This video is so much cuter than the real thing.
Still, it makes its point.
Published and promoted on YouTube by the ASPCA, an organization that provides information on animal cruelty prevention and awareness, this short clip highlights one thing you shouldn’t be giving this holiday season: animals that fuel the puppy mill industry.
ASPCA’s website describes a puppy mill as “a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices”—and pet shop animals nearly always come from puppy mills.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are an estimated 10,000 licensed and unlicensed puppy mills in the United States, in total selling more than 2,000,000 puppies annually. (The Humane Society is also putting out a call to stop puppy mill shopping this holiday season.)
And puppy mills are problematic for new owners as well as for the animals because these pets are significantly more likely to suffer health problems due to ill breeding.
“Unlike responsible breeders, who place the utmost importance on producing the healthiest puppies possible, puppy mill owners disregard genetic quality. This often results in generations of dogs with hereditary defects, including dental abnormalities, eye problems and limb deformities. Legitimate breeders also put a lot of effort into giving puppies a good start in life by providing proper nutrition, veterinary attention and thorough socialization. Unfortunately, puppy mill dogs aren’t so lucky. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. The dogs don’t get to experience treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. To minimize waste cleanup, they’re often kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs—and it’s not unusual for cages to be stacked in tall columns. Dogs used for breeding often spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements, or indoors, crammed inside filthy structures where they never get the chance to feel the sun or a gust of fresh air on their faces.”
For more information, visit ASPCA’s official website, where you can share your story if you have adopted a puppy mill dog and learn more about another holiday hardship that a few of my friends are dealing with at the moment, the loss of a beloved pet.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise