By Kalee Brown | Collective Evolution
If you’ve never heard of a puppy mill, they’re sort of like factory farms, but for puppies. Have you ever wondered how giant pet stores get so many puppies? Well, they’re bred at puppy mills, where many dogs never see outside of a cage, let alone the light of day. The conditions they live in are terrible, and these mills operate all over North America in order to meet the demand for pets.
In truth, there are around 10,000 puppy mills in America, although this number is only a rough estimate; many facilities operate illegally, which is why animal cruelty within them is so common. Puppy mills vary in size, as the number of adult dogs kept to breed new puppies can range from five to over a thousand.
It’s not uncommon for any sick or aging dogs to simply get tossed aside at these mills. Dog breeders will often just leave them to die, or alternatively will shoot or kill the injured dogs themselves. People wonder why we have millions of dogs living on the streets, and end up euthanizing 2 million dogs every year in the U.S. alone; well, it’s in part because puppy mills breed too many dogs.
There are strict laws in other parts of the world against the mass breeding of dogs. For example, in England, there were only 5,000 dogs euthanized in 2015, which is largely due to the strict laws imposed on dog breeding. In England, dog breeders require a license for every single dog they breed.
Well, California is finally doing something to help mitigate this problem. A new law has just been signed banning all pet stores in California from selling animals that come from puppy mills. This law represents the first in America to take a stand against puppy mills, ensuring that pet stores start to work with shelters, rescue homes, and humane breeders.
California to Ban the Sale of Animals From Mills
Last Friday, Governor of California Jerry Brown announced that the state would be enforcing a ban on the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from mills. Those who break this law will be forced to pay a fine of up to $500. Puppy mills have a terrible reputation for perpetuating animal cruelty and representing the “secret shame” of the pet industry.
The Rolling Stones published a revealing report on puppy mills earlier this year, exposing just how cruel the secret world of dog factories can be. The article notes:
Given the duress in which mill pups enter the world and make their way to the stores – birthed by sick and stressed-out moms; snatched from their litters at eight weeks of age and loaded onto trucks for the hours-long drive to the next stop in the supply chain, puppy brokers; kept in a warehouse with hundreds of other pups, many of them sick with respiratory problems or infections of the eyes and ears; then again trucked with dozens of those dogs for the one- or two-day drive to distant states – it’s remarkable that any of them survive the gantlet, let alone turn up well..
President and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Matt Bershadker stated to Business Insider, “This landmark law breaks the puppy mill supply chain that pushes puppies into California pet stores and has allowed unscrupulous breeders to profit from abusive practices.”
“By signing this groundbreaking bill, California has set an important, humane precedent for other states to follow,” explained Gregory Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. “We commend Governor Brown’s signing of this lifesaving legislation to codify statewide what cities across California have already done to help put an end to the cruelty of pet mills.”
This marks an exciting step toward abolishing animal cruelty in North America. It’s fascinating that people take such strong issue with dog abuse in other countries like China when they still support the very industries that contribute to dog abuse in their own backyards.
The cruelty that exists within puppy mills is well-known, and many animals are subject to abuse or die as a result of these conditions, yet people continue to purchase animals from pet stores.
We say this a lot in our articles, and I’ll say it again: You vote with your dollar. If you don’t want to support this type of animal cruelty, then simply don’t purchase products or animals from conventional pet stores.
Help save a life by supporting shelters or animal rescue companies; these animals need your assistance!