Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Support Your Local Puppy Mill

There are several good reasons to support puppy mills. Not the least is because "puppy mill" should be an innocent term. The idea of a business that mass-produces good dogs should be a blessed one, one that people sing the praises of. I haven't personally worked in one but I know a few things about industry. One of them is that most people who work in factories or "mills" are goodhearted people who work hard to produce a quality product. I was actually surprised to learn how good.

A real humane society would find owners who were in trouble and without threat of punishment, help them out of that trouble. "It's for the sake of the animals" becomes a pretty bleak statement when you know that puppy mill busts are hugely profitable for humane societies. They use the busts to extort money and puppies and then sell those puppies en masse to the public and beg for donations, right in the middle of articles condemning the people who bred them. For shame. Genuine criminal charges should not be able to be bought off this way, by giving money and dogs to a non-governmental agency. This is a conflict of interest and I don't know how prosecutors and police can stand being a part of it.

It is also an outrage when a so-called humane society re-inspects a kennel that has already been inspected by the state. It strips a compliant owner of their place of safety that should be provided for them by the state inspectors. Time and time again the "puppy mill" accusations have been thrown at people and their businesses have been raided right after a state inspection gave them a clean bill of health. There should be a law that if the state says it's clean, it's clean.

There is always something to pick on about someone's care of their animals. The fact is that there is almost always far more to praise than to pick on. Most puppy mill dogs and pups are found in good physical condition and that says a lot. Most likely it says that those dogs and pups were in a good place. It's real easy to say that someone's facility was covered in feces. Just exaggerate. It's also easy to exaggerate about the smell. Or we could decide that a place with a lot of animals is going to have an animal smell and those who have a clue know that's normal.

All people who own pets, who practice animal husbandry, or who hunt have a common interest and a common cause. We need the animals. Human needs and desires are legitimate. We have to remember that. Hunters need the animals for trophies, fur, and meat. Pet owners need the animals to satisfy the need to nurture and share affection. We all need the animals for food, and the farmer (animal husbandry) produces the animals. Treating an animal as an agricultural product is a good thing because farmers work as hard as anyone to treat their animals humanely regardless of species. The term "puppy mill" should be a badge of honor.


  1. Well said Tom.
    Its time to put the human back in humane, time to foster care for each other and show respect for those who have chosen to make animals a part of their lives instead of for those trying to tear animals out of our lives.

    Erica Saunders

  2. Thank you very much, Erica.

    I believe that people take these terms both in the literal sense and in the sense that they are taught to. It's a thing that they do when they want to taint one concept with another concept. They want to taint the idea of a productive breeding operation with the idea of an inhumane breeding operation. They don't want the term to only apply to those puppy mills that are run badly. They want it to apply to all puppy mills, in people's minds.

    This is of course ethical for them because they believe that all breeding is inhumane. I want room for the people who believe that most breeding is humane and even a duty.

  3. Let me rephrase that. Breeding is inherently humane and it is a duty. Breeders are mainstream, part of the larger society and the needs and duties of mainstream society. It's the fringe that keeps attacking them and occasionally persuading people that there is something wrong with breeding.

    Nathan Winograd says that voluntary control of the reproduction of pets has more than sufficed to bring any overpopulation under control.