It is very important to me that people consider adopting dogs instead of shopping in stores – the conditions that these pups are breeded under is just miserable.
There are so many dogs that need homes out there and this book told the very sad story of Sissy and uncovered truths about Puppy Mills…. my dogs are both RESCUE DOGS- Noel & Barrett rescued and now loved…
In the second book in the Viola Vincent Reporting series, 13-year-old Caitlin V. Nove embarks on a mission to rescue Sissy – From the time she first encounters the sick and skinny Jack Russell in the company of a rough, twitchy man at the local vets, Caitlin is fired up. She wonders why the dog is in such poor condition and where her pups are?
Seeking answers to those questions leads Caitlin to the grim world of puppy mills and gives her another reason to take to the keyboard. Viola Vincent is the pen name Caitlin uses to disguise her secret identity as a rookie reporter for the local paper.
I had some questions…..
Why don’t more people know about puppy mills?
Puppy mills don’t exactly advertise themselves – and for good reason. They typically keep breeding dogs in appalling conditions with little regard for their welfare. These dogs, confined to their cages for their entire lives, are just puppy-producing machines.
There are an estimated 10-thousand puppy mills in the U.S. Given the regular publicity about them in the media, it is surprising people don’t know about these places. Sometimes it is easy to turn a blind eye but, for the sake of the dogs, I urge people to open their eyes to the commercial dog breeding industry and choose not to support it.
How by adopting and not shopping are you helping with stopping puppy mills?
Puppy mills thrive because there is a huge market for designer dogs. Many people have come to view dogs as commodities and fashion accessories and celebrities posting selfies with their pets have helped promote certain breeds such as Pugs and French Bulldogs. While puppy mills are churning out dogs to fulfil the consumer demand, shelters are overflowing with dogs looking for homes and thousands who don’t find them are killed.
Adopting a pet is an act of kindness and compassion, an ethical choice. Buying a puppy from a pet store or online is fuelling an industry that exploits and mistreats animals for profit. It is a choice we all have the power to make.
Is there a certain state we see a lot of puppy mills in?
According to the American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) the highest concentration of puppy mills is in the Midwest, specifically in Missouri, but there are also high concentrations in other areas, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and upstate New York. Commercial dog breeding is very prevalent among Amish and Mennonite farmers.
Why are puppy mills bad? Can you explain in a sentence why we need to stop puppy mills for good?
Puppy mills are inhumane and exploit animals for money.
Dogs have co-existed with humans for tens of thousands of years. They have rescued us in the snow and in the wilderness, given their lives in the line of duty, prevented narcotics and explosives crossing our borders, assisted the blind and disabled and been our faithful companions. What does it say about us that we treat these loyal animals this way?
What can you do to stop puppy mills?
Do your research and learn about this industry and how to avoid supporting it. As a general rule, don’t buy dogs, or any animal for that matter, online or from a pet store and consider adopting or seek out a reputable registered breeder. Animal welfare organisations have a wealth of information on how to avoid getting a pet from a puppy mill as well as what you should do to prepare to welcome a new pet into your life.
How do you know if your dog is from a puppy mill? Are dogs in dog stores typically from puppy mills?
Puppies sold through pet stores are typically from puppy mills. California recently outlawed the sale of dogs from puppy mills in pet stores. Other states may follow suit.
Any other tips when it comes to having a dog in your life?
If you are thinking about getting a dog, make sure you have the time to give your pet. Do your research and make sure you get the right breed for your lifestyle. If you are less active, consider getting a senior pet rather than a puppy. If you do get a puppy, invest time in training. The habits a dog learns in the first few months of her life are foundational.
Local animal welfare organisations and councils have heaps of information on how to prepare to have a dog join your family.
What inspired you to write this book? What is your hope?
I am a dog lover and was vaguely aware of puppy mills but had no idea, until I began researching for the book, what a global issue this has become. The more I learnt about appalling conditions inside puppy mills, the more motivated I felt to shine a light on this issue. I wanted to open the eyes of the next generation to the existence of this modern animal welfare issue and help them understand they can positively influence change.
I believe it is particularly important because children typically influence a family’s pet buying decisions. Most children care passionately about animal welfare and I don’t think they would willingly support this industry by buying pets from pet stores and online if they knew about the conditions in which they were being produced.
I also strongly believe that children deserve to know what is going on in the world they are about to inherit – and its hugely empowering for them to know they can positively influence change in that world.
What other books are you working on?
Caitlin has a lot of ideas of other issues she wants to tackle and is already ear-bashing me about writing her next adventure – so watch this space!