The hopelessness of the caged life of a puppy mill dog

Close your eyes for a moment (after you read this) and imagine row after row of stacked cages in a building somewhere or dozens to hundreds of outdoor cages, hidden behind a home on an isolated tract of land.
Go to one of the dogs, cowering in the back corner of her small crate.
Her hair is matted and she is sitting in the feces that is clinging to the wire flooring. The unbearable stench of urine is constantly burning her swollen eyes.

She doesn’t remember or has never experienced the fun of playing with other dogs. The only thing she can do is wait an unrelenting wait – for death.
She knows no joy. She knows no relief from her plight. There is only the day to day to day life, walled off from the outside world, with nowhere to move around. Her only lot in life is to breed and give birth and sit there in her tiny, decrepit wire-and-wood box.
For thousands over thousands like her every day and every week and every year, there will be no rescue. This cage is where she lives and this cage is where she will die.
Her only hope is that somehow, someone will happen to question this puppy mill breeder and make a phone call that might lead to an investigation and an inspection and finally a rescue.
Otherwise, the odds are very remote for rescue and no one will find her or the dozens of her fellow innocent inmates living in this house of horrors.

Compare this life to your own or at minimum to the life of your family pets. Who could honesty say they’d want their family pet to live in a puppy mill?
I realize that a vast majority of the people reading this blog entry are animal lovers. You get it. You understand it.
But for others, the problem is out of sight, out of mind. There are so many other things that fill the daily routine. And for another segment of the population – well, they just sadly don’t care.
So we’ve got to raise awareness about topics such as puppy mills, for each passing day is another filled with misery for these dogs. And the scene is being repeated in mills and in some backyards all across country.

I keep seeing that dog crouched in the corner … waiting a miserable wait. I watch our rescues playing in the backyard or peacefully napping on the sofa – and I want this home life for as many homeless dogs as possible.
You can’t personally save them all and neither can I. So raising awareness and pushing for better laws are two of our best options.

I realize some are arguing on the slippery slope train. They say more regulation on breeders will only lead – somehow – to the banning of pet ownership and hunting and property rights.
These unreasonable, unrealistic and fantasy-land arguments only help the status quo continue for another week, another month and another year. In the meantime, the days, weeks, months and years pass for dogs trapped in puppy mills.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Miranda Lanoue on April 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Wow! It is so sad to read something like this.


  2. Posted by Krissy Roberts on April 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I feel as though animal abusers as well as owners of puppy mills should be charged with massive felony counts. These laws need to be re-written… I also feel that once a person is convicted of animal cruelty they should have to sign a national registry as though they were convicted of a sex crime. If a new neighbor moved in next to me I would want to know.. I have dogs whom are a large part of my family. If the new neighbor was convicted of any form of animal abuse I WOULD WANT TO KNOW and I feel that I have a right to know. Wouldn’t you?????


    • Posted by Tom Grady on April 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      I agree. I think a national registry is a good idea.
      Because there is such a strong connection between abusing animals and other forms of domestic abuse, I think law enforcement and the general public needs tools such as this – to protect the innocent.


  3. Posted by christina on April 30, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Why are people getting away with this? What can I do?


    • Posted by Tom Grady on April 30, 2010 at 11:50 pm

      We need stronger laws and better enforcement. Our representatives need to know that the citizens in each state want this.
      I think animal lovers are a huge voting block. We just have to get louder.


  4. Posted by Juliet on May 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I hate people who make this kind of post. We already know this and want to do something. Why sit around posting on some website? If you care, you should do something.


    • Posted by D Gary Grady on May 3, 2010 at 9:48 pm

      With respect, Juliet, informing people about the problem is one of the most effective things you can do. Puppy mills stay in business because people buy the puppies and they buy the puppies because they aren’t aware of what they’re buying.

      Telling people to “do something” without saying what to do isn’t all that helpful. So here are some ideas:

      o Arm yourself with facts. Google for “puppy mills facts” and “puppy mill facts” (without the quotation marks) and you’ll find tons of information.

      o Contact your state legislators and urge them to pass stronger laws against puppy mills. Don’t let them hear only from puppy-mill operators and their lobbyists.

      o There’s strength numbers. Get together with other people to call attention to the problem, both with the legislature and with the general public. Again, puppy mills depend on naive customers. Write letters to the editor and do the on-line equivalent. Here in NC there’s a Puppy Mill Awareness Day in Raleigh May 8; see

      o Don’t patronize pet stores that sell puppies. They don’t need to. Even the major chains realize they can make more money selling pet supplies and encouraging customer good will by not doing business with puppy mills and instead sponsoring adoption.


  5. Posted by Savannah on June 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I am not just going to sit here and do nothing. I am going to find a way to help fix this problem. And we should all help too. Because America is a free country! We have a right to bring this to peoples awareness. People say that breeding isn’t the same as abuse, well it is. People FORCING animals to breed is not right! We must take a stand for what we believe! And we believe that this is wrong. Why should animal abuse be any different from the abuse of people? I believe that breeding animals is wrong and should be a crime.


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