Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Nat: The PUPPY MILL Link Exchange project

A friend of mine had invited us to join this project called The PUPPY MILL Link Exchange Project, where people get together and share their views on this topic and also to raise awareness regarding the appalling treatment that puppy mill dogs receive.

If you have not noticed yet, I have placed a new flash button on the sidebar panel that will bring you to dead_cockroach's Xanga blog post about this topic. Kudos to him for starting this project, I really hope this would create more awareness about puppy mills and how they operate.

Apart from just putting up the flash button in this blog, I am also supposed to do a write-up on my thoughts & opinions about puppy mills. So here goes:

So what's puppy mills, you asked? A simple Google search on these 2 words would give you thousands of results on it. I quote one example from Wikipedia:

"Puppy mills, sometimes known as puppy farms, are large-scale dog breeding facilities that operate under substandard breeding conditions, causing the development of chronic health problems, temperament issues, and hereditary defects in puppies that come from the mills. The high numbers of euthanized animals (4 million dogs per year in U.S.) has led animal rights advocates to oppose the mass breeding of pet animals, a view that the profitable breeding industry opposes."

When you walk pass petshops or farms showcasing those cutesy cutesy little puppies, have you ever wondered where they came from? They looked cute alright, but what about their parents? Are they in good shape as well? Did you know that most puppies won't display their defects, if any at all, until they're much older? Which is why petshops / petfarms they sell puppies at very young age, and as these puppies grew well into 5 or 6 months old, their pricetag is slashed by almost HALF.

Many purchase on impulse, while some others are just looking for an easy way out after being "sick and tired of going through rounds of so-called screenings and interviews just to adopt one dog". I do believe there are some that don't even know that dog shelters do exists. And many people that I know look down on people like me, who adopt dogs from shelters or someone else's home, because they think that people like me are cheapskates who only wants free dogs. I don't get a high out of boosting about how much I paid for purchasing my dogs simply because I know my dogs are priceless eventhough I got them for free (literally).

I shall share with you stories of how my dogs came to me.

Zen was result of an accident; a case of negligent by the 'shelter' owner who was housing a female cocker spaniel and a male mini schnauzer at that point of time. The lady 'claimed' to have not noticed that the female cocker was on heat, thus did not separate these 2 dogs while she was out. And then came the difficult labour 2 months later, where the female cocker couldn't give birth naturally. 'Shelter' lady only realised female cocker was in labour after she returned home from work (which was most probably about a few hours after the initial contraction started). Female cocker was rushed into a vet clinic for a C-section. There were 5 puppies, only 3 survived; the other 2 died of suffocation. I learnt about this 'shelter' from a forum friend of mine who goes by the nickname Dango. So after I gathered all the info, and made my way down to the 'shelter' located in Sembawang. And then it was love at first sight. The lady brought out 2 female puppies that looked almost identical, but my heart was already set on this one:

zen 1mth

She was the tiniest of the lot, and the one with the sweetest face I could imagine. Anyway, long story cut short, I paid a deposit to the lady and returned to collect the puppy 2 weeks later. Yes, I paid a sum of money. The amount was supposedly used to cover cost of the c-section incurred to the mother dog. But hey, I adopted a puppy from a 'shelter'! And she is all grown up now, to become the wonderful Zen that I know and love today.

As for Patches, I adopted her in Nov '07 from a family who has another female maltese. The reason that they have to give her up for adoption was because she couldn't get along with the other maltese and they always fight. Patches was also very shy and timid at that point of time, because she seldom leave the house. The previous owner, A, is a single mum with a young boy, and she couldn't spare enough time to train Patches. And Patches was not bought by her or anything.. She was handed over to A by another friend who couldn't cope with a very young puppy. So guys, please be nice to A :) Anyway, I could say that I got Patches for free because I only reimbursed the cost of her sterilisation to A. Even if I got Patches as unsterilised, I'd still send her for the procedure so it doesn't make any difference. One year down the road, Patches had became a much more friendly and outgoing dog. A vast difference from how she used to behave when I just got her. So yeah, I adopted her too.. And I was not even really looking into adopting a 2nd dog urgently. She came to me on the right time :)

Patches' first day at our home

I also want to address the issue on the myths about how adopted dogs are harder to train, and that shelter dogs are problematic dogs. Zen, a shelter dog, is really far from being problematic. I can safely say that she is actually by far alot more obedient than many other dogs I know. Patches, being and adopted dog, is now very much better trained than she used to be. She can be walked off leashed and her recall is good. No more super shy and timid dog, Patches now allows strangers to pet her and she would initiate to go over to sniff them.

Back to the topic, I always believe in this term of 'No Demand, No Supply'. No demand of those cutesy puppies you see in the petshop, therefore no supply from those backyard breeders / puppy mills. Perhaps many had chosen to ignore the fact that they are directly / indirectly supporting these puppy mills buy purchasing a dog from the petshop (no matter how reputable they are). You don't know how these dogs are treated behind closed doors. Next time you walk pass a petshop, think of the puppies' poor parents. Being used as breeding machine, churning out litter after litter, heat after heat. Worst is, parents with bad genes passing down defects to those poor innocent puppies.

Adopt is a better option. Give these animals a chance, they deserves to be loved just like any other dogs too.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for joining my fight against puppymills!

I've added you!

Twinkle a.k.a Chicken Little said...

Hi Auntie Nat, thanks for sharing. Im so glad that Zen & Patches met you & have a lovely furever home.

Extra slurpy licks,

Bae Bae said...

I'm so glad that Zen & Patches are with you now.
There are no problematic dogs. Only problematic hoomans.

And puppy mills are evil..

~ Bae

Emma and Emmy said...

It is so nice to know your story. For sure, you guys have a wonderful kind heart mommy.

Thanks for hard work on fighting the puppy mills.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know any more about the Fl. puppy mill bust? Jacksonville?