Sadly, many people are unaware of what a puppy mill is. If you ask a child where do puppies come from, most will say a store. Often, this misconception is not corrected leading to the continued growth of the puppy mill industry. We aren't going to shame you for not knowing or because you didn't adopt your beloved dog from a shelter, at the time, we didn't know either. Your pup is paw-fect no matter what. What we do hope to do is provide education on how you can help stop puppy mills and share our own personal stories regarding puppy mills.
Like many families, growing up, my family was not aware that there was a huge misconception on puppy stores. All we saw was a store filled with PUPPIES, how could that be bad, right? What we didn't pay attention to was the STORE filled with puppies, and how they were treated no different then clothing. We picked out a Maltese, and named him Max. My sisters and I immediately fell in love. But, unfortunately it didn't last long. We only knew Max for two weeks when he started getting ill. He spent a day in the hospital and passed away while he was there. The vet did an autopsy and determined he was from a puppy mill and inbred too many times, causing him to have kidney disease, heart disease, epilepsy and seizures.
My family was able to get our money back, but it definitely was not enough. As someone who has an absolute terrible memory, I remember fourth grade vividly for this reason. I wouldn't go to school for two weeks, and every time my mom finally got me there, I would tell my teacher I "threw up" in the bathroom to be sent home. I know it seems silly but I remember it distinctly and it changed my perspective on puppy stores. I want to share my story so every family doesn't have to go through this pain, and even more, the puppies don't have to go through this pain. Puppies shouldn't have only a chance of a long life in a cage or a short life in a hospital.
I decided to get a dog quite spontaneously. Though I had wanted to get a dog for about a year, the actual decision to get Nocci was made overnight. My friend recommended a website that connects future dog owners to breeders. Without researching the website, breeders or location, my boyfriend and I were off. Of course I knew the right thing to do was to adopt a dog, but I was uneducated on the puppy mill industry. I did not know that I was potentially feeding into a horrible business. About a month after getting my fur baby, I started researching the website and the location of the breeder. I found this article and video, and was devastated. The signs began to point to that Nocci was potentially from a puppy mill, not a breeder. At that point, there was nothing I could do except promise to give Nocci the best life possible and educate as many people as possible on what a puppy mill is.
How you can help
Pincause is selling beautiful pins that "symbolize the human/canine fellowship and our responsibility to treat dogs humanely and Stop Puppy Mills." The Puppy Pin is $5 and $2 from each pin will be donated to the HSUS' Stop Puppy Mill Campaign. We will be wearing our Puppy Pins proudly at the Strut Your Mutt Walk in NYC on October 7. Join our team! Here are some others ways you can help stop puppy mills.