Today is National Puppy Mill Survivor Day. It’s a day to remember all of the dogs that have been rescued from puppy mills, as well as those who never found their way out.
The Story of Tattoo
I rescued Tattoo (pictured after months of recovery) after he was picked up by Animal Control. They received a call that a wild animal had been hit. It was still alive but suffering along the side of a road. When AC arrived on the scene, they discovered it wasn’t a wild animal. It was Tattoo. He was so matted the AC officer couldn’t immediately tell which end of his body was his head. His nails were over four inches long, and he couldn’t walk. He hadn’t been hit, but he was suffering from severe neglect – the consequences of being a puppy mill dog.
The Life of Puppy Mill Dogs
Puppy mill dogs live very different lives compared to most dogs. They are kept either in small cages isolated from people and other animals or housed with multiple dogs in cramped areas forced to stand or lie in their own filth. They receive little or no medical care, and dogs are used to produce puppies that are then sold at unethical pet stores. When they are no longer useful, they are either killed or thrown away like Tattoo.
Puppy mills are more often driven by profits than the animals they breed, all the more reason the nickname is appropriate. According to ASPCA, there are about 10,000 puppy mills in the United States.
Life had been hard for Tattoo, but he was lucky, and it soon got very, very good. Unfortunately, not all dogs get this lucky. And even when they are rescued, many show signs of emotional trauma or suffer from health-related illnesses. Two things puppy mill survivors can do is be grateful to the person rescuing them and to love with their whole heart.
What You Can Do
Here are a few things you can do to observe National Puppy Mill Day and save the lives of countless animals.
1. Adopt, don’t shop – You will save a life while helping put unscrupulous pet stores/breeders out of business.
2. Stop the violence – Report abusive pet breeders or puppy mill operators to your local animal law enforcement agency immediately.
3. Spread the Word – Tell your friends, family, and coworkers the truth about puppy mills, and the pet stores they supply.