If you are an ardent pet lover, you must have heard or read somewhere about the puppy mill awareness day that is celebrated across the country. It is observed every year on the third Saturday of September month. This year, it is going to be on September 16. The aim is to make people aware of the filthy facilities in which dogs, mostly female ones, are bred specifically for giving birth to puppies. It motivates pet lovers to go for puppy adoption instead of buying one from pet stores, as the pet stores source them from these mills.
The idea behind celebrating Puppy Mill Awareness Day
The concept of having puppy mills came into existence and gained popularity after World War II. Because of multiple crop failures, farmers were looking for alternative income. On the other side, families who could afford luxuries were buying houses with backyards and were getting attracted to owning purebred dogs.
Puppy mills saw a boom when the USDA promoted it as a high-paying business and the government also supported it. It was apparent then that many farmers were encouraged to start puppy mills. As a result, the USDA itself is of the opinion that currently 2000 to 3,000 federally licensed commercial breeding facilities are functioning in the USA.
Puppy mills are a living hell for the dogs that are kept in closed and dirty conditions, only for the purpose of giving birth to puppies. They are neither fed well nor provided with any care to keep them healthy. Puppies born in such mills are sold majorly to pet stores which then sell them to pet lovers. Once the female dogs are found to be unfit for reproduction, they are killed.
In order to make people aware of this ordeal dogs go through and encourage them to adopt a pup instead of buying them from the store, National Puppy Mills Awareness Day is celebrated across the country.
Ways to celebrate the Puppy Mill Awareness Day
- Why not practice what we preach? You can start by adopting a shelter-seeking dog yourself instead of going to a pet shop to buy one.
- Adoption is not the only way. If it is not affordable or if you do not have enough time to take care of a pet, you can go ahead with donating to the institutes working for dog welfare.
- You can be vocal on social media about the cruel puppy mill practices. Catch the attention of the audience by creating images, articles, and info-graphics on the subject and sharing them on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
- There are various groups working to spread awareness about puppy mills. You can get in touch with them and arrange fundraising events for our furry buddies.
Some heart-wrenching facts about puppy mills
Various studies have brought forward the following shocking facts about puppy mills:-
- The female dogs in puppy mills are bred only for the purpose of giving birth to puppies. No care is taken for their health.
- Once not able to reproduce, these female dogs are put to death by shooting or drowning.
- Puppies bred in these mills are mostly malnourished and in bad health. They live confined lives, not being able to exercise for their physical well-being.
- Many times, the puppies from these mills have very tight collars that can hurt their necks.
- Missouri, Midwest U.S. has the highest number of puppy mills on record.
- More than 2 million puppies sold in the U.S. every year come from puppy mills.
- Around 10,000 puppy mills are working in the USA. But, barely 2000 of them or less hold the USDA license.
A few intriguing facts about puppies
While we raise our voices for the lives and welfare of puppies, let us take a look at some interesting facts about our little furry friends.
- The word ‘puppy’ has a French origin. It is derived from the French word ‘poupée’ which means a ‘doll’ or a ‘toy’. It was first used by Shakespeare in his play, King John.
- Puppies are born deaf and with no teeth. Also, all puppies are born with blue eyes. Their eye color changes slowly with age.
- The color and pattern of puppies’ coat changes with age. They are born with a single layer of fur. Once they shed it at around 4 to 6 months of age, the new adult coat that they develop can be of different colors and thicknesses.
- It is estimated that worldwide, around 1.2 million puppies are born every day. This is bigger than the birth number of human babies!
- Though very rarely, puppies can have identical twins.
Also Read: Pet Holidays to Celebrate with Your Pets
Know more about Puppy Mill Awareness Day
Want to find out more about this important day? Here are answers to a few common questions you may have:-
1. Are puppy mills legal?
There is a federal law in the United States since 1966 that regulates commercial dog breeding and so, it is a legal business. However, adequate amendments are still needed to make it detailed so that rules can be specified for the basic and humane care of puppies.
2. How many puppies are sourced from puppy mills?
As per records, more than 2.6 million puppies come from puppy mills every year. This includes both, direct selling to pet parents by the breeders and the purchase of puppies from pet stores.
3. What is done to the unsold puppies in pet stores?
Different pet stores have different ways to handle unsold puppies. Some stores may return puppies to the breeders; some discount them repeatedly till they are sold, while some other chain stores will send them to different locations where they are in demand.
To sum up
Puppy mills are just baby-making machines where the focus is only on a number of puppies bred. No care is taken for the health of puppies or their parents. In order to stop this cruel practice, it is required that we all participate in the celebration of Puppy Mill Awareness Day in whichever way we can. This is the least we can do for the welfare of our dear furry friends.