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Puppy Mills: What they are, ways to work against them
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    http://furever.ca/kismutt-rescue-ctv-news-report-on-case-against-amish-puppy-mill/

    I've been following the above case for several months, not only because I hate mills, but it's only a hour from my home. Basically, these people are from the Millbank, Ontario area, an area that has a high Amish population.

    They have been operating a small mill, about 30-40 dogs I believe, out of their barn. Of course, the Amish don't believe in electricity, which means these dogs have been exposed to harsh winters and extreme summers. Nothing more than breeding machines to these people.

    They were finally discovered and were charged for animal cruelty, by the township. To make a long story short, the wife plead guilty to all charges(of course saving the husband any shame, he got off pretty much clean). She got two years probation, a 7500 fine, can't own more than two dogs for the next two years, and breeding license revoked for two years. Sort of a slap on the wrist, not to mention the husband is pretty much free and clear!

    To add insult to injury, I just found out that their dogs will be sold on the open market, including all their Amish neighbors!

    So I ask the township, why even bother?! How much money was spent in prosecuting this case, only to give them a slap on the wrist, and the dogs, after all of this, will be right back to HELL!!!

    Sorry, maybe more of a rant, but this really pisses me off!!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    So sorry about this. The dogs should all be confiscated and put into rescue where they can get a good long bath and learn what it is like to be in a home that cares about them.

    Hate these puppy millers. >.<

    I wish people would stop buying puppies from it then they'd eventually stop.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • OK- here is some news- USDA closes internet loophole.
    http://dogingtonpost.com/usda-closes-internet-puppy-mill-loophole/#.UjH9ZGLnaZM


    YAY!!!! While "USDA regulation" does not truly guarantee no puppy mills (too few inspectors, inspectors who overlook offenses, fines that are mere slaps on the wrist, etc...) nevertheless, FINALLY, internet sellers, BYB's with more than four "breedable" dogs, mail order breeders, etc.. will have to register, pay fees and be inspected!
  • OK- here is some news- USDA closes internet loophole.
    http://dogingtonpost.com/usda-closes-internet-puppy-mill-loophole/#.UjH9ZGLnaZM


    YAY!!!! While "USDA regulation" does not truly guarantee no puppy mills (too few inspectors, inspectors who overlook offenses, fines that are mere slaps on the wrist, etc...) nevertheless, FINALLY, internet sellers, BYB's with more than four "breedable" dogs, mail order breeders, etc.. will have to register, pay fees and be inspected!



    Actually, this is really bad news for reputable breeders who are going to be hurt more than the mills by this change in USDA regulation. We've been talking about it a lot on the Nihon Ken side. Shipping dogs is not the problem, nor is having four or more breedable dogs (that mean, you understand any dogs who are not spayed, regardless of whether the person is breeding them or not). And the inspections by the USDA are usually useless. This will be very difficult to enforce and is more of a burden on good breeders than it is on puppy mills.

    I think the USDA was pushed between the money from the commercial breeders (who obviously don't want to be shut down) and the HSUS who are agains ALL breeders. The people caught in the middle, who don't have the money for lobbying, are the hobby breeders. :(
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I'm not too happy about this as it'll be bad for rare breeds or actual good breeders. :(

    This talks some on it's negative sides.
    http://tyrannyandliberty.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-usda-pounds-nail-into-coffin-of.html

    I plan to read all the rules and text eventually, but it is darn long! On Nihon ken forum they have some pretty interesting things pointed out from it, but I thought I'd post this article too.

    I think even average dog owners should read all the pages on this as some think this is great, but to me it isn't puppymills will still make millions. This does nothing for pet shops which sell puppy mill pets.

    APHIS pissed me off with crap they've done to wolf park in Battleground IN! Jerks.

