Posts Tagged ‘puppy mill’

To Buy or Adopt a Dog – Things You Need to Know

February 16, 2013
This black beauty was up for adoption at the Suds of Fun event in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. The other puppy just had a bath at this event, proceeds went to help homeless pets.

This black beauty was up for adoption at the Suds of Fun event in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. The other puppy just had a bath at this event, proceeds went to help homeless pets.

On my blog post about how I help in animal welfare, I mentioned that I would never purchase a dog. Why buy a dog when there are so many unwanted dogs in need of a home? But I want to make sure you all understand that I have nothing against anyone who chooses to purchase instead of adopt. Great dogs come from everywhere. My message isn’t that you should never buy a dog. My only hope is that if you do buy one, you know to research the breeder to make sure they are responsible breeders and not what is defined as a backyard breeder or puppy mill breeder. Trying to determine the responsibility of the breeder can be difficult, especially for someone who is buying a dog for the first time. For tips on what to look for in a dog breeder, check out this article from the Humane Society of the United States – Finding a Responsible Dog Breeder.

As I mentioned to Bunk the Pug in a comment on that blog post, even if you adopt a dog you have to do research. Some unsavory breeders have exploited the new trend to “adopt don’t shop” by passing themselves off as an animal rescue group. How can you tell the difference? One big way is by comparing the ‘adoption fee’ to the services your new pet is receiving. Are they spayed or neutered? Are they up to date on shots? If the dogs are puppies, then these things may not have happened yet. But a reputable animal rescue group will arrange these things for you at no additional cost. A real rescue group is not going to let you adopt a dog unless the pet is spayed or neutered or will soon be.

So, if you approach a ‘rescue group’ about adopting a dog and they are charging $300 or more but are not providing veterinary support of the pet’s vaccinations and other veterinary fees, then something might be wrong. An animal rescue group should not make a profit. And don’t let them fool you with, “Oh, we are just getting reimbursed for transport fees. This dog came from such-and-such place.” A real rescue group is run by volunteers who are likely not being reimbursed for transporting a dog from another location. Ask questions. Ask for proof of their non-profit status. Research them online.

I hope that clears up my stand on buying or adopting a dog. I love all dogs no matter where they come from. While I am proud to have had the opportunity to adopt and rescue two great dogs, it’s not their origins that make me proud. It them, their personalities, their silly antics, and all the other great things they do to make my life better.

Book Review – “Diary of a Puppy-Mill Princess” by Agnes Green

August 4, 2011

A good friend just recently told me about this book, “Diary of a Puppy-Mill Princess” by Agnes Green.  Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop.  It is a true story about a dog named Annie who was raised in a puppy-mill.  Because she was a pup of a mixed litter, she was allowed run free on the farm instead of being locked up in a tiny little cage.  But this freedom made her almost wild.  She was terrified of everything from noises, unfamiliar objects, and people.

But Annie’s story isn’t about her life at the puppy-mill, it is about her rehabilitation to become a family pet.  In Chapter 1 of “Diary of a Puppy-Mill Princess” Agnes calls Annie, Little Orphaned Annie.  Agnes talks about how they came to adopt Annie.  Annie, at first, they took Annie for a short trial period.  When the noise of children playing in the snow frightened Annie, she escaped and bolted.  But miraculously, she found her way back to the place she had stayed for only three days.  Shortly thereafter, Agnes and her family adopted Annie.  In Chapter 1, Agnes also tells more about what she learned of Annie’s life at the puppy-mill.

In succeeding chapters of “Diary of a Puppy-Mill Princess” Agnes talks about Annie’s adjustment to her new life.  At first Annie hid.  Oftentimes Annie was so nervous that she didn’t feel comfortable eating or drinking.  She didn’t like to be petted.  Sometimes she was even afraid of certain clothes that Agnes and her family wore.  She was afraid of everything.  Amazingly, Annie felt safer when she was on a leash and some of her rehabilitation occurred on a leash.

There were also trials of finding the right dog trainer.  There are different methods to dog training.  Because of Annie’s nervousness and fear, the harsher methods just weren’t right for her.  For example, leash popping was a big no-no for Annie.  Agnes did a good job of researching training methods and trainers.  She explains in great detail about what worked best for Annie.  There were often setbacks.  Agnes described it as ‘two steps forward and one step back”.

I learned a lot by reading “Diary of a Puppy-Mill Princess”.  I have only just recently learned the full extent of positive reinforcement training.  “Diary of a Puppy-Mill Princess” goes into it much further and explains why it is so important for a dog like Annie.  Annie is already fearful and I could easily see how the harsher methods of dog training would have been counterproductive for her.

“Diary of a Puppy-Mill Princess” will help anyone who wishes to adopt a puppy-mill dog.  By reading about Annie, they can learn the best training methods and also be aware of how long it might take.  Annie is still being rehabilitated but she has come a very long way in the almost two years that the book covers.

Thank you Agnes for educating us and for sharing this wonderful story about Annie.  Visit the blog for “Diary of a Puppy-Mill Princess” at and purchase this great story for yourself.

What To Do If You Suspect a Puppy Mill

July 23, 2010

Puppy mills are all to common these days. We are already a country with an overpopulation of pets, yet unscrupulous dog breeders continue to breed dogs with the sole purpose of making a fast buck.

What is a puppy mill, you ask. Anyone who breeds many dogs at one time should probably be considered a puppy mill. Generally, pairs of adult dogs live their lives in a cage breeding. They generally live in kennel-like cages, sometimes with both indoor and outdoor rooms. The cages are supposed to be roomy, but that is sometimes not the case. The cages are supposed to be heated and air-conditioned but this is also not always the case. There is supposed to be people to pick up after the dogs and provide general pet care, but this is also not always the case.

You may not know when you are buying a pet from a puppy mill, because the seller isn’t going to tell you. They are not going to let you come to their facility to pick out the dog. They will always have an excuse to meet elsewhere. And of course they are going to tell you about the high quality of the mother and father dogs, but most likely you will not get to meet them either. The mother and father dogs may indeed have come from a good blood-line. But unless you know a lot about the genealogy of dogs and what a good blood-line really is, you really have know way of knowing what sort of unhealthy genetic traits may have been passed on.

If you suspect a puppy may have come from a puppy mill instead of a responsible breeder, the Humane Society of the United States may be able to help. The have set up a task force to look into and take action against puppy mills. This task force works nationwide so it doesn’t matter which state you live in.

If you suspect a puppy mill, call the task force at 877-MILLTIP (877-645-5847).

Local News – 25 Puppy Mill Puppies at Wayside Waifs

November 11, 2009

A puppy mill in central Missouri was shut down and 90 dogs were rescued. 25 of the dogs are receiving care at Wayside Waifs animal shelter in Kansas City, Missouri. These dogs are being treated and are recovering, but it is not known how the other 65 fare. It is possible that they are being treated at other animal shelters in Missouri. For more information visit the article at Fox 4:,0,5609770.story
 Or visit Wayside Waifs’ website at
Wayside Waifs says they will have updates on You Tube.

The Wayside Waifs animal shelter is only a 45 minute drive from where we are located. We have been there numerous times and it is a very nice facility. If you live in the area, please visit and consider adopting a homeless pet. Please also consider making a donation. View their site to see how.