As many all across the world now know, on Friday, April 4th, Oprah Winfrey finally addressed the horror and the tragedy of Puppy Mills on her national television show. She was prompted to do this by viewing a huge Puppy Mill billboard strategically placed near her television studio, which was paid for by an animal rescue group.
Many of us have been writing about the horrors of Puppy Mills for many years; many animal rescue groups have been rescuing these horrendously treated and extremely ill dogs for many years; and the Humane Society of the United States has done many undercover investigations concerning Puppy Mills over the years.
And yet, all three have had very little impact in our society today in stopping people from buying their next pet.
Over 4 million unwanted and unloved dogs and cats are euthanized each and every year in animal shelters and city pounds all across America, while far too many Americans still insist on forking out between $500 and $3,000 for a ‘pure bred’ dog produced in one of these horrific, never-ending, puppy mills.
I truly hope many Americans watched that Oprah Winfrey show, and I truly hope that many Americans will now look to our animal shelters and to our many wonderful animal rescue groups to adopt their next dog or cat, rather than to buy it from a pet store, over the Internet, or through a magazine or newspaper advertisement.
The one thing that struck me the most watching this television show was this:
The very compassionate man who runs the pet rescue group that sponsored that huge billboard to finally get Oprah’s attention spends most of his time visiting these atrocious puppy mills and rescuing their aging male dogs that are of no use to them anymore, and their aging ‘breeder bitches’ which can no longer produce any more pups, or make them any more cold hard cash.
On a recent trip back to one of these horrendous puppy mills, one of the puppy mill owners asked this man about a terribly ill and malnourished female dog that he had rescued there. When the puppy mill owner learned that this dog was now doing fairly well, and adjusting to its wonderful new life in this compassionate man’s home, the puppy mill owner exclaimed: “I can’t believe that you actually let that dog walk around in your home, with your family!”
These are the type of people breeding these ‘pure bred’ puppies as fast as they can, to sell to you and your family, at exorbitant prices.
Their dogs mean nothing to them at all, except some more quick cash. And the aging dogs no longer of any use to them, if not rescued by people like the man on Oprah’s show, quickly face a bullet in the head, or a life of starvation, dumped along some desolate road.
And I simply cannot imagine walking into my neighborhood grocery store, buying some fresh fruit, and the shocked grocer exclaiming, “You’re not actually gonna take that fruit home and feed it to your family, are you?”
If my grocer ever said that to me, I would never shop in his store again, or buy anything from him, ever again.
Please Spay and Neuter Your Own Pets, to help us reduce the atrocious and never ending pet overpopulation problem in this country.
And please Adopt your next pet from a shelter; not Buy it from a Puppy Mill breeder.
Very few people pay attention to we animal advocates concerning this issue, and far too many other extremely important animal issues facing America today, but I truly hope that Oprah has now finally convinced many.
And it wouldn’t hurt to write your Congressmen, demanding that they finally put an end to this barbaric American enterprise. Mentioning Oprah’s name probably won’t hurt.
And if you would like to read more about these terribly abused Puppy Mill ‘breeder bitches,’ please read my poem: A Before and After Dog Story.