    I took to long to type. haha shibamistress beat me to.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2013-09-12 16:15:47
  • But reputable breeders do not sell their dogs online, so they wouldn't have apply for a USDA permit, correct? I have not read the actual bill or law and they don't give any detailed information in the article. I also saw this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/10/online-puppy-mills_n_3899999.html

    Which says "Sellers either must allow buyers to see animals in person before they purchase them or obtain a license and be subject to inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service." " 'People who have generally been thought of as `hobby breeders' continue to be exempt,' Shea said." Again have not read the actual law, but it seems if reputable breeders only sell to people who go to see the puppy and do not have a website with a "buy" button, they would be exempt.
    Post edited by Rhondabee at 2013-09-12 17:25:41
  • Here is the actual link to the bill (I think) - confusing. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s395#overview

    But the two bills of the House & Senate, HR 347 and S 395 have not been passed. Are the bills different than the USDA regulations? I thought the USDA regulations would be based on passed laws? Further research on USDA website :

    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003-0001 I assume this is what they are talking about.
    Post edited by Rhondabee at 2013-09-12 18:01:40
  • Here is th discussion on the nihon ken forum.

    http://www.nihonken.org/forum/index.php?p=/discussion/8794/dog-breeding-usda-crack-down-goes-into-effect-today#Item_93

    To be honest, the discussion itself is a bit rambling and not totally clearly laid out (some posts quote a draft, some the real thing, there is no citation and stylistically not enough is done to visually distinguish the actual rule of law from editorializing) but it does include links to the legislation itself.

    The legislation very generally speaking, is written poorly, which allows a wide ranging interpretation of its contents. It can be utilized to help with prosecution and increases legal repercussions for puppy mills, but it also leaves hobby breeders vulnerable to prosecution due to its vagueness.
  • Okay, finally, link to faq sheet on the regulation for anyone interested. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2013/09/pdf/faq_retail_pets_final_rule.pdf
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    This is a good one on it.
    http://boxers101.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-new-usda-regulations-and-how-they.html#comment-form
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Thx Saya... A pretty nice summary of this issue. While I still don't completely understand all of this, the link makes things a bit clearer.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4785
    Hobby breeders are those with less than 4 breeding females of ALL species, not just dogs. How many breeders do you know who have only 4 females (including puppies and retired females?) Lets say I want to give my breeder a puppy back instead of a stud fee. She is about an hour from me, so I send the puppy with a friend breeder who is going north to save me a trip. That's not allowed with this legislation as it is "sight unseen" and considered "brokering" and I would no longer be exempt as a hobby breeder. Kind of stupid if you ask me...
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Rhondabee said:

    But reputable breeders do not sell their dogs online, so they wouldn't have apply for a USDA permit, correct? I have not read the actual bill or law and they don't give any detailed information in the article. I also saw this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/10/online-puppy-mills_n_3899999.html

    Which says "Sellers either must allow buyers to see animals in person before they purchase them or obtain a license and be subject to inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service." " 'People who have generally been thought of as `hobby breeders' continue to be exempt,' Shea said." Again have not read the actual law, but it seems if reputable breeders only sell to people who go to see the puppy and do not have a website with a "buy" button, they would be exempt.



    And of course, some people do buy puppies sight unseen from reputable, ethical breeders. I always go and pick up the puppies, but a lot of people do not or cannot. They may still be coming from a reputable breeder, though. If you don't go and pick up the dog yourself, then suddenly they are no longer "hobby" breeders.

    This also makes things very difficult for people who are importing dogs, especially rare breeds (not the Shiba, obviously). And what about people who breed more than one type of a dog? They can still do that and be good breeders. A breeder I know breeds two breeds, so has more than the 4 "breeding females" and would suddenly not be a hobby breeder. Or, even worse, as Lindsay notes, the "breeding females" don't even have to all be of the same species. :(

  • The bills are different from the USDA regulations. The USDA policies here are not about law; it's about enforcement by the agency that's already granted the power to oversee commercial breeding. The bills that are going through the house are a different thing.

