Essential Oils for Dogs with Itchy Ears

In a time of antibiotic resistance, an alternative therapy helps dogs ditch that itch.
dog itchy ears home remedy

Many dogs suffer from itchy ears, and antibiotics are a standard treatment. Yet, the overuse of antibiotics has created bacteria able to resist this most commonly used remedy. Essential oils offer another way to help clear up the problem.

Dogs are often plagued with itchy ears; reportedly, as many as one in eight dogs seen by vets are brought in for treatment of this problem. Otitis externa—the official name—can be both debilitating and difficult for an owner to deal with. The disease is multifactorial in origin, which is a fancy way of saying that it may be caused or triggered by many things. This can sometimes make it hard for a vet to offer a quick fix.

Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act

Here’s something that all of us can agree on: No one should ever buy a puppy from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are horrific and should be put out of business. 

An estimated 2 million puppies are “produced” annually in puppy mills in the U.S. Since the number of dogs who are euthanized by shelters in this country every year is estimated to be 1.2 million, you can see why simply shutting down puppy mills is such an alluring idea to those of us who have worked in shelters. But it’s difficult to put an end to any practice that some people profit from, no matter how cruel it is.

That’s why we try to educate people – to make sure they understand, first of all, that any “purebred” or “designer-mix” puppy that’s for sale in a pet shop has been produced by a puppy mill, no matter what the store employees have been told to say. 

We also try to make would-be buyers understand that when they pay for a puppy from a pet store, they are directly supporting canine suffering at the hands of all the shady breeders, brokers, and scammers that supply pet stores. 

Most of us have seen photos and videos taken by animal protection groups following a raid on the worst kind of puppy mill, where the living conditions of the dogs are unspeakably horrendous, with cages crammed with sore-covered dogs stacked on top of more cages, and all of them full of filth. No one would argue for ”businesses” like this to be allowed to continue operation.

It’s much more difficult to recognize the cruelty of puppy mills that advertise how many veterinarians they have on staff, discuss their healthcare and socialization programs, and display pictures of shiny-clean facilities alongside their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses. The conditions look better – but their breeder dogs are still puppy-producing machines who have no semblance of quality of life. And the puppies will be sold to anyone willing to pay for them and shipped anywhere in the country at too-early ages. 

The bottom line for mills is that puppies are simply “products” – and the puppy miller’s bottom line will always be more important than the welfare of the dogs.

The USDA’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA) establishes legal requirements for the care, handling, housing, transportation, and sale of animals at licensed breeding facilities. Puppy-millers and their downstream co-conspirators like to claim that their USDA licenses and unannounced AWA compliance inspections keep the industry honest. But the reality is, these laws are woefully inadequate. For example, under the AWA: 

• There is no limit to the number of dogs on the premises. A puppy mill could have hundreds or even thousands of dogs.

• There is no minimum requirement for the number of staff that must be available to care for the dogs.

• Dogs may be kept in stacked cages.

• Mesh or wire flooring is allowed.

• Dogs may be forced to relieve themselves in their cages.

• Dogs may be confined in spaces only six inches longer than their bodies, not including the tail.

• A dog may be caged 24 hours a day for his or her entire life, only removed from the cage to be bred.

• There is no exercise requirement if dogs are housed with other dogs and minimum size requirements are met for the dog’s enclosure.

• Dogs can be housed indoors or out with minimal temperature regulation.

• Human interaction is not required.

• Breeding females at the first heat cycle and every heat cycle thereafter is permissible.

• Unwanted animals may auctioned off or killed in a variety of ways.

• There is no transparency to consumers or the public about the results of USDA inspections.

And finally, it should be obvious that the USDA can’t adequately inspect the entire puppy mill industry; currently there are only an estimated 110 inspectors on staff to inspect all the animal facilities under its supervision, including zoos and research labs, in addition to commercial dog breeders and brokers. 

The post Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act

Here’s something that all of us can agree on: No one should ever buy a puppy from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are horrific and should be put out of business. 

An estimated 2 million puppies are “produced” annually in puppy mills in the U.S. Since the number of dogs who are euthanized by shelters in this country every year is estimated to be 1.2 million, you can see why simply shutting down puppy mills is such an alluring idea to those of us who have worked in shelters. But it’s difficult to put an end to any practice that some people profit from, no matter how cruel it is.

