Behind many of the world’s cutest faces could be a dark past. Puppy mills are very common, and there are thousands all across America. In these institutions, the profit made from selling the puppies are the main priority, even above the well-being of the animals.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (ASPCA) describes puppy mills as overcrowded and inadequate conditions for pets. Puppy mills do not provide the proper medical care, enough food or water, or adequate recovery time for mothering dogs. Female dogs are used for breeding at every opportunity, in which case the puppies are then taken away at the young age of eight weeks to be sold to various locations, such as pet shops.
Sasha Alcorn, advanced literary studies major with a minor in journalism and creative writing, agrees that the conditions of dogs in puppy mills are unethical.
“That’s awful, why would someone do that to an animal? It breaks my heart, they’re helpless animals, they can’t fight or protect themselves,” Alcorn commented. “I would have thought they would have shut those places down by now.”
These dogs cannot speak for themselves and need human help for the abuse to stop. The state of California recognizes this and has become the first state to ban puppy mills. According to CBS Los Angeles, any stores wanting to sell dogs will now have to work with rescue facilities.
This means that they will now have to sell rescued dogs, instead of ones they get from puppy mills. The ban also includes the sale of rabbits and cats.
“I think they were right to do that. I like that they banned those places because they [dogs]get neglected. They’re cute little puppies, and they deserve to be loved and cared for,” commented Christina Moyer, a religion major.
TODAY mentions that Governor Jerry Brown Friday passed this law to ensure better treatment of animals, and the ban will take full effect Jan. 1 of 2019.
The online news site also mentions that any store not abiding by these rules by 2019 will face a $500 fine for each pet sold.
TODAY also adds that this is a huge win for animal lovers and that the Humane Society and ASPCA are in full support of the ban.
Florida is also a state that has many strict laws, including laws on the selling of pets. Florida pet stores must give consumers background information on where the dogs come from.
According to the online newspaper, Miami Herald, the city of Miami is cracking down on pet store policies. The city is taking similar steps to California and are banning mass breeding facilities to sell animals, including puppy mills. Animal shelters and rescue facilities will still operate regularly, and this ban will allow more people to rescue since 99 percent of pets that are sold from pet stores are from places like puppy mills.
This choice was inspired by the 65 animal rights advocates that stood in front of commissioners and spoke out for the helpless animals. They shared stories about the life that pets go through in these conditions and shared videos of poorly kept dogs in puppy mills crying for help in much too small cages.
The state of Florida currently has no laws prohibiting the operation of puppy mills; however, maybe Miami will influence some changes for the rest of the state to get behind as well.