    It is very sad, after all the energy that went into the open commentary period, all the voices that tried to explain to APHIS why they're doin' it wrong, that they did not appear to acknowledge many legitimate concerns from ethical breeders and rescues and many others who piped up. Recommending that breeders can keep themselves in line by "joining the club" as USDA breeders is absolutely BS. If anything, our discussions on this forum should reveal just how poorly the USDA acts on behalf of companion animals. I really question their motives and the short-sightedness of their actions.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • After reading everything, I don't think the new regulations help much at all, except to deter maybe some larger BYBs. In fact, most of the puppy mills selling online are already USDA licensed, so what does this really do? However, does anyone think the USDA is going to be enforcing these new rules unless someone actually complains about the breeder? They don't seem to do very much enforcing of rules as it is (as Curlytails pointed out). I think if this does force some hobby breeders to be licensed by the USDA, it will make it that much harder for the public to determine the difference between commercial breeders and hobby breeders. It is all very frustrating.
  • Rhondabee said:

    After reading everything, I don't think the new regulations help much at all, except to deter maybe some larger BYBs. In fact, most of the puppy mills selling online are already USDA licensed, so what does this really do? However, does anyone think the USDA is going to be enforcing these new rules unless someone actually complains about the breeder? They don't seem to do very much enforcing of rules as it is (as Curlytails pointed out). I think if this does force some hobby breeders to be licensed by the USDA, it will make it that much harder for the public to determine the difference between commercial breeders and hobby breeders. It is all very frustrating.



    This is kind of my take on it. And otherwise good breeders could also get in trouble if they decide not to comply if someone complains, and sad to say, the dog world is full of enough petty people who might post a complaint against a good breeder just to get back at them.

    Overall, I think this is pretty useless.
  • I'm writing an essay about the puppy mills and was looking back for the information on the study I noted in the first post about the ways dogs suffer mentally from the mills. I found this link, which looks quite useful:

    http://nowisconsinpuppymills.com/mental-health.html

    In addition to having the USA Today write up of the study (the link in the first post no longer works) it has other resources as well for those with mill dogs. I'm still trying to find a link for the entire article on the mill dogs, but haven't found it yet. If I do, I'll post it. Ok, I found it, in the May 15 issue of 2013 in the AVMA's journal, and it's pretty pricey to get access to. However, if anyone has a membership, the link is here: http://avmajournals.avma.org/toc/javma/242/10.

    Here's another link to the story, which very briefly describes the methodology: http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/current/2013-05-16/latest-news/penn-vet-study-finds-pet-store-puppies-come-increased-risk

    And I found a pdf version if anyone is interested, here: http://www.fawavizslas.com/Files/Other Files/JAVMA Article on Behavior on Puppues from commercial breeders vs non-commercial breeders.pdf

    I found it especially interesting that the study suggests that one of the problems is that mill dogs suffer an inordinate amount of stress in the critical prenatal period and the first 8 weeks of life. The researchers hypothesize that the stress hormones from the mother dog may " causes alterations to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of the developing fetus that may manifest later in life as an impaired ability to cope with stress, abnormal social behavior, and increased emotionality and fear-related behavior." In addition, they talk about how at certain periods in the first 8 weeks, puppies are so susceptible to stress that one frightening incident can effect them for life. Imagine, then, the damage puppies suffer while in the mills.

    It's a good article, and while it is a limited study, of course, it certainly raises a lot of possible reasons for the kind of behavior that may show up in mill dogs.

    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-10-03 02:58:54
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Very nice links...thx for sharing.

    Just to go back to the very basics, I agree that laws, in regards to mills, fall far short of what is necessary to raise healthy, well tempered and socialized dogs. In fact, they do nothing to this effect. Yes, it's great that they require bigger cages, clean facilities and the like, but this does nothing in regards to socialization, and the mental anguish they must suffer.

    It's been pretty clearly found that the most critical socialization period(in dogs) starts at four weeks, and lasts until eight weeks(MOST critical period). This is the time they will explore without fear of new things, and the more you can introduce them to, the better. So pups raised in mills are missing this MOST critical period and, of course, will be more fearful, even if homed at eight weeks. And if unhealthy to begin with, I think we all know the results.

    So unless puppy mill laws include certain standards to the socialization the pups receive, I don't really see how even the minimal requirements will be sufficient.

    I'm really impressed that you are writing and essay on this, and hope we will be able to read it once done. Are you going to post it on your blog? Can't wait!!

