OPINION: Adopt, don’t shop!

By Holly DuBose

Everyone knows Petland, but everyone does not know where their animals come from. 99% of puppies at stores come from puppy mills. By shopping at pet stores like Petland, customers are supporting puppy mills all over the country and contributing to the distress and grief of the parent dog.

The definition of a puppy mill is an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane. For example, a family buys a Golden Retriever from Petland. Before adoption, that puppy was born into a puppy mill, from a mother who will have to be bred until they can no longer conceive puppies.

Dogs are forced to have puppies at a young age and are kept continually pregnant. That will be the mother dog’s job for the rest of her life; living in poor conditions until she dies or does not become “useful.” She may even die in the cage she gave birth to her puppies in. The Golden Retriever puppy is then taken from the mother dog and brought to Petland. He is put into a small cage with the only playtime being with those who are unaware and uneducated of the past life of that puppy.

The only purpose for puppy mills is money. The care of the animal is not important to mill runners, as long as they get their pay. Parent dogs rescued from mills are often very, very sick when finally rescued. On a daily basis, mother dogs die unable to fight off diseases and illnesses continuous breeding have caused.

Once at a birthday party held at Petland for my two friends, they were playing with a Shiba Inu puppy, as they were looking for a dog at the time. Their family was talking to them about him and how they liked him.

“I will give him to you right now along with a crate for $400 if you buy right now,” said the employee.

This disgusts me, just giving an innocent puppy away to a family they no background on. I volunteer at the Naperville Area Humane Society, and when a family wants to even meet with an animal, they need to fill out a background check card. No one can not tell by just looking at someone and not know if they will put an animal’s life into harm. No one can not tell if someone adopts a Pit Bull to only throw them straight into dog fighting.

In some cases, a puppy does not go to a pet store for multiple reasons. They could be too old to sell into pet stores or have health issues. In that case, they will be held back for breeding or killed.

Pet stores across the country are using the term “adopt” to mislead customers into thinking that their puppies do not come from puppy mills. Some employees state that they only work with “USDA licensed” kennels and that all of their puppies have AKC (American Kennel Club) papers. These papers do not relate to the treatment, health, and temperament of the puppy, or the quality of the place the puppy came from. It only means that it is a purebred puppy. As long as customers continue to purchase puppies from puppy mills, they will continue to have a market. The way to stop puppy mills and prevent future puppy mill operations from happening is to adopt, don’t shop!

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