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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/3/16

Puppy Mill Mothers

Author 10457
Message Suzana Megles
Mother dog Feeding pups
Mother dog Feeding pups
(Image by humbert15)
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I am so glad that Michael Markarian of the Humane Legislative Fund (HSLF) wrote to us re a timely subject --Mother's Day and why we should think about mother dogs who languish in Puppy Mills. Should we only care about human mothers? Don't animal mothers deserve love and compassion? To the first question my answer is NO, and to the second my answer is YES.
In his letter-- he asked us to imagine a bitterly cold winter morning finding 40 dogs spread throughout a yard. They are in stacked metal crates with no bedding. Even though it was quite cold on this 2nd day of May in Greater Cleveland, I was adequately prepared for the small walk I made this morning to my neighborhood church for liturgy.
Within 15 minutes, I was in a warm church. But these poor dogs had to spend countless hours and countless days and nights in the intolerable cold without even so much as a blanket.
I often wonder how the USDA can pass inspection on a place of horror such as this. In my opinion, these circumstances alone should be enough reason to shut down this place from hell.
Obviously, the HSLF was there to rescue these dogs and Markarian notes that one severely matted dog was so weak that she collapsed from exhaustion after taking a few steps. A male dog was so hungry that he was eating his own wastes.
One mother dog was trying to nurse her litter. What a pathetic sight this must have been as it was a real challenge for her. She was covered in her own waste and had no food or water --no hope at all. Did she even have any milk to nurse her puppies with? But still she is
giving all her love and attention to her vulnerable puppies as any good mother would.
Where is this happening? This time the place is not mentioned, but Markarian states that these scenes of cruelty are all too common in puppy mills across the country especially in states where there are no laws to protect dogs kept in commercial breeding facilities.
Per Markarian "In those states-- law enforcement officers are unable to intervene in order to prevent this neglect and abuse until it rises to the level of animal cruelty."
How sad that stacking animal in crates in all kinds of weather and keeping the females pregnant ad infinatum isn't considered animal cruelty. It is too bad that Markarian's description of these places of horror doesn't seem to measure up to animal cruelty in
some of these states where:
".......'breeding dogs' are imprisoned in dirty, overcrowded cages and bred over and over, until they are simply worn out. Many of these dogs die without ever leaving their cages, touching the ground, or even feeling sunlight on their backs." What kind of people are so indifferent to this suffering?
If anyone should feel pity and concern, it should be human mothers-- but sadly, I don't believe that many do. Mothers out there- prove me wrong and write your legislators your abhorence re puppy mills. Ask them to support HSLF's animal protection initiatives to assure that dog mothers are treated with kindness and caring. Below are HSLF's initiatives to the USDA which-- if implemented, will change the horrible landscape of present day puppy mills.
HSLF filed a pettion with the USDA which they hope will create much needed changes and save lives. The petition urges the USDA to improve the standards of care for dogs in these breeding facilities by:
1. Eliminating the use of wire flooring in the dogs' primary cage space
2. Giving dogs access to an exercise space
3. Allowing dogs to be physically examined by a veterinarian at least once per year, including
a determination that breeding dogs are fit to endure pregnancy and nursing
4. Restricting the frequency of breeding
5. Providing dogs with constant access to potable water
6. Increasing the minimum cage space requirement so that dogs have adequate space
to move around freely and to stand on their hind legs without touching the top of the cage.
7. Requiring breeders to make reasonable efforts to work with rescue groups to adopt out
retired breeding dogs and "unsellable" puppies rather than euthanizing or abandoning the
These changes need to be made so that indeed one day these dear mother dogs can in fact have a Happy Mother's Day. They are due and deserving. However, I would hope that more people will find their puppies and dogs in shelters and hopefully, one day these places will no longer exist.

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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