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • it's true about socialization. i was thinking this was the most critical thing effecting mill puppies (beyond other health issues I mean) that they miss this critical socialization period. So that's what I was looking for. But it turns out, they believe that that that is only one problem, and that some of them are going to have problems from birth, which is really horrible. Reading this just made me realize that there is really no change of getting a completely healthy and well adjusted dog from a mill.....:( Which I thought before, but it was worse than I imagined.

    Yes, I will probably post the essay on the blog. It's really more about Bel, but since I want it to work as a stand alone essay (not just a blog entry for people who are familiar with these issues) I needed to say more about the puppy mills. Hence the research.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Sorry shibamistress ...wasn't trying to dismiss the prenatal stress issue you had commented on. I should have made it more clear, and thank you so much for making us aware of this issue. So very interesting that the stress is passed down before the pups are even born!!

    Good luck with your continued research!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Kobe1468 said:

    Sorry shibamistress ...wasn't trying to dismiss the prenatal stress issue you had commented on. I should have made it more clear, and thank you so much for making us aware of this issue. So very interesting that the stress is passed down before the pups are even born!!

    Good luck with your continued research!



    No worries--I didn't take it like that at all. :) I was just kind of thinking out loud, how like you I expected to find more problems re: socialization (which is also a huge problem!), and then this other thing shows up in addition!

  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I'm curious, did any article ever touch up on whether or not a puppy mill dog would be able to become 100% normal with good care? Or will there always be lasting negative qualities for the dog(s)? I think I know the answer but I'm curious as to whether there were studies.
  • I'd like to know that too, amti, but haven't seen it any articles. I think this one was unusual anyway, in that there are very few studies that compare dogs from good breeders with dogs from mills. It's obviously not a popular subject in terms of funding, and what studies get done are so much about funding. This one was funded by the Best Friends Animal rescue folks, which is probably how it got done at all.

    I would guess, though, that there are always lasting negative effects. That doesn't mean that people can't help a dog with a lot of love, training and behavior modification, but I suspect it is much, much harder with dogs that have such problems already. And of course the longer they've been in the mill the worse it would be, and I suspect some breeds handle it worse than others, though all have negative effects. Certainly I've seen a huge difference in behavior and health in a mill dog vs. dogs from good breeders with good early socialization and care.
  • @amti I think it comes down to defining "normal". Certainly mill dogs can grow up and have happy fulfilling lives, with some love, support, and luck. Especially if the owner can shield the dog from things he/she hasn't learned to deal with.
    Will they act the same way as a carefully bred, raised, socialized, and trained dog in every situation? In my experience sometimes yes, but often no. But can mill dogs be wonderful companions? Absolutely.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Yes, I agree. It all depends on the dog and the dog's level of wanting to trust and believe. I've never had a mill dog, but growing up, we had three dogs from pounds. They all had issues, but with patience and love, they began to trust and became wonderful companions. They learned to forget a lot of what happened in their earlier life but some things they just did not forget. Now that I'm older and have had full care of some dogs, I see the differences are plain and clear on those I have gotten as adults that have not had the best upbringing and those I got as puppies. I'm sure my adults were not mill puppies, but they were not in favorable environments. The two I got as puppies are very happy-go-lucky. Fear was not in their lives. They trust without doubt and are very happy, cheerful souls. My adults were very cautious and not as ready to trust. Trust had to be earned and once that was given, it was very sweet. Both my foster and Taisho, my CL Shiba, have issues that will take time, but I believe they will resolve themselves over time and with care. I just cross my fingers and hope that the time doesn't take too long.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    It's such a shame that puppy mill dogs are not an important enough issue to warrant research. They are dumping a lot of money into researching shelter dogs(don't get me wrong, it's a good thing). But let's face it, where are so many of these shelter dogs coming from. Maybe put some effort into the source of the problem to begin with. Uh...my bad, w/o mills, shelters might go out of business! My bad again, they will always have the BYB's.

    Unless Mills are exposed at a mainstream level, I really don't think we will see much breakthrough research on mill dogs. They are sort of an 'ugly secret'. Too bad!

    For now I think we can only go on the extensive research regarding issues like socialization(or lack of), and the research that sort of trickles in, like prenatal stress.