That’s why we try to educate people – to make sure they understand, first of all, that any “purebred” or “designer-mix” puppy that’s for sale in a pet shop has been produced by a puppy mill, no matter what the store employees have been told to say. 

We also try to make would-be buyers understand that when they pay for a puppy from a pet store, they are directly supporting canine suffering at the hands of all the shady breeders, brokers, and scammers that supply pet stores. 

Most of us have seen photos and videos taken by animal protection groups following a raid on the worst kind of puppy mill, where the living conditions of the dogs are unspeakably horrendous, with cages crammed with sore-covered dogs stacked on top of more cages, and all of them full of filth. No one would argue for ”businesses” like this to be allowed to continue operation.

It’s much more difficult to recognize the cruelty of puppy mills that advertise how many veterinarians they have on staff, discuss their healthcare and socialization programs, and display pictures of shiny-clean facilities alongside their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses. The conditions look better – but their breeder dogs are still puppy-producing machines who have no semblance of quality of life. And the puppies will be sold to anyone willing to pay for them and shipped anywhere in the country at too-early ages. 

The bottom line for mills is that puppies are simply “products” – and the puppy miller’s bottom line will always be more important than the welfare of the dogs.

The USDA’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA) establishes legal requirements for the care, handling, housing, transportation, and sale of animals at licensed breeding facilities. Puppy-millers and their downstream co-conspirators like to claim that their USDA licenses and unannounced AWA compliance inspections keep the industry honest. But the reality is, these laws are woefully inadequate. For example, under the AWA: 

• There is no limit to the number of dogs on the premises. A puppy mill could have hundreds or even thousands of dogs.

• There is no minimum requirement for the number of staff that must be available to care for the dogs.

• Dogs may be kept in stacked cages.

• Mesh or wire flooring is allowed.

• Dogs may be forced to relieve themselves in their cages.

• Dogs may be confined in spaces only six inches longer than their bodies, not including the tail.

• A dog may be caged 24 hours a day for his or her entire life, only removed from the cage to be bred.

• There is no exercise requirement if dogs are housed with other dogs and minimum size requirements are met for the dog’s enclosure.

• Dogs can be housed indoors or out with minimal temperature regulation.

• Human interaction is not required.

• Breeding females at the first heat cycle and every heat cycle thereafter is permissible.

• Unwanted animals may auctioned off or killed in a variety of ways.

• There is no transparency to consumers or the public about the results of USDA inspections.

And finally, it should be obvious that the USDA can’t adequately inspect the entire puppy mill industry; currently there are only an estimated 110 inspectors on staff to inspect all the animal facilities under its supervision, including zoos and research labs, in addition to commercial dog breeders and brokers. 

The post Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act

Here’s something that all of us can agree on: No one should ever buy a puppy from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are horrific and should be put out of business. 

An estimated 2 million puppies are “produced” annually in puppy mills in the U.S. Since the number of dogs who are euthanized by shelters in this country every year is estimated to be 1.2 million, you can see why simply shutting down puppy mills is such an alluring idea to those of us who have worked in shelters. But it’s difficult to put an end to any practice that some people profit from, no matter how cruel it is.

That’s why we try to educate people – to make sure they understand, first of all, that any “purebred” or “designer-mix” puppy that’s for sale in a pet shop has been produced by a puppy mill, no matter what the store employees have been told to say. 

We also try to make would-be buyers understand that when they pay for a puppy from a pet store, they are directly supporting canine suffering at the hands of all the shady breeders, brokers, and scammers that supply pet stores. 

Most of us have seen photos and videos taken by animal protection groups following a raid on the worst kind of puppy mill, where the living conditions of the dogs are unspeakably horrendous, with cages crammed with sore-covered dogs stacked on top of more cages, and all of them full of filth. No one would argue for ”businesses” like this to be allowed to continue operation.

It’s much more difficult to recognize the cruelty of puppy mills that advertise how many veterinarians they have on staff, discuss their healthcare and socialization programs, and display pictures of shiny-clean facilities alongside their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses. The conditions look better – but their breeder dogs are still puppy-producing machines who have no semblance of quality of life. And the puppies will be sold to anyone willing to pay for them and shipped anywhere in the country at too-early ages. 

The bottom line for mills is that puppies are simply “products” – and the puppy miller’s bottom line will always be more important than the welfare of the dogs.

