Imagine living with all 5 of your siblings in a 12’ x 12’ wire cage including a wire bottom. You’re barefoot. You don’t leave to go to work. There are no blankets if you get cold. There is nowhere to escape the rain. You don’t even leave the room to go to the bathroom. It just piles up on the ground below.
These are the conditions of a puppy mill. Some are nicer with a roof. Some even have a real floor. But none of them are a place to live.
The term “Puppy Mill ” is often used loosely but generally means a commercial dog breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis on profits above animal welfare and is often in substandard conditions regarding the well-being of dogs in their care.
It’s estimated there are 10,000 puppy mills in the United States. In those, there are more than 176,000 dogs kept solely to breed more puppies. A female will have 9-10 puppies every year. Sometimes for 7-8 years. The statistics released by the Humane Society of the United States are horrifying.
There are Puppy Mill Task forces across the country including the well-known Humane Society of the United States’ Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force and the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project dedicated to ending the cruel treatment often found in these facilities. There’s even a Facebook group Wisconsin Citizens Against Puppy Mills.
We received a call from a puppy mill who is voluntarily closing their doors. They are about 3 hours away, but called us because no other humane society in their area was able/willing to help. We told them we’d be there as soon as we could! We’re going tomorrow. We don’t know what we’ll find when we get there. All we know is there are 30-ish dogs who have only known life in a small wire cage and yearn to feel grass under their feet and know the softness of a couch. Have someone to scratch that itch just behind their ear that humans are so good at finding. Rub their belly in just the right spot. To feel the warmth that love brings.
Join us on Facebook tomorrow as we document our journey starting with loading the van at 7 am through the dogs’ safe arrival at the Bay Area Humane Society. We’ll even follow them on their path through adoption to finding their first real home.
Join us as we fulfill our mission of providing the best possible care for these companion animals.