    In any event, I agree that all dogs are individuals, and some mill dogs will do better than others. Will they ever be normal...I doubt it.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Another puppy mill story. Nothing new here, but it's a good concise explanation of what a mill is, and how a puppy ends up at a pet store, and what happens afterwards, written by a vet:

    http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/from-puppy-mill-to-pet-store-a-veterinarian-follows-a-young-dogs-journey?WT.mc_id=cc_yahoo

    sad, too, since the puppy in question had to be euthanized.
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-10-11 17:55:52
  • Here's a link posted in another thread, which is related to the study above (JAVMA article) on puppy mills. This is particularly good, because they are talking about the study, but also are talking about strategies for helping mill dogs:



    Thanks to staticnfuzz for finding this!
  • And here's another one from staticNfuzz. Thanks! I'm reposting them here so we have a lot of resources in one thread.

    Video link:
    http://www.maddiesfund.org/Maddies_Institute/Videos/Physical_and_Psych_Issues_in_Mills_and_Hoarding.html
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    It's a great video! A must watch!!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Good, if sad, article from a vet who was fired for refusing to sign health certificates in Florida. http://www.local10.com/thats-life/veterinarian-fired-for-refusing-to-work-with-puppy-mill-broker/-/1716786/23353960/-/item/0/-/cwpbpl/-/index.html

    eta: relinked it to first page. Thanks Kiba!
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-12-08 22:57:33
  • Kiba0713Kiba0713
    Posts: 259
    ^ That link opens up to the second page of the story, so scroll back a page, but yeah. That article made me mad. :(
  • Here's another good article on what the differences in costs between mill dog and reputable breeder might be, and what you're getting for the difference in price:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/allenstjohn/2012/02/17/how-much-is-that-doggie-in-the-window-the-surprising-economics-of-purchasing-a-purebred-puppy/
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    ^very good article. I hope that all prospective owners will read and consider.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Good blog post on what a puppy mill is (not necessarily what you think!) and about commericial breeders in general.

    http://rufflyspeaking.net/redefining-the-puppy-mill/

    The whole blog is very good, btw.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Another great read!

    I must admit that I get caught up in the whole 'puppy mills are filthy horrible places hidden in the backwoods...out of sight, out of mind' type places. These are the images that I typically fret about when thinking puppy mill.

    But yes, these seemingly clean and 'responsible' facilities are probably even a bigger problem...at least when it comes to the mass production of irresponsibly bred dogs. Sort of why the whole USDA inspections are such a joke.

    As far as straight cruelty, I'm still extremely concerned about those backwood mills that are hidden and the dogs are living in filth and despair. But as far as sure numbers, I think this article nails it. The problem is right before our eyes.

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • I am a little confused because of that article....

    this implies only rich people can be responsible breeders since everything is done at a loss if done the right way.

    Also, how do people become new breeders who are responsible if they don't start as "backyard breeders"? If the barriers to entry are so high, what do we expect to happen when the current "responsible breeders" go broke, retire or pass away?





  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    @BanjoTheBetaDog....maybe this will help a little:

    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=1448

    Many reputable breeders have jobs outside of there breeding. And as far as becoming a reputable breeder, I believe many will work with a mentor in the beginning.

    I think @lindsayt would be a great person to ask/provide insight.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • I don't know any rich people who are breeders, though I'm sure there are some. Almost everyone I know who is a breeder is a regular person with a job, who just spends their money on the breed they love. And they get into it the slow and responsible way, by spending a lot of time learning everything about the breed they love. They go to shows. They are mentored by more experienced breeders, and they often start with one dog they can show, and build up from there.

    A backyard breeder is someone who has two dogs and randomly breeds them or lets them breed, without doing health tests on the dogs, without bothering to understand the dog's lineage, etc. They're not trying to produce a better example of the breed; they are just breeding whatever dogs they have. Totally different than someone just starting out with the goal of becoming a good breeder and having a good kennel.
  • This topic has made me think of so many things that I have experienced here as a first time dog owner.

    I recently moved back to Estonia, I grew up in Toronto, Canada so I am well aware of puppy mills and pet shop dogs. The concept isn't new to me at all. Although here in Estonia there are no puppy mills (BYB yes, but not puppy mills) - people don't have this concept here, so that took me back a bit, I was genuinely surprised to learn that. (Yes, I was really expecting that it would be a thing here, but no).

