The writer of a letter to the editor posted Saturday on the IndependentMail.com (in Anderson, SC) brings up another very important aspect of the puppy mill debate. Beyond the terrible treatment of the dogs in puppy mills is the cost imposed on local communities through budgeting for animal care and control agencies.
Selling puppies and kittens at 6 weeks old, breeding without regard to health, breeding without regard to temperament and selling pets like products at a big-box store usually results in more homeless pets at local shelters all across the nation.
The municipal shelters don’t run without costs. Your tax dollars go to running these shelters. Puppy mills and backyard breeders are costing you money. And it means other important local and state programs have less money to operate with.
The people who are against regulating the bad breeders are actually supporting higher taxes, needed to operate local shelters.
And what about the donations to local volunteer animal-welfare organizations. There are dozens just in my little corner of my home state. All of them survive on donations and most all of them are overwhelmed with the number of homeless pets in our area.
There is a far-reaching cost to allowing puppy mills to continue to operate. I’ve seen people argue that the costs are too high to enact new restrictions on breeding. Actually, states can’t afford not to and I contend in the long run, aggressive enforcement against puppy mills and backyard breeders will reduce costs.
And more importantly, it will save lives and reduce so much of the suffering that is going on each and every day.