Repeatedly, the argument coming from those against communities limiting sales at pet stores (where puppy mill animals are sold) is either, “There are no puppy mills,” or, “There is no proper definition of puppy mills.”
Really? So, this video is made up? It shows how these dogs live: matted hair (so bad some couldn’t walk or even move) and rotting teeth, and dogs screaming in terror and living every day in their own feces. So, all this didn’t happen, and these dogs are just props in Habersham County, Georgia? How can the pet store industry and the American Kennel Club (AKC) defend this?
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) sent their Animal Rescue Team to this horrific place and discovered more than 350 animals, mostly dogs, but also cats, donkeys, pigs, chickens, ducks, doves, bunnies, a horse, and an alpaca. The HSUS said the animals were living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions and were “in need of urgent veterinary care.”
The animals were transported to an emergency shelter to receive medical care. They will stay on the property as the case to remove them moves through the judicial process.
When asked about charges for the owners of the property, the HSUS said, “It’s an ongoing case.”
According to the HSUS, there are still 10,000 active puppy mills in the United States. There is no excuse for a single puppy mill to exist in a nation where more than half of all dogs share the bedroom with family members, and over 90 percent of pet caretakers consider dogs and cats members of the family. Americans are rightly horrified when we hear about the living conditions of dogs and cats in other countries, but nothing is done about what is happening in our own nation.
Here is the reality: Puppy mills are not only surviving in America; they are allowed to thrive. I don’t know why busts like this don’t happen more often. I do know why these places thrive: It is because they sell so many animals and make money. Animals are sold at pet stores, at auctions, and online. It must stop.
One of those channels for sales, pet stores, is now being blocked off in more than 200 U.S. and Canadian cities, where sales of dogs and cats at pet stores is prohibited. The AKC and the pet store industry (even at least one veterinary medical association, in Illinois) are fighting these laws.