    Anyways, a year ago, I really wanted to add another pet to my life. I had got a cat, and I wanted a puppy. I wanted a big one but we were living in a flat so my hubby said no. He then agreed that I could have a small breed dog, that was well behaved and that if I had the permission from the landlady to allow me to have a dog (there was a strict no pets policy - and no, they didn't know about our cat ;) )
    Anyways, the landlady allowed me to have a puppy because we were very good tenants! I was over the moon and I had found a very reputable breeder here in Estonia! The kennel breeds Boston terriers, pugs, boxers and Griffons. They had a litter of BT puppies and there was a girl that I really wanted (ideally I wanted to get a boy, but I was looking at their photos and the girl looked very bright so I wanted her) - anyways, here was my first mistake:
    Making business over email/phone without actually SEEING the puppies.

    I spoke to them via email about my interest in purchasing the female girl. I let them know that I was going to spay her because I wanted a companion dog; not a show dog or anything like that. I disclosed this information after I paid for her in full (1500 euros).
    They kindly responded saying that they have plans to breed from her so they allowed me to take one of the boys with a 300 euro discount.

    I went to their website and there were only two boys left, I choose my little Yoshi. I made the mistake of selecting from picture and not actually seeing the puppies because I had just picked out the timid, shy, scared little puppy from the litter! All of his siblings were outgoing and bouncy; much like the common Boston terrier except for my Yoshi. Yoshi was SO SCARED. He could not stop shaking. Poor baby. He is still like that today! It's very hard for me to take him anywhere new because it can really scare him. He doesn't enjoy people coming over either and he is extremely particular about males (for some odd reason). He is terrified all the time. And before anyone says anything; no, his sister and mom were not like this; when I went to pick up Yoshi his sister and mom were all over me, giving me non stop kisses.
    This is just Yoshi's nature.

    This was the first mistake I had made. NEVER MAKE A FINAL DECISION WITHOUT SEEING THE PUPPIES FIRST. Of course, I love my Yoshi but it makes life a little harder on me the way he is so nervous and shy. A lot of people always ask to pet him and I feel like an asshole when I tell them that it's best not too because he's so shy.

    The other reason why you should go and see puppies:
    When I got Yoshi he had an ear infection; which the breeders cleaned with vodka (vets have the special alcohol solution for this ear infection but I think the breeder bought vodka as it was cheaper) - anyways she cleaned his ears with vodka. Yeah, no. I understand why, but serious no. I didn't even think about this; again, I was just excited to have a puppy in my life. Now that I think about it, I would never do this again. I will go and look at the puppies; check their teeth, ears, paws, EVERYTHING until I am satisfied this is a healthy puppy ready to go home.

    My second mistake;
    I didn't wait or look around for puppies. I was just so eager to buy/get one and I got this one because I wanted one, period. This is a common problem with pet shop dogs; because that's what happens - people just want one NOW. My mom did a similar thing with a boxer before we left Estonia to move to Canada (when I was a child) and we were leaving the country in like five months but no my mom had to have this boxer. The boxer went to a good family home but it was extremely irresponsible of my mom and I think these genes carried on. But I now know better and I am never leaving Yoshi! He is my forever buddy. If I move back to Canada or wherever, both Yoshi and my cat will come with me (and future Shiba of course). End of.

    --

    I mean Yoshi did come from a reputable breeder and he had everything done (gene tests on any illnesses, all his shots, everything) - and came with pedigree papers and a pet passport (this is standard in EU). I took him to the vet a few days later and the vet told me that he had one of his shots way too early because the breeder decided to bring the puppies to a dog show/abroad so had to get them vaccinated way to early. THAT REALLY IRRITATED ME. Mainly because you would think that a reputable breeder would be more cautious and careful about these things; but nope!