The USDA’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA) establishes legal requirements for the care, handling, housing, transportation, and sale of animals at licensed breeding facilities. Puppy-millers and their downstream co-conspirators like to claim that their USDA licenses and unannounced AWA compliance inspections keep the industry honest. But the reality is, these laws are woefully inadequate. For example, under the AWA: 

• There is no limit to the number of dogs on the premises. A puppy mill could have hundreds or even thousands of dogs.

• There is no minimum requirement for the number of staff that must be available to care for the dogs.

• Dogs may be kept in stacked cages.

• Mesh or wire flooring is allowed.

• Dogs may be forced to relieve themselves in their cages.

• Dogs may be confined in spaces only six inches longer than their bodies, not including the tail.

• A dog may be caged 24 hours a day for his or her entire life, only removed from the cage to be bred.

• There is no exercise requirement if dogs are housed with other dogs and minimum size requirements are met for the dog’s enclosure.

• Dogs can be housed indoors or out with minimal temperature regulation.

• Human interaction is not required.

• Breeding females at the first heat cycle and every heat cycle thereafter is permissible.

• Unwanted animals may auctioned off or killed in a variety of ways.

• There is no transparency to consumers or the public about the results of USDA inspections.

And finally, it should be obvious that the USDA can’t adequately inspect the entire puppy mill industry; currently there are only an estimated 110 inspectors on staff to inspect all the animal facilities under its supervision, including zoos and research labs, in addition to commercial dog breeders and brokers. 

The post Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act

Here’s something that all of us can agree on: No one should ever buy a puppy from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are horrific and should be put out of business. 

An estimated 2 million puppies are “produced” annually in puppy mills in the U.S. Since the number of dogs who are euthanized by shelters in this country every year is estimated to be 1.2 million, you can see why simply shutting down puppy mills is such an alluring idea to those of us who have worked in shelters. But it’s difficult to put an end to any practice that some people profit from, no matter how cruel it is.

That’s why we try to educate people – to make sure they understand, first of all, that any “purebred” or “designer-mix” puppy that’s for sale in a pet shop has been produced by a puppy mill, no matter what the store employees have been told to say. 

We also try to make would-be buyers understand that when they pay for a puppy from a pet store, they are directly supporting canine suffering at the hands of all the shady breeders, brokers, and scammers that supply pet stores. 

Most of us have seen photos and videos taken by animal protection groups following a raid on the worst kind of puppy mill, where the living conditions of the dogs are unspeakably horrendous, with cages crammed with sore-covered dogs stacked on top of more cages, and all of them full of filth. No one would argue for ”businesses” like this to be allowed to continue operation.

It’s much more difficult to recognize the cruelty of puppy mills that advertise how many veterinarians they have on staff, discuss their healthcare and socialization programs, and display pictures of shiny-clean facilities alongside their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses. The conditions look better – but their breeder dogs are still puppy-producing machines who have no semblance of quality of life. And the puppies will be sold to anyone willing to pay for them and shipped anywhere in the country at too-early ages. 

The bottom line for mills is that puppies are simply “products” – and the puppy miller’s bottom line will always be more important than the welfare of the dogs.

The USDA’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA) establishes legal requirements for the care, handling, housing, transportation, and sale of animals at licensed breeding facilities. Puppy-millers and their downstream co-conspirators like to claim that their USDA licenses and unannounced AWA compliance inspections keep the industry honest. But the reality is, these laws are woefully inadequate. For example, under the AWA: 

• There is no limit to the number of dogs on the premises. A puppy mill could have hundreds or even thousands of dogs.

• There is no minimum requirement for the number of staff that must be available to care for the dogs.

• Dogs may be kept in stacked cages.

• Mesh or wire flooring is allowed.

• Dogs may be forced to relieve themselves in their cages.

• Dogs may be confined in spaces only six inches longer than their bodies, not including the tail.

• A dog may be caged 24 hours a day for his or her entire life, only removed from the cage to be bred.

• There is no exercise requirement if dogs are housed with other dogs and minimum size requirements are met for the dog’s enclosure.

• Dogs can be housed indoors or out with minimal temperature regulation.

• Human interaction is not required.

• Breeding females at the first heat cycle and every heat cycle thereafter is permissible.

• Unwanted animals may auctioned off or killed in a variety of ways.

• There is no transparency to consumers or the public about the results of USDA inspections.

And finally, it should be obvious that the USDA can’t adequately inspect the entire puppy mill industry; currently there are only an estimated 110 inspectors on staff to inspect all the animal facilities under its supervision, including zoos and research labs, in addition to commercial dog breeders and brokers. 

