Nearly 50 dogs were rescued from an unlicensed US puppy mill in Wisconsin last week, in a case described as 'large-scale animal cruelty'. The 35 adult dogs and 13 puppies, all yellow Labradors, were being kept indoors in cramped and filthy travel crates, and had no access to food or water. Sadly there were also a number of deceased dogs on the property too, for whom help came too late.
The raid was co-ordinated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, known as ASPCA, after a concerned resident of the area tipped them off.
“What we saw here is no way for a dog to live,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The puppies at breeding facilities are sold for profit, but many people don’t realize that their parents are often kept there for years, subjected to incessant breeding and usually lacking basic care and socialization, resulting in a very poor quality of life.”
Labradors are the most popular breed of dog in the USA according to the American Kennel Club, so the offspring of these prisoners would have made their owner an easy fortune. The owner has now been arrested, and the dogs are all now receiving medical care from the ASPCA. Each one will be rehabilitated and hopefully go on to a loving new home.
Puppy farms, as they known here in the UK, exist all over the world, both illegally and legally, licensed and unlicensed. It doesn't matter whether an establishment is operating above board however: the breeding dogs within have lonely, unfulfilling lives, and welfare standards are rarely enforced. You can avoid supporting puppy farms by never buying a puppy without its real mother present. This means avoiding pet shop sales, as well as cunning internet sellers. Buy from breeders who care about their dogs.
Featured image via ASPCA.