    He skin was also very bad (dandriffy and dry) - the breeder also fed the puppies on some 'human foods' like yoghurt and rye bread, which I don't have a problem with but not a good idea to feed whatever you like to the puppies if they have problems here and there. I am pleased to report that Yoshi has neither of these things now (dry skin, ear infections, etc) and the vet bill was minimum cost, but still - I should have had a healthy puppy!
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  • Lastly; I really wanna go off a rant here, especially that story about the Amish community and it's kind of similar to my rant about people's perception of dogs and training here.

    A lot of people in Estonia (and some parts of Europe) still have this very old idea of dogs. In my new neighbourhood almost everyone has a German Shepherd which ALL of these dogs are left outside in the brutal cold winter. (Seriously, look up Estonia and just see how cold it gets here; although it has been mild this year) - the dogs are not exercised, just left out in the yard (there are fences to stop them from going out of the yard) - they get bored; they see stimuli such as people walking past, or dogs, etc. and they get worked up and bark. In my neighbourhood it's common to hear dogs barking in the distance and it pisses me off so much.

    What's worse, is I took Yoshi on walk here, and I came across one house which had a shitty fence (pardon my French) - and two German Shepherds; one of which managed to escape the fence (it dug a hole) and came running; barking mad towards me and my little terrified dog! I WAS FUCKING HORRIFIED!! Thank God this dog was friendly; although it did nip my Yoshi on his neck (probably just being instinctive). But the dog f*cked off soon as it realized we were both scared and no threat to the dog.
    I told my friends about this here and they all just act like they don't care and laugh about it. I'm really mad at how people are like that here; first of all, yes, my dog is small and scared of everything; but what if I had a big massive dog that was aggressive? More importantly, I was walking on a road; what if there was a car coming? Yes, either way, it would'n't've been pretty!

    But people have so little concern over it. I think the majority of people here should NOT be allowed to have dogs at all. Their idea of a problem dog is just to stick it outside; giving the dog more problems. In fact, a lot of people here have never even heard of crate training and think I am cruel for putting my dog in crate. WHAT THE F*CK!? I don't have a problem dog unlike yours!

    I am also terrified of giving my future Shiba to my friend to watch because she will not understand anything about this breed. Her family has a very calm Rottie, and I leave Yoshi with them. Yoshi is a good boy and listens well. He will not run away or misbehave. I know that the Shiba is a great Houdini and I don't know what I will do when I get one and I have to travel!

    I have an American friend who is experienced with this breed but I don't want to ask her to look after my Shiba either because she has a Rhodesian Ridgeback and kids and lives in an apartment (not ideal) - I just don't wanna trouble her as it is! And I don't want to stick my Shiba in a kennel here because these kennels are primitive. The dogs just sit in their kennel waiting to be "aired" three times a day. Plus the vet is old school and Russian and yells at the anxious dogs to "SHUT UP". Uhm, no. My dog will need socializing, not being yelled at by complete strangers. I stuck my cat here twice and I found a better cattery needless to say.

    I may have no choice but to start taking my Shiba Inu with me if I travel. It is extremely difficult to find people who are more moderate with training and capable of taking care of my dog.
    There is only one place that believes in "positive reinforcement" training which is where I took Yoshi for puppy classes and I will take my future Shiba there too.

    (Sorry this part has nothing to do with puppy mills; but if people are looking for suitable kennels to have their dogs sit; then this is useful!)
    ---

    I could go on (especially about vaccinations and the lack of kennels/catteries) but my hand is cramping!

    I also want to make a note about cost of a puppy from reputable breeder vs. puppy mill.

    I will explain that here in Estonia; the economy does well because people have a crappy minimum wage; in fact it's lower than that of Greece and so the economy is great due to cheap labour wages. It's not ideal because a lot of people live from paycheck to paycheck.
    The price I paid for Yoshi was a lot; in fact; the breeder had a 'monthly plan' (I think this is also dodgy and I'll explain why) - I don't have money woes so it's no problem.

    But, I do think it's way too much for most people to afford here (hence the monthly plan solution) - at the same time I feel like if you're not capable for paying for a dog/puppy then you shouldn't have a dog/puppy! Puppies/dogs are expensive; just buying cr*p that they need is expensive; crates, leashes, collars/harnesses, tags, vet bills, pet food, poop bags, toys, puppy school/other schools for dogs, etc.

