Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oprah is a Dog Lover too

Everyone knows that Oprah is a dog lover. This past Friday she dedicated her show to puppy mills. If you are interested, you can read the entire transcript on the Oprah website. I'm going to provide a quick summary below. Bill Smith's description of a puppy mill is as follows:

"Factory farms where thousands of breeding dogs are kept in cages slightly larger than their own bodies. Underfed dogs feeding an industry of corruption and greed. Instead of walking on grass, they stand a lifetime on stretched wire flooring in cramp rabbit hutches. Instead of collars or bandanas, they wear rusted livestock clips in their ears or chains with USDA tags embedded in their necks. Undeserving of a name after eight years of service, a breeding female is often led into a dark cornfield and killed once she can no longer produce her young for market."

  • Bill Smith from Main Line Animal Rescue brought Oprah's attention to Puppy Mills

  • There are an estimated 10 000 puppy mills in the US

  • Young females are the most desirable to puppy mills, as they are baby making machines

  • Females can give birth up to 140 pups in their life time

  • Many dogs are "debarked" by metals pipes

  • These dogs live their entire lives in cramped cages - never even stepping on grass

  • Puppy mill pups are often unhealthy as they aren't bred for any good qualities and don't receive proper/if any veterinary care

Oprah will hopefully bring more attention to this horrible practice. Her site offers more information on pet adoption and finding a responsibly breeder. Buying from puppy mills and the pet stores that they feed only perpetuates the issue. During the taping of this show many of Oprah's staff adopted dogs from various rescues and shelters. If you are looking to add a canine addition to your family seriously think about adopting a pet from a rescue or a shelter. If you are still set on a puppy - find a responsible breeder!

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