Blogs by Jan Rasmusen
The Heartbreak of Puppy Mill Pups
3/6/2006 10:40:54 AM
The Humane Society of the United States has joined Florida consumers to file suit against The Wizard of Claws, a "celebrity kennel" selling "tea cup" dogs at high prices (up to $10,000) to celebrities like Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jon Secada, Sharon Obsborne, designer Donald J. Pliner and others. Some of the purchasers are complaining about tragically ill and oversized dogs. Learn how to avoid a puppy mill pup.
When you buy a puppy from any pet store, or any on-line pet boutique, beware. You may be purchasing heartache. Too often sweet-faced angels are the product of puppy mills, mass breeding operations where dogs are bred with little or no concern for freedom of genetic defects or sound temperament. They are often raised in small, overcrowded cages like chickens with little human contact and no love. The emphasis is on producing as many dogs as possible, as quickly as possible. Pups are weaned too early, and breeding females are impregnated as soon as possible. When breeders get old, they are often destroyed.
Too often, puppy mill dogs have short, painful lives in and out of veterinary clinics where their human guardians pay dearly. Behavioral problems are common, and dogs often join the 3-4 million dogs euthanized in shelters every year.
How can you spot a pup from a puppy mill? Consider pups from all pet stores suspect, along with websites selling numerous breeds or promising tiny dogs. Dogs are available year round, and they use hype to sell them. These pups are always "the cutest dogs in the world" or the "very best available." They are often dressed up in cute outfits and stuffed into tea cups. YOUR CREDIT CARD IS ALWAYS OF MORE IMPORTANCE THAN YOUR QUALIFICATIONS AS A GOOD PUPPY "PARENT."
Responsible breeders, on the other hand, generally have puppies available only once or twice a year. They allow prospective buyers to meet the pup's parents and raise the dogs inside the house where they receive love and affection. You are encouraged to talk to others who have their puppies, and are grilled about your suitability as a parent. THEY WILL NOT SHIP PUPPIES AS AIR CARGO.
Seller's statements that dogs do not come from puppy mills mean nothing. Talk is cheap; their dogs are not. Health guarantees seldom guarantee much, nor do return options. Once you're in love with your new dog, you'll be hard pressed to return her.
Learn more about getting a new dog in my chapter "Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places" and find useful links at my website Dogs4Dogs.com. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. And sign up for our free newsletter!
Author: Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care
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The Heartbreak of Puppy Mill Pups - Monday, March 06, 2006