The puppy mill debate. Are they really that bad? Yes. They are really that bad.
In my 20-plus years in this industry, I have seen just about everything. I was taught by the best there was, Craig Allen, a man who knew this business inside and out. He was honored for his practices in the early 1970s before anyone was worried about puppy mills or how dogs found their way to pet stores.
Dog Patch’s reputation is hard earned. Craig spent thousands of hours on the road. I joined in nearly 20 years ago and learned the ropes. We drove all over. He showed me the worst so I would recognize the best; we met thousands of people.
We bought our dogs from great people who understood how to breed a dog not a mill. I will never forget the sights, sounds and the smells of the horrible puppy mills I saw. They scared me out of my mind.
I learned quickly how terrible greed can be. For pet store owners to say that it is difficult to define a puppy mill makes it clear that they do not know what they are talking about. They clearly have never seen, heard or smelled one. Many rescue workers could educate us about how the mothers are treated.
I’ve acted by doing what we do at Dog Patch—adopt out rescue animals. Yet, I’ve remained quiet here.
I’ve have worked with the Puppy Mill Project to help the City of Chicago and their effort to successfully pass their legislation to ban puppy sales and the same in Cook County. I have worked with the HSUS, too.
I think it’s time for our community to become educated, to look at what other communities have done, and to see what the courts have been doing. I think it’s time to make some tough decisions to prevent the kind of cruelty that can be associated with puppy mills.
Let the education and conversation begin.