The Humane Society of the United States released its’ annual ‘Horrible Hundred’ puppy mills list back in May. I wonder exactly, what qualifications must an establishment meet to earn this prestigious award, and if they are so bad, why are they allowed to continue to exist? Where does the puppy mill dog fit in all this?
Our report describes terrible conditions that state or USDA inspectors personally witnessed, including a mother and her days-old puppies found in a dirt hole; a breeder who performed DIY ear crops and tail docking without veterinary training; and many breeders who casually describe “euthanizing” unwanted dogs with a gunshot to the head (HSUS, 2015).
I wonder what they didn’t witness.
Hmm- why is the fine for a simple meter ticket 50$? Maybe because it is a source of income for Uncle Sam? Huh- think about that.
There are two issues here, one often completely overlooked, though both are plain as day. Issue number one: the conditions are often unthinkable. Being a business major myself, let me point out the financial aspect here- the idea would be to produce and sell product at the maximum range (to enhance profits). However, it is simply too much of a financial drain, to medically treat and properly care for mass quantities of said ‘product’ (puppy mill dog)- it limits profits, and that is bad for business. The quality of the product produced doesn’t much matter in this case (as long as it appears sound)- it is often hard to tell, and by the time they reach the consumer, the breeders have made their money. If it were the population buying direct, things would be different.
After all- owners are not ‘buying direct from the factory’, no- they go through the ‘pet store’ intermediary, or even worse- order the puppy mill dog online. The pet store (complete bull shit- you would think a person who elects to open a pet store has an interest for animals over simple greed) isn’t going to tell the consumer “That one has health problems; you will end up spending hundreds just keeping him alive” (which happens, and often). No, they want to make the sale.
Should you buy from a pet store?
I am not telling you not to buy from a pet store; that is ignorant- those animals need homes just as any other. Realize, however, that you would be supporting the pet industry, and in turn these puppy mills, if you did- it is one of those nasty catch 22’s. You may want to know where the animal came from as well.
Puppy Mill Dog Overpopulation
As bad as this is, there is the second issue, maybe just as urgent. Regardless of the living conditions- they might be superb- the PUPPY MILL DOG IS BEING BRED TO BE SOLD WHILE MILLIONS ARE PUT DOWN BECAUSE THE RESOURCES FOR THEIR CARE DON’T EXIST! Dammit- you are breeding these dogs to die! Yes, the various Kennel clubs throughout America are also violators here, but perhaps just as necessary (read on). I could care less whether or not your intentions are to ‘preserve the breed’ or some such bull shit; you are still breeding dogs (knowingly contributing to the animal population) while maintaining the full knowledge that so many out there are homeless and dying. If you want to preserve the original lineage, breed a damn wolf; they are always facing number problems (but no, wolves can’t be easily trained to entertain us, so that would be pointless). These animals are not capable of solving the problem themselves; humans are interfering with a natural order, and then just throwing our trash out in the street.
Don’t actually go out and start breeding wolves.
Yet another variable to throw into the mix- despite the ethical issues, all the resources donated may not be available if it were not for the revenue dog shows/kennel clubs produce; another catch- 22. Though these ‘eugenics’ I speak of below could me immoral, they may be a very necessary evil.
The graph above displays the 2016 Proposed Financial Budget, In %. In case you can’t see, the entire Government entity that is the US Department of Agriculture stands at 4%, on both sides of ‘transportation’ at 2%. You can view the incredibly vague and contradictory White House budget here.
OK- am I missing something here, or being ignorant somehow? Because that sure seems like the equivalent to a baby boom in a Nazi Concentration Camp during World War Two.
Now, you may bring up the argument of ‘Show Dogs’. Your not breeding to sell the animals, but trying to produce/enhance desirable traits for entertainment, so it must be fine. Hmm- didn’t a man named Adolf Hitler attempt something similar? Seems a lot like eugenics to me. Yup- it actually meets the definition to a T.
In my mind, this is final; there is no grey area- you eliminate the population/shelter issue first. “But the AKC (example) does a lot to help shelter dogs” you say. Yes, I agree, they do- I might understand the extent to their efforts better than many. And I am sure many of these Kennel Club handlers are just as concerned with animal care as I. However- and think about this here; Disney does not contribute millions to various charities because they want to help; they do it because it enhances their image, and is good for business ( which is, in fact, why you will notice just about every single one of these international corporations donate).
#3- What Can Be Done for the Puppy Mill Dog
Which brings me to my third, and final, point. This one focuses on the reasoning why we don’t have the resources needed. The allocation and distribution of funds nationally is controlled by our Congress (sometimes decisions are made under the collaboration with the President, or he simply countermands decisions made by Congress- in the case of President Bush). Considering the proposed DOD budget for 2016 is roughly 600 billion, not to mention all of the (Billions of dollars in) wasteful government spending in other areas- we most certainly have the resources to not only increase the laughable 140 individuals nationwide currently employed by the USDA to oversee animal welfare (just one of many responsibilities these 140 individuals are entrusted with), but also to increase funding for animal shelters, finance government raids on mills (it actually costs more than you would think, especially if you wish to keep the animals alive afterward, and not just kill them all), etc.
On a side note- I mean, really, what are we doing with the 18.5 billion dollar NASA budget here? What is the benefit of finding minute
microorganisms on planets so far away we will never actually touch them? Please, tell me, because I don’t see how landing on the moon impacts anything. I must just not be seeing the whole picture; I would assume our own natural resources would take even a close president, but perhaps not. Maybe we will be prepared next time Aliens invade from outer space. Or we are simply such an arrogant country we wish to remain the world’s leader in space exploration.
The money required to all but eliminate these puppy mill dog problems- I assure you our government is very aware of- is not allocated to areas necessary because they are not high on the list of Uncle Sam’s priorities. This is impacted by public opinion- if there were to be a drastic shift here, the many committees that make up Congress would shift resources. I won’t even get into the outrageous sums used up in overseas operations during the past 30 years (having served myself, I think I have the right to complain).
Our government spends money (note the extreme irony) we don’t actually have to try and rectify problems halfway around the world that- and here is the kicker, 100% WOULD NOT EXIST at all if we did not interfere with foreign politics so many years ago. This rant is for a different time >if the subject interests you<. Who else but America thinks it is a good idea to solve wars with other wars? I can’t stop thinking of the movie ‘Lord of War‘ with Nicholas Cage, and how much truth there really is behind the story.
America continuously makes the exact same mistakes, giving people power they didn’t earn, and don’t have the maturity or responsibility to handle. Human beings are greedy by nature; it is like giving a million dollars to an eight year old child and expecting him to make wise investments It isn’t going to happen.
Now, what do we have? Well, despite all the money that was thrown at it, the Middle Eastern economy is possibly worse off then it has been in decades, a terrorist organization has grown so big they have become a self-sustaining influential power in their own right (also would certainly not exist were it not for America), and more debt.
All the while, we forget about the puppy mill dog, and the unthinkable conditions he calls home.