The post Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act

Here’s something that all of us can agree on: No one should ever buy a puppy from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are horrific and should be put out of business. 

An estimated 2 million puppies are “produced” annually in puppy mills in the U.S. Since the number of dogs who are euthanized by shelters in this country every year is estimated to be 1.2 million, you can see why simply shutting down puppy mills is such an alluring idea to those of us who have worked in shelters. But it’s difficult to put an end to any practice that some people profit from, no matter how cruel it is.

That’s why we try to educate people – to make sure they understand, first of all, that any “purebred” or “designer-mix” puppy that’s for sale in a pet shop has been produced by a puppy mill, no matter what the store employees have been told to say. 

We also try to make would-be buyers understand that when they pay for a puppy from a pet store, they are directly supporting canine suffering at the hands of all the shady breeders, brokers, and scammers that supply pet stores. 

Most of us have seen photos and videos taken by animal protection groups following a raid on the worst kind of puppy mill, where the living conditions of the dogs are unspeakably horrendous, with cages crammed with sore-covered dogs stacked on top of more cages, and all of them full of filth. No one would argue for ”businesses” like this to be allowed to continue operation.

It’s much more difficult to recognize the cruelty of puppy mills that advertise how many veterinarians they have on staff, discuss their healthcare and socialization programs, and display pictures of shiny-clean facilities alongside their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses. The conditions look better – but their breeder dogs are still puppy-producing machines who have no semblance of quality of life. And the puppies will be sold to anyone willing to pay for them and shipped anywhere in the country at too-early ages. 

The bottom line for mills is that puppies are simply “products” – and the puppy miller’s bottom line will always be more important than the welfare of the dogs.

The USDA’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA) establishes legal requirements for the care, handling, housing, transportation, and sale of animals at licensed breeding facilities. Puppy-millers and their downstream co-conspirators like to claim that their USDA licenses and unannounced AWA compliance inspections keep the industry honest. But the reality is, these laws are woefully inadequate. For example, under the AWA: 

• There is no limit to the number of dogs on the premises. A puppy mill could have hundreds or even thousands of dogs.

• There is no minimum requirement for the number of staff that must be available to care for the dogs.

• Dogs may be kept in stacked cages.

• Mesh or wire flooring is allowed.

• Dogs may be forced to relieve themselves in their cages.

• Dogs may be confined in spaces only six inches longer than their bodies, not including the tail.

• A dog may be caged 24 hours a day for his or her entire life, only removed from the cage to be bred.

• There is no exercise requirement if dogs are housed with other dogs and minimum size requirements are met for the dog’s enclosure.

• Dogs can be housed indoors or out with minimal temperature regulation.

• Human interaction is not required.

• Breeding females at the first heat cycle and every heat cycle thereafter is permissible.

• Unwanted animals may auctioned off or killed in a variety of ways.

• There is no transparency to consumers or the public about the results of USDA inspections.

And finally, it should be obvious that the USDA can’t adequately inspect the entire puppy mill industry; currently there are only an estimated 110 inspectors on staff to inspect all the animal facilities under its supervision, including zoos and research labs, in addition to commercial dog breeders and brokers. 

The post Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

This Online Purchase Bamboozled Two Water Loving Dogs

dog pool coverdog pool cover

We’ve all had an experience with an online purchase that fell short of our expectations. Though our pets usually get to sit back and laugh at our online shopping mistakes, this purchase disappointed two water-loving pups on opposite ends of the globe.

I usually consider myself to be a savvy online shopper, but I couldn’t resist an incredible deal on an enormous dog pool that I knew my dog Ellie would love. With how much she enjoys diving into puddles and swimming in every lake she passes, I just knew I had to order her a personal doggie pool.

The pool was advertised as being 60 inches wide, meaning Ellie could comfortably splash around and have a great time. The “Best Dog Pool Ever” was on sale for $30, making it absolutely impossible for me to resist. The only downside: the shipping time was estimated at over a month due to it coming from China. Since I knew how much my pup would love it, I pushed purchase anyways!

