Arguing Cause Final Draft Kramer

Why are Puppy Mills a Problem and Why Do People Still Start Them?

"Most often they are in small cages that may not allow them to turn around, or they are in a pen with many other dogs," Lacoste states. She also tells us about how some dogs may even spend their whole lives in these cages, with no room for exercise or play. This causes many behavioral and health problems for these animals. Kristine Lacoste lists the after effects of puppy mills such as trembling, aggression, anxiety, epilepsy, matting, respiratory disorders and much more. In her article, Lacoste suggests that "This doesn't even scratch the surface of the other health issues your dog might have encountered. Given that there is not vet care or regular grooming, the list of afflictions is long." People start puppy mills to earn a profit without caring about the health of the animals they are breeding, but customers will go to a pet store and purchase a puppy that was bred by a puppy mill. That customer, without knowing, could be supporting that puppy mill. "Puppy mills rely on internet sales and retail pet stores for support," Watson states. What people might not know about puppy mills is that often times the water and food that they are given can be comtaminated with bugs, puppies can become malnurished because of this. (11 Facts About Puppy Mills) Because the dogs are in wire cages they are often found with bleeding and swollen paws. In some cases, they dogs have terrible tooth decay, ear infections, eye lesions, and dehydration. (11 Facts About Puppy Mills)

The legal term puppy mill is defined as "a dog breeding operation in which the health of dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits." (Watson, C.D.) Most puppy mills have no veterinary care, the animals aren't protected from the weather, and there may not be climate control. (11 Facts About Puppy Mills) Watson also points out that not all breeders run puppy mills. "There are many quality, loving, independent kennels run by professional, concerned individuals who are devoted to a specific breed and want to see the best qualities of that breed propagate," Watson states. According to Watson, in the United States, there are currently about 4,000 commercial breeding kennels that are licensed to operate. "Retail pet stores sell over 500,000 animals a year, that they got from these commercial breeding facilities," Watson tells us. Earning the title "Puppy Mill Capital of the East," Lancaster, Pennsylvania has the most commercial dog breeding facilities. (Watson, C.D.)

After doing some research, I believe there are a few causes to this problem. Some breeders care more about how much they will profit than they care about health of the dogs; new pet owners and maybe even pet stores may be unaware that they are supporting puppy mills; and the fact that there aren't enough laws to prevent people from starting a puppy mill and there are so many loopholes. The Animal Welfare Act was passed in 1966 by Congress, and it outlines the minimum standards of care for dogs, cats, and some other kinds of animals bred for commercial resale. (Puppy Mills Frequently Asked Questions) Enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture, The AWA requires certain large-scale breeders to be licensed and inspected by the USDA, but many find loopholes in the system. (Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions) Inspection records show that USDA-licensed breeders get away with repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act, as stated in the article Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions. Violators of the Animal Welfare act are rarely fined and their licenses are rarely suspended and these violators believe they have nothing to loose and a lot of profit to gain.(Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions) Although the AWA is enforced, only 26 U.S. states have laws regulating commercial kennels, puppy mills are legal in most of the states, unfortunately, Watson claims. These laws try to prevent animal abuse and cruelty in commmercial kennels. (11 Facts About Puppy Mills) Lacoste states, "American breeders that have their license from the USDA rarely get inspected, and the care requirements are grossly inadequate."

The Humane Society of the United States is continuing to push for new laws to limit the number of dogs that can be kept in puppy mills to outlaw the cruel confinement practices in puppy mills, they want to require inspection and licensing of "direct seller" puppy mills which are exempt from federal regulations, and protect puppy mill dogs from neglect and exploitation. (Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions) So why can't we just outlaw puppy mills? The article Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions, states that simply passing a law to ban puppy mills in impractical and that even bills that are passed do not always have all of the protections we would like. Some might ask "What about the anti-cruelty laws? Don't they effect puppy mills?" All 50 states have anti-cruelty laws, which are intended to prevent mistreatment and neglect of dogs. (Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions) Anti-cruelty laws are seldomly applied to puppy mills as long as they have food, water and a basic shelter. (Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions)

According to the article 11 Facts About Puppy Mills, almost every pet store animal comes from a puppy mill. Consumers might get incorrect lineage about their dogs health, breeder, and breed because pet stores don't want to be known for supporting a puppy mill. (11 Facts About Puppy Mills) Pet owners may be unaware that the pet store that sold them their companion was supporting a puppy mill, or a violator of the Animal Welfare act. New pet owners might think that they can ask the pet store employee to show them the paperwork identifying the puppy's breeder and origins and that they would get the correct and honest information, but as stated above, they might not give you the real information. (Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions)

Pet owners might say that their dog is a healthy, happy animal, like they came from a responsible breeder, but that may only last for a little while. Lacoste tells us a story about one family, in the United Kingdom, that found a puppy on the internet and met with the breeder. After only a few days, the puppy seemed to be sick and in severe pain. They took it to their veterinarian and was diagnosed with the parvovirus and had to be euthanized. (Lacoste, Kristine) So what seemed to be a healthy puppy, turned out to be the opposite. Some might say that they just fell in love with the puppy they found and the pet store and say it doesn't matter where it came from. Even though they are really happy about their new pet, they would still be supporting puppy mills and those puppy mills will continue to breed dogs into harmful environments. Puppy mills will continue to sell sick pets, if they are not shut down.

Puppy mill owners might say that they don't care about the health of the dogs because they just care about the money, but they are costing the new owners so much more money. If they are sick, they may continue to be sick and they will have to take their dog to the veterinarian a lot more than they would if they got their dog from a more reliable place.Of course, the people running the puppy mills would be against shutting down the puppy mills because they would loose all of the dogs that they were going to sell and make money off of. The violators if the Animal Welfare Act might say that if they cut down on veterinary check ups for their animals, they will be able to cut costs and get more profit. They might also think that the less money and time they have to spend to take care of the dogs, the more money and time they will get for whatever they want. Commercial breeders might think that these are reasons why owning a puppy mill would be okay. These excuses might be true, but what they are making money off of are not possessions, they are animals. Possessions like furniture and toys can be made from cheaper resources to make them, but animals need high quality food and water and just about as much care as humans. "Puppy mills dogs are often treated as agricultureal "crops" and not as pets," Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions states.

There needs to be more consequences for running puppy mills. There may be some laws talking about health regulations for animal breeders, but there are still some violators that only care about profits. They need to get shut down because pet owners need to know that they are purchasing a healthy dog. Dogs from puppy mills can have many health and behavioral issues, from ear infections to injuries to the feet and the legs from standing on wire cages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Lacoste, Kristine) The new owners will have higher veterinary bills. (Watson, C.D.) Without the inspections by the USDA and the veterinary check ups for the dogs, they will continue to sell unhealthy dogs to innocent pet owners and they will continue to mistreat them, until these puppy mills get shut down.

Works Cited

  • Lacoste, Kristine. "Common Health Problems in Puppy Mill Dogs - Pets Adviser." Pets Adviser. 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.
  • "Puppy Mills: Frequently Asked Questions : The Humane Society of the United States." RSS. The Humane Society of the United States, 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.
  • Watson, C.D. "Puppy Mill Statistics in 2012." Pets Adviser. 7 July 2012. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.
  • "11 Facts About Puppy Mills." 11 Facts About Puppy Mills. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License