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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.