From the Amazon listing

Fast forward 1 month and I received a small package in the mailbox. Much to my surprise, it was the extra-large dog pool that me and Ellie had been waiting for.

dog pooldog pool
Vettechandtravel/Insta

I couldn’t help but laugh at the small dog-bowl-sized pool that I had been anticipating for over a month. Though Ellie was not impressed with the overhyped gift I offered her, she tried her best to contain her disgust for a quick photo. Though Ellie didn’t receive the online pool of her dreams, we did buy an actual dog pool from the store the very next day.

dog pooldog pool
Vettechandtravel/Insta

After my disappointing online purchase experience, I wondered if other pet parents were fooled by the promise of this amazing dog pool as well.  With a quick internet search, I found a lovable Newfie named Darcy that was disappointed with her doggie pool as well.

dog pooldog pool
Darcy_the_newfie/Insta

It appears that Darcie’s fur parents were also pulled in by the amazing discount, as they purchased an extra-large dog pool from an online Chinese store as well. Though they had a long shipping estimate from China to their home in England, they decided to purchase it anyway. Similar to Ellie, Darcie was not at all impressed!

dog pooldog pool
Darcy_the_newfie/Insta

Within days of her dog-bowl-sized gift, Darcie’s fur parents also purchased another dog pool for their furry friend. Darcie now spends her days splashing around in her dog pool fit for a queen and has left her disappointing pool surprise behind her.

This story serves as a reminder to always read the reviews before purchase, as you never know what you’ll end up with!

Image Source: Vettechandtravel/Insta & darcy_the_newfie/Insta

The post This Online Purchase Bamboozled Two Water Loving Dogs appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Fawn – 5 year old female Cross-Breed

Fawn is a gentle and loving 5 year old female Cross-Breed. She who was rescued from a Thai government dog pound and currently lives at the Soi Dog Foundation shelter in Phuket. When Fawn was found, she was so severely malnourished that all of the bones in her hips and ribcage were visible. Life as a homeless dog had taken its toll on her, and she was fearful and depressed. But as she recovered, a dazzling young doggie personality emerged.

Fawn now greets everyone she meets with a smile and a wagging tail, especially when it’s time for walkies. Just say “Let’s go, Fawn” and she’s ready to strut in sync with your pace. She trusts straight away and looks to you for reassurance. For a dog who hasn’t had an owner before, this is remarkable.

Fawn respects other dogs’ personal space, but she doesn’t believe in personal space when it comes to people! In fact, trying to keep some distance between you and Fawn is nearly impossible. She’s a certified cuddle bug with a lot of love to give.

Even though Fawn has suffered physically, her need for human affection hasn’t wavered at all. Will you reach out to her and give her the life she truly deserves?

Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act

Here’s something that all of us can agree on: No one should ever buy a puppy from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are horrific and should be put out of business. 

An estimated 2 million puppies are “produced” annually in puppy mills in the U.S. Since the number of dogs who are euthanized by shelters in this country every year is estimated to be 1.2 million, you can see why simply shutting down puppy mills is such an alluring idea to those of us who have worked in shelters. But it’s difficult to put an end to any practice that some people profit from, no matter how cruel it is.

That’s why we try to educate people – to make sure they understand, first of all, that any “purebred” or “designer-mix” puppy that’s for sale in a pet shop has been produced by a puppy mill, no matter what the store employees have been told to say. 

We also try to make would-be buyers understand that when they pay for a puppy from a pet store, they are directly supporting canine suffering at the hands of all the shady breeders, brokers, and scammers that supply pet stores. 

Most of us have seen photos and videos taken by animal protection groups following a raid on the worst kind of puppy mill, where the living conditions of the dogs are unspeakably horrendous, with cages crammed with sore-covered dogs stacked on top of more cages, and all of them full of filth. No one would argue for ”businesses” like this to be allowed to continue operation.

It’s much more difficult to recognize the cruelty of puppy mills that advertise how many veterinarians they have on staff, discuss their healthcare and socialization programs, and display pictures of shiny-clean facilities alongside their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses. The conditions look better – but their breeder dogs are still puppy-producing machines who have no semblance of quality of life. And the puppies will be sold to anyone willing to pay for them and shipped anywhere in the country at too-early ages. 

The bottom line for mills is that puppies are simply “products” – and the puppy miller’s bottom line will always be more important than the welfare of the dogs.

The USDA’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA) establishes legal requirements for the care, handling, housing, transportation, and sale of animals at licensed breeding facilities. Puppy-millers and their downstream co-conspirators like to claim that their USDA licenses and unannounced AWA compliance inspections keep the industry honest. But the reality is, these laws are woefully inadequate. For example, under the AWA: 

• There is no limit to the number of dogs on the premises. A puppy mill could have hundreds or even thousands of dogs.