    It costs a lot of money in general and I feel like if you're struggling just pay for yourself you shouldn't have a pet. You're not capable of caring for it and it's better for someone who can support themselves and the dog. This is why I have a problem with "monthly plan" solutions because I saw this a lot at PJ Pet Stores when they sold dogs; "Monthly plans" so the dogs looked more affordable and accessible to people. Of course, people who bought these puppy mill dogs were unaware of the vet bills that would pile up soon!

    Although I will say this; EVERYTHING in Estonia has a 'monthly plan' if it's over 100 euros. Even the electronic stores offer 'monthly plans' for some of their expensive electronics.
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  • I work for a not-for-profit and we do a lot of business with overpaid finance/real estate people (I can say that since I was one). Whenever I tell these people about my puppy, they all say "I should introduce you to my wife. She has 8 XXXXs she breeds and shows." I guess that's where my perception of "rich" breeders come from.

  • More articles on puppy mills. The first refers to an article about the damage done to mill dogs, which has been linked here already (somewhere in the thread). I'm linking it, here, though, because it also has tips for dealing with a scared mill dog. It is here: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/pets/dogs/story/2011-10-11/Puppy-mills-leave-lasting-emotional-scars-study-finds/50722874/1

    The other one is about a big puppy mill bust in Arkansas, another big mill state. Also, note that it says that puppy mills became more popular after WWII because they were were encouraged as a cash crop. :( (And of course, that's still what it is: a cash crop with no concern for the animals)

    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/pets/dogs/story/2011-10-11/Puppy-mills-leave-lasting-emotional-scars-study-finds/50722874/1
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    @shibamistress....good article, but same link.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Info on the Arkansas bust...don't know if it's what you had intended to post.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/28/arkansas-puppy-mill-raid/5905591/
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Yup, that was it! Thanks! I've trying to deal with a sick dog all day and don't have it quite altogether! :)
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Hoping all is well with your fam...nothing worse than a sick dog!

    Very glad they caught this idiot. When I see they had dogs, cats, turtles, exotic birds, the first thing I think of is pet stores. I've often wondered where the pet stores get their turtles, birds, ect...

    Hoping all of these animals will get a second chance at a good life.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    I saw this headline on The Dodo a few days ago. It made me think of mills, though the legislation isn't specifically about mills:

    Oklahoma Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Legalize Shooting Pets to Death
    An Oklahoma legislator has introduced a bill that would create a major exception to the state’s current animal cruelty laws, by allowing pet-owners to “dispose” of pets with the assistance of firearms. State Rep. Steve Martin, the bill’s sponsor, believes the new measures put forth in HB 2613 would merely legalize a method of “euthanasia” already in practice throughout the state.
    [...]
    The bill would remove protections for animals that, at present, can only be killed in cases of self-defense or defense of livestock. Additionally, HB 2613 would not require pet-owners to seek alternatives to shooting their animals to death, such as putting them up for adoption or bringing them to shelters, where pets who do require euthanasia can be put down using more humane methods. Martin’s bill also aims to reduce the penalties for a number of animal cruelty crimes, including “unnecessary” cruelty to an animal by neglect. [emphasis mine]


    This caught my eye because DIY euthanasia by gun is, as acknowledged, a common practice not just amongst individuals, but also widely practiced as an "economic" "disposal" method practice by millers who deal routinely with sick, diseased, and dying dogs. They flat-out don't have the heart to call in a licensed vet every time they need to put one down, to say nothing of the various states of "neglect" that their dogs are already living in.

    OK is another fairly high-profile mill state. I'm not sure how this bill affects licensed, commercial breeding facilities, since the dogs there may be classed differently as "livestock." The bill doesn't seem to make a distinction between pets and livestock, just says it applies to animals.

    I think one reason that Oklahoma is popular with millers is that you can actually get away with a lot as a state-licensed breeder, so there are a lot of mills working under state jurisdiction that don't necessarily have USDA classification. Places that operate under mill conditions aren't always USDA licensed. And state by state, local legislation can also foster or deter mill-friendly conditions.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • ugh. That's just sickening.

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