fighting Words: Should dogs be bought from puppy mills?

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