Did you know that Texas is home to 118 Puppy Mills? These puppy mills are large scale dog breeding operations that focus on the profits of selling puppies. This means that the care the breeding mother and father dogs receive is minimum so the breeders can maximize profits. Dogs are often left with medical conditions untreated, little to no human interaction and their babies are taken away from them at a far too young age - often sold to pet stores before their immune systems have developed.
So, what can you do to help end puppy mills?
The easiest way to help, is of course, always choosing adoption through a shelter or rescue. If you are looking for a particular breed, they are out there and resources like Petfinder.com can help you find your perfect rescue pooch!
Write to your representatives. Tell them how you feel about these large scale breeding operations and ask that they work to put more humane laws in place.
Contact your local city representatives about putting a retail puppy ban in place. In Austin, animal advocates spoke up and we now have a retail pet ban. Unless you are offering adoptions through a local non-profit, sales of pets are forbidden within our city limits!
If you suspect something with a local breeder, reach out to groups like Bailing Our Benji or the Humane Society of the United States (1-877-Mill-Tip).
Speak up against puppy mills! While these dogs do not have a voice, you do! Use it.
It's hard to look at our own pets and imagine the terrible reality of living life in a 2ft x 2ft kennel without exposure to the outside world. No cuddles on the sofa or treats. No love or kindness. Our pets are family and deserve to feel the warmth of a soft blanket and a fresh meal. Our pets rely on us to care for them. Today, we met dozens of amazing dogs, many of them are puppy mill survivors that were either too old to breed, did not produce puppies that the breeders could sell or simply those that were unknowingly purchased from a puppy mill. The Puppy Mill Awareness Day Austin Festival is one of those events that invites pet owners to show off their pups, but also one that invites individuals with a common goal of ending puppy mills together to work on the ultimate end goal of shutting these operations down.
Photos from PMAD Austin 2017