Maya Michigan

Puppy Mills

This letter explains the horrifying issue of puppy mills, and why our future president needs to step in and handle this issue.

Dear Future President,

I have two very friendly loving dogs, Kensey and Aspen, which my family purchased from a licensed breeder. However, some dogs are not so lucky. Two million dogs are born in a puppy mill each year. A puppy mill is a place that breeds puppies in inhumane conditions. There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the US. Even worse, about 1.2 dogs are euthanized in shelters each year. And, some of this mistreatment is completely legal. Dogs deserve rights too, so why are we allowing this to continue? What effects do these horrible living conditions have on dogs?

Puppies living in these mills often are kept in tiny wire cages, sometimes stacked on top of each other, and usually get no protection from extreme weather conditions. Parent dogs are kept in cages at all times, not even let out to use the bathroom. Female dogs are bred almost every heat cycle, and when they no longer can produce puppies, sadly they are usually killed. This horrifying treatment of dogs needs to end, but unfortunately not many people are aware of this issue.

Very few people realize that their dog may have came from a puppy mill. According to the Humane Society “Almost all pet store puppies come from puppy mills.” and “Because puppies from puppy mills are more likely to have health problems due to poor care, many consumers are faced with significant veterinary bills or even the death of their puppy soon after purchase.” This should be a focused on issue, dogs don't deserve this. Would you want a person to be born with major health issues, so why are we allowing dogs to be?  According to the ASPCA, “Puppy mill puppies are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions including heart disease and blood and respiratory disorders.” Since the conditions are so horrible, the poor puppies are forced to spend the rest of their lives with major health issues, or be killed because of it. It’s not fair to those puppies, and it certainly isn’t right. Also, dogs are usually separated from their mothers at a young age at puppy mills. The ASPCA also points out, “Because puppies are removed from their littermates and mothers at a young age, they also often suffer from fear, anxiety and other behavioral problems.” Again this isn’t right treatment of those puppies, they don’t deserve this, and it's horrifying they are degraded in such a way that mental issues are common.

This isn't fair for either the dog or the new owner. If so much harm is caused by puppy mills, why aren’t there any laws regulating it? Well there are laws and regulations, but there are many loopholes, and a lack of enforcement. Supporters of puppy mills argue that since there are already rules and guidelines, that it isn’t a major issue. But according to the ASPCA, “The rules enforced by the USDA leave a lot of room for dogs to be severely mistreated. Dogs in American commercial breeding facilities can be kept in cages only six inches longer than the dogs in each direction—and these tiny cages may be stacked on top of one another. It's completely legal for these cages to have open wire flooring, and it’s fine to breed female dogs at every opportunity (not allowing their bodies to rest and recover between litters).” So the laws aren’t helping, because they are allowing animals to be treated in such a way. Mistreatment of animals to this degree is horrible, but it being legal is disgusting. How can it be legal to disregard “man’s best friend” this way?

Although there are some laws and regulations, that isn't enough. You need to close those loopholes, and crack down on inhumane treatment of puppies at these places. Pet stores should be required to purchase their dogs from responsible breeders, that sell healthy puppies. And, puppy mills that treat their dogs poorly need to be shut down. It is your duty to help the people of the nation, but now I’m asking you to do your duty to the dogs of our nation.

Thanks For Your Time,

Maya G