• There is no minimum requirement for the number of staff that must be available to care for the dogs.

• Dogs may be kept in stacked cages.

• Mesh or wire flooring is allowed.

• Dogs may be forced to relieve themselves in their cages.

• Dogs may be confined in spaces only six inches longer than their bodies, not including the tail.

• A dog may be caged 24 hours a day for his or her entire life, only removed from the cage to be bred.

• There is no exercise requirement if dogs are housed with other dogs and minimum size requirements are met for the dog’s enclosure.

• Dogs can be housed indoors or out with minimal temperature regulation.

• Human interaction is not required.

• Breeding females at the first heat cycle and every heat cycle thereafter is permissible.

• Unwanted animals may auctioned off or killed in a variety of ways.

• There is no transparency to consumers or the public about the results of USDA inspections.

And finally, it should be obvious that the USDA can’t adequately inspect the entire puppy mill industry; currently there are only an estimated 110 inspectors on staff to inspect all the animal facilities under its supervision, including zoos and research labs, in addition to commercial dog breeders and brokers. 

The post Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act

Here’s something that all of us can agree on: No one should ever buy a puppy from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are horrific and should be put out of business. 

An estimated 2 million puppies are “produced” annually in puppy mills in the U.S. Since the number of dogs who are euthanized by shelters in this country every year is estimated to be 1.2 million, you can see why simply shutting down puppy mills is such an alluring idea to those of us who have worked in shelters. But it’s difficult to put an end to any practice that some people profit from, no matter how cruel it is.

That’s why we try to educate people – to make sure they understand, first of all, that any “purebred” or “designer-mix” puppy that’s for sale in a pet shop has been produced by a puppy mill, no matter what the store employees have been told to say. 

We also try to make would-be buyers understand that when they pay for a puppy from a pet store, they are directly supporting canine suffering at the hands of all the shady breeders, brokers, and scammers that supply pet stores. 

Most of us have seen photos and videos taken by animal protection groups following a raid on the worst kind of puppy mill, where the living conditions of the dogs are unspeakably horrendous, with cages crammed with sore-covered dogs stacked on top of more cages, and all of them full of filth. No one would argue for ”businesses” like this to be allowed to continue operation.

It’s much more difficult to recognize the cruelty of puppy mills that advertise how many veterinarians they have on staff, discuss their healthcare and socialization programs, and display pictures of shiny-clean facilities alongside their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses. The conditions look better – but their breeder dogs are still puppy-producing machines who have no semblance of quality of life. And the puppies will be sold to anyone willing to pay for them and shipped anywhere in the country at too-early ages. 

The bottom line for mills is that puppies are simply “products” – and the puppy miller’s bottom line will always be more important than the welfare of the dogs.

The USDA’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA) establishes legal requirements for the care, handling, housing, transportation, and sale of animals at licensed breeding facilities. Puppy-millers and their downstream co-conspirators like to claim that their USDA licenses and unannounced AWA compliance inspections keep the industry honest. But the reality is, these laws are woefully inadequate. For example, under the AWA: 

• There is no limit to the number of dogs on the premises. A puppy mill could have hundreds or even thousands of dogs.

• There is no minimum requirement for the number of staff that must be available to care for the dogs.

• Dogs may be kept in stacked cages.

• Mesh or wire flooring is allowed.

• Dogs may be forced to relieve themselves in their cages.

• Dogs may be confined in spaces only six inches longer than their bodies, not including the tail.

• A dog may be caged 24 hours a day for his or her entire life, only removed from the cage to be bred.

• There is no exercise requirement if dogs are housed with other dogs and minimum size requirements are met for the dog’s enclosure.

• Dogs can be housed indoors or out with minimal temperature regulation.

• Human interaction is not required.

• Breeding females at the first heat cycle and every heat cycle thereafter is permissible.

• Unwanted animals may auctioned off or killed in a variety of ways.

• There is no transparency to consumers or the public about the results of USDA inspections.

And finally, it should be obvious that the USDA can’t adequately inspect the entire puppy mill industry; currently there are only an estimated 110 inspectors on staff to inspect all the animal facilities under its supervision, including zoos and research labs, in addition to commercial dog breeders and brokers. 

The post Puppy Mills and the Inadequacy of the Animal Welfare Act appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.