Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What is a Puppy Mill?

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed(and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken

A reader says,

"I personally will continue to support groups that spread the awareness of puppy

To which I am forced to reply, "and what pray tell, exactly is the "puppy mill" clamor to be against?" Is it the breeder who has 25 dogs of which 5 are retired seniors and neuters, 5 are being shown, 3 are being used for breeding, 2 are puppies from previous litters that were returned as adults and 5 are puppies in training. This breeder produces or used to produce one or two litters per year. Is that the puppy mill?

Or is it that breeder who has 100 or more and really is commercial in nature? With the majority of canines being bitches being bred, in whelp or nursing? Is that your puppy mill? After all they actually raise and sell puppies as a cash crop. When did it become illegal or immoral to earn a living doing something you actually enjoy doing?

The real rub comes when the "anti-puppy mill" bill that calls for a limit of 50 dogs is passed and then a couple of years later that limit is quietly lowered to 25 dogs and the following year is lowered to 10 dogs and the next goal will be 5 dogs and finally the true goal is reached. Zero dogs.

From asking for a legal definition of "puppy mill" I jump to this quote:
"Laws against inhumane treatment never bother those who do not act inhumanely."
To this I am forced to reply, "HUH?" And then I say please go back to
or how about

There is yet another problem with the word 'puppy mill'. The loudest squeaky wheel just happens to be H$U$ along with it's various minions. Their repeatedly stated goal for dog and cat breeders continues to be stop them all:

"Producing animals for sale is a greedy and callous business in a world where there is a critical and chronic shortage of good homes for dogs, cats, and other animals, and the only "responsible breeders" are ones who, upon learning
about their contribution to the overpopulation crisis, spay or neuter their
animals, and get out of the business altogether." - PETA, "Animal Rights
Uncompromised: There's No Such Thing as a 'Responsible Breeder'

One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP of Humane Society of the US, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Animal People, May, 1993

"Breeders must be eliminated! As long as there is a surplus of companion animals in the concentration camps referred to as "shelters", and they are killing them because they are homeless, one should not be allowed to produce more for their own amusement and profit. If you know of a breeder in the Los Angeles area, whether commercial or private, legal or illegal, let us know and we will post their name, location, phone number so people can write them letters telling them 'Don't Breed or Buy, While Others DIE.'" "Breeders! Let's get rid of them too!" Campaign on Animal Defense League's website, September 2, 2003.
Meanwhile, in the interest of speeding up the removal of our pets,

From July 1998 through the end of 2005, PETA killed over 14,400 dogs, cats, and other "companion animals" -- at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That's more than five defenseless animals every day. Not counting the dogs and cats PETA spayed and neutered, the group put to death over 90 percent of the animals it took in during 2005 alone. And its angel-of-death pattern shows no sign of changing.

How about this? A breeder is just that, a breeder. Makes no difference whether there is one bitch bred once in 10 years or 200 bitches who are bred every season until they are 7, a breeder is a breeder. To that you might add the adjective commercial, hobby, pet.

Oh, my! Now there is a call for defining those three terms. Well how about this? A commercial breeder is someone who earns their living breeding and selling dogs. Numbers don't count. A hobby breeder is someone who doesn't earn their living breeding and selling dogs.Again, numbers don't count. And that brings us to the pet breeder. The pet breeder breeds one or two litters over the course of the lifetime of one bitch and never does it again, because they just learned how expensive it is and just how much work is involved. Let us not forget that Snoopy was born at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm and that was originally considered to be a good thing.

This is just an interesting afterword:
Snoopy had been born and raised at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. His father used to run with hunting dogs, but would secretly run ahead and warn the rabbits. His mother is famous for her tapioca pudding, and in a 1990s Peanuts strip, came over on a World War I-era troopship to visit Snoopy and Spike, who had been ill with the flu. Out of all his siblings, Snoopy's brother Olaf was sold last. Before they were sold, Snoopy and his brothers and sister made a band and one by one each was sold. Snoopy's original owner was a little girl named Lila, who had to return him to Daisy Hill after her family moved to an apartment where dogs were forbidden.

I think it also shows us just how far down a twisted path leading to the death and loss of all our pets, H$U$/PETA has taken most of us. Pink Koolaide, anyone?


  1. Many commerical breeders are already regulated under the USDA.

    Sometimes I think the preoccupation with domestic animal breeding is a form of neo-Purtianism that infantalizes animals by denying that they can or should be allowed to reproduce.

    As a dog-hater of my acquaintance frequently reminded me, animals get a lot better treatment and publicity than the abused and foster children up for adoption in our country, or the homeless.

    It's easier to "speak" for animals and use them as tools to raise money because they won't contradict you or in turn accuse YOU of abuse. And all you need to do to silence real animal advocates is to accuse THEM of abuse in their turn.

    It's the perfect shell game.

  2. To quote the ASPCA: "A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs." It's not hard to agree on that, is it? And the USDA does a miserable job enforcing existing laws in many areas, regarding both human and animal well-being and safety. Not so hard to agree on that either. I agree that invasive over-regulation of pet ownership and reproduction is bad, but you lose me - and other reasonable people - when you gloss over the real abuses of some puppy mills and the failures of law and enforcement that allow them to exist.

  3. Anonymous10:37 AM

    I agree with AnnieG; there is a middle ground between the H$U$ and much of the content on this Blog. There ARE horrible conditions and there ARE puppymills that should be shut down and owners/breeders prosecuted. There IS animal cruelty and a blatant disregard as people dump off litter after litter of puppies at local shelters when spay/neuter was available low cost. Or worse, leave them on the highway.

    That being said, I have pomeranians. I have well bred, fluffy tiny bundles of joy. I went to pick her/him out of the litter, talk with the breeder and met the parents. I had the whole new puppy experience. I have bought pom puppies, I have rescued older poms and I have fostered 'highway puppies' for the shelter (and kept one of them:) My oldest is now 9 and they all have forever homes with me as they approach their golden years.

    We need quality breeders who sell healthy puppies, we need spay/neuter programs in rural counties like mine and we need public awareness programs that preach RESPONSIBLE ownership so the clueless masses will think twice before getting junior a boxer puppy with a 35lb pet limit at the apartment they rent, then dumping puppy off at a high kill shelter in 9 months.

    We need to work to ensure the kind, healthy, appropriate treatment of copanian animals no matter where they are or how they came to be...