Monday, November 28, 2011
As we begin Puppy Mill Action Week on Nov. 28, I would like to warn everyone not to put cruelty on their shopping lists this year.
The holidays are a busy season for puppy sales, and people need to know when they are unknowingly supporting a puppy mill.
Puppy mills are inhumane breeding facilities that produce puppies in large numbers. They are designed to maximize profits and commonly disregard the physical, social and emotional health of the dogs. The breeding dogs at puppy mills live their entire lives in cages, and the poor conditions cause puppies to have more physical and behavioral problems than dogs from good sources.
The best way to stop puppy mills is for consumers to stop supporting them. To find a puppy from a reputable source, visit your local animal shelter or rescue organization or find a reputable breeder and visit their premises in person to see how and where your puppy’s parents are living.
Again, the holiday season often sees many animals given as gifts; please ensure when considering this, that the recipients’ ability to properly care for the animal is also a factor. Too often animal provided as gifts are returned to your local shelter shortly afterward, as they were an unwanted gift or an inaccurate fit in the recipient’s lifestyle.
Your Onslow County Animal Shelter, located at 244 Georgetown Road in Jacksonville, has many wonderful missed breed and pure-bred puppies and dogs (as well as kittens and cats) waiting for their forever homes. You can also find may other local rescue groups, some breed-specific, at petfinder.org, www.petharbor.org and pets911.com.
Additionally, a checklist of good breeder characteristics is available at www.humanesociety.org/puppy. Responsible pet purchasing, adoption and ongoing guardianship takes effort; but it’s worth it to do things right and find the canine companion of a lifetime.
Remember that Puppy Mill Action Week is Nov. 28 to Dec. 4. Contact your local elected officials to support ordinances that ban puppy sales in pet shops and open market sales, and encourage your local pet stores to become puppy friendly by discontinuing puppy sales from puppy mills and signing the “Puppy Friendly Pet Stores” pledge through the Humane Society of the United States.
People who love dogs need to help stop them from being mistreated by encouraging responsible guardianship and making sure they aren’t supporting a puppy mill.
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