When you walk by a pet store and see an adorable puppy or kitten waiting for a home, it can be tempting to go inside.
Nearly all of the pups and other animals sold at pet stores come from mills where they’re often abused and treated like baby producing machines rather than as loving creatures.
Next time you find yourself walking by a pet store and consider stopping, remember all the ways dogs can suffer before and after they get to the store.
In reality, buying pets is much more complex and controversial. Much of the controversy stems from the fact that many pets for sale come from breeders, the most well-known of those operating what are known as puppy mills. How can you be sure you’re not supporting animal cruelty? Here’s what you need to know.
- Nearly all of the dogs sold at pet stores come from puppy mills. What are puppy mills and Why are they so bad?
Puppy mills often keep dozens, or even hundreds, of breeding dogs in small, stackedwire cages for their entire lives, with little or no exercise, veterinary care, or human attention. The cages are typically wired to allow feces and urine to fall through.
Puppies are usually loaded onto crowded trucks when they’re about 8 weeks old and possibly exposed to other sick animals on the cross-country journeys to be sold. As for the parents of those puppies, they suffer a cruel fate as well. And when these breeding dogs stop producing puppies, they’re often discarded or killed
Many of these animals don’t have proper access to food and water
Research indicates that 90 percent of puppies found in pet stores come from a puppy mill rather than from a shelter.
- They’re For Sale, Not Up For Adoption
Responsible pet store owners sell products, not pets. Many larger brands team up with local adoption centers to showcase adoptable dogs and cats. Smaller pet stores are starting to jump on board, too, selling pet products and hosting adoptable shelter animals, instead of selling animals from mills or other dubious sources. If you see a high price tag on a pet, be wary!!!
- They Don’t Keep The Animals Clean
Do the animals have coats that look matted, wet or as if they haven’t been given a bath in a long time? If the owner isn’t worried about keeping a puppy’s coat clean or ridding it of fleas, it’s doubtful he’s paying much attention to the conditions from which they came
4. There’s a Good Chance That Pup Is Sick
Does the puppy or kitten in the window show symptoms like sniffling or sneezing? That could be kennel cough and it’s a sign she shouldn’t be out in the store with the other pets or interacting with humans. Kennel cough is a condition that could turn serious and the poor girl should be receiving medical treatment and proper care, not be on display for purchase.
Other diseases prominent among pet store puppies who come from mills include heart and kidney disease, epilepsy, parvovirus and mange. Pet store owners have been known to use antibiotics to mask the signs of these conditions in order to sell puppies.
5. The Cages Are Too Small
Pet stores often keep animals in tiny tanks or cages too small for one animal to fit inside comfortably, yet you’ll often see two or three animals stuffed inside together, much like in puppy and kitten mills. This is a sign the store is about profit, not about finding its animals good homes and humane living arrangements.
If you’re considering bringing a pet into your home, remember that purchasing from a pet store only helps to further the profits and continued business of mills. Instead, rescue a wonderful animal like these little guys from a shelter and you’ll have a special friend for life who’ll be eternally grateful to you for providing a good home.
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