Animal advocates celebrate Puppy Mill Action Week the week before Mother’s Day, from May 5 to 11 this year, but do you know what it’s all about? Puppy Mills are kennels for mass breeding baby dogs. They fall somewhere between dog factories and puppy farms. In these places, animals are treated as merchandise, their lives depend on their sale value. Puppies deemed worthless end up evicted, killed, or given to shelters that are already overcrowded with dogs in need of homes. Take this week to educate yourself on the subject and learn why these dog breeders need to be prevented from operating the way they currently do.
History of Puppy Mill Action Week
It all started many years ago. More specifically, about 15,000 years ago. Humans and dogs are more connected than we think. Our relationship makes up a very long history of acclimatization, mutual help, and transformation of the two species as a result of this coexistence. Archaeological evidence suggests that the first signs of dog domestication date back to the ice age, about half a million years ago. Primitive humans approached primitive dogs and both began to help each other.
Through this interaction, humans began to breed dogs and select puppies with specific characteristics. This is how many dog breeds that exist today were born. However, the modern era and industrial production model have degraded the animal breeding operation, exploiting animal lives like any other commodity. Dog breeding kennels have been around for thousands of years, but not like the Puppy Mill model.
The puppy mill industry is not pretty. The conditions in these kennels are degrading, especially for female dogs. They are locked up in small cages to breed and bear as many young as they can. The objective is to optimize space and material to generate the greatest possible profit from the lives of these animals. There are currently about 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. To raise awareness and stop this industry from running, the Humane Society of the United States created Puppy Mill Action Week, during which several actions are taken to change animal treatment laws and to close down puppy mills.
Puppy Mill Action Week timeline
Wolves begin to domesticate and the bond between humans and animals is formed.
A law is enacted that forbids the pulling of wool from live sheep to discipline labor in the nascent capitalist society after the enclosure of public lands.
Richard Martin, an Irish politician, and campaigner against cruelty to animals succeeds in passing a law in the English parliament supporting his cause.
The Humane Society emerges to combat cruelty against animals and promote a more humane society.
Puppy Mill Action Week FAQs
How do you tell if you are dealing with a puppy mill?
If the seller doesn’t know or doesn’t want to show the puppy’s parents, and if you don’t have permission to see the kennel, be suspicious. You’re probably dealing with a dog raised in a puppy mill.
Do puppies from puppy mills have behavior problems?
Yes, puppy mill dogs tend to be more skittish. They may constantly dirty the house and have compulsive behavior, but with care and good quality of life, they can be healed from the trauma.
How do you calm a puppy mill dog?
Puppies born in puppy mills have been confined their entire lives. The best recipe to reduce anxiety in these animals is to take them on long walks so that they spend their energy and trust you more.
How to Observe Puppy Mill Action Week
Sign the pledge
The Humane Society of the United States asks animal lovers to pledge not to buy anything from a store that sells puppies. Committing to this can decrease puppy sales, and eventually, put puppy mills out of business.
Support shelters or rescue centers
Shelters, and organizations dedicated to the rescue and welfare of animals, need all the help they can get. During Puppy Mill Action Week, they will be particularly active, so it is an ideal time to sign up as a volunteer or donate what you can at their fundraising events.
Spread the word and alert your community
Many people are unaware of what happens in puppy mills. Send messages to blogs or local newspapers and reaffirm the importance of the topic. Traditional advertising actions such as letters and pamphlets also help to spread the message.
5 Facts About The Puppy Mill Market
They supply almost 100% of pet stores
Pet shops are the main retailers for puppy mills and are essential to keeping them running.
Many Puppy Mills are illegal
Dog breeding kennels are permitted by the U.S. government, yet many illegal Puppy Mills are operating and distributing puppies to stores.
There is a national distribution operation
The puppies are bred in factories and shipped across the country, so they can be raised in the Midwest and shipped by truck to Southern California or Florida, for example.
Shipping conditions are inhumane
During these long journeys, animals can go up to 12 hours without food or water and are confined in a small space with little to no ventilation or hygiene.
Many puppies do not survive
Death is very high in all stages of the puppy mill operation, among animals with no sale value, or those who fall ill due to mistreatment, or even while on transit.
Why Puppy Mill Action Week is Important
It raises awareness
As the mass breeding operations are not known to most people, Puppy Mill Action Week is very important to raise awareness. You can do your part to put an end to this cruel practice.
It saves thousands of locked-up animals
Puppy Mills are like prisons for breeding dogs that are raised in the same inhumane conditions. The holiday has already saved thousands of locked-up animals, but much remains to be done.
It contributes to a more humane society
Animal rights advocates argue that the way we treat animals may have the same impact on ourselves. Closing puppy factories contribute to preventing the same violent logic from being applied to human societies.
Puppy Mill Action Week dates