Be a voice for those who canít speak
Thursday May 31, 2012 | By:Jennifer Lysiak, Reporter
LANCASTER- Being an owner of three dogs, I couldnít imagine discussing a better topic this week than animal cruelty. Unfortunately, animal cruelty exists and for many people, including myself, it is an issue that tears at the heart when you see or hear about somebody abusing an animal.
While some of us may turn away hoping that if you ignore the problem it will solve itself or somebody else will, the reality is that unless we all stand up for those who donít have a voice nothing will ever change.
Recently, I had a chance to learn about puppy mills, an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of dogs in this country. What is a puppy mill? A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.
What it comes down to it these dogs are prisoners who will never escape and a majority of them will never have a second chance for a better life. They are locked in small cages and freeze in the winter and bake in the summer. The females are bred over and over again and once they are no longer useful they are killed or eventually they just die from mistreatment. Often they are killed by being bashed in the head with a rock or theyíre shot. Sometimes they are sold to laboratories or dumped. They are often discarded by the time they reach five years old.
Can you imagine your dog being in this situation? It is a disgusting act and one that should be outlawed, but it is not. And while legislation is out there to improve care for dogs in these large-scale, commercial breeding facilities, aka puppy mills, it is still not enough.
What can you do? First of all, never buy a puppy from any pet store. Puppy mill pups ultimately end up in pet shops and by refusing to buy a puppy in a pet store and boycotting these stores, they will hopefully go out of business. In fact, do not buy a puppy from any place that does not allow you to see its entire facility and meet the mother dog.
This even includes Websites that sell pets online. Anyone can put up a Website boasting the highest standards of breeding and care, but you really have no way of knowing if what they are claiming is true. Responsible breeders will usually want to meet you before selling you one of their prized pups to be sure that he or she is going to a good home.
Also, a local grassroots organization called NYS Citizens Against Puppy Mills, is always looking for supporters and volunteers to help. If youíre interested in learning more about the organization visit www.citizensagainstpuppymills.org or from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 3, stop by at Canine & Co, 5952 Transit Road, in Depew, to take part in the event called, Dog Ní Suds. An event that will educate visitors on puppy mills and raise funds for NYS Citizens Against Puppy Mills. The day will include a range of activities and if you have a dog bring them out for a bath. Appointments are recommended, call 681-0063.
If you donít have a dog, well maybe it is time for you to adopt one. There will be several local rescue groups with many wonderful dogs up for adoption, because the key is as the NYS Citizens Against Puppy Mills would say, ďAdopt, Donít Shop.Ē