Where did those cute puppies come from?

(PETA, 2020)

Dogs are commonly regarded as human’s best mates, owing to their status as the first animal to be domesticated by humans. While many families keep dogs as pets all over the world, the majority of dogs are feral.

The total number of stray dogs was about 200 million in 2020, and the total population of feral dogs makes up about 75-85% of the global dog population (WorldAtlas, 2020).

Puppies sold at pet shops are usually dogs born into breeding factories, which are also known as a “puppy mill”; once dogs enter it, they can never come out and get proper treatment, even if they get sick. There, dogs are forced to repeat pregnancy and birthing.

Dog breeding grounds all around the country are crowded with abandoned dogs. But how did so many get there? It’s difficult for pet owners to comprehend how anyone might abandon their companion or their best friend. It is not the dog’s or cat’s fault when they end up in a shelter. 

Dog breeding grounds are farms where dogs are raised for commercial purposes. There are legal factories that comply with animal laws, and there are also illegal factories that violate these laws. Illegal dog factories present serious hygiene problems—such as dirty feeding containers and uncleaned feces; it is common for dogs to be untreated when they become ill.

Breeding focuses solely on productivity.

Most dog breeding grounds manage 200 to 300 dogs by one or two people, so the focus of the breeding is only on productivity. To make it easier to clean up the bowel movement, the floors use perforated wire mesh. A young dog has four feet missing from the wire mesh, and even small dogs live in an uneasy state where their feet are likely to fall through the wire mesh floor. They live in cramped cages.

The mother dog is only used to breed more dogs. Mother dogs need more nutrition and exercise in order to give birth healthily, but there is no opportunity for the mother dog in illegal breeding grounds to receive the appropriate nutrition since they have been living in a cage for their entire lifetime. Instead, they live by food waste. It is normal for the mother dog to have a difficult birth because of the harsh living conditions they have to endure.

During a difficult birth, the breeder turns into an obstetrician and a veterinarian. The cesarean section requires expertise since excessive anesthesia can lead to death.

Puppies born in these unethical and unsanitary conditions are distributed and sold in dog shops or online stores, but due to their poor upbringing, their lives are often endangered. For example, they may contract diseases such as parotitis, which causes the dogs’ salivary glands to swell. Moreover, dogs who are unable to give birth because their bodies are damaged during these painful times are either cast out to the streets or sent to the veterinarian’s health center for dog owners.

This is not only true for dogs, but also other animals like cats. A majority of the female animals in breeding grounds have been treated as nothing more than birthing machines for the sake of profit. It is no different from the fate of the sow and the hen who has received the mission of production.

According to World Animal Day, responsible dog owners are encouraged to: “Please pay attention not only to young and cute breed dogs but also to healthy and lovely mixed dogs. If you dream of living with a dog, please choose to adopt abandoned animals instead of adopting one from a pet shop.” “Love, Rescue, Adopt.”

Animals come to the depths of human life under the name of the pet. They make people feel happiness and love, and they may love humans more than humans do. They can be a friend to a child. They can be faithful allies for the elderly living alone. The indiscriminate desire of human beings for love has led to a thriving breeding industry. It is a sad reality, but the breeding industry will not go away and will be necessary for the future. 

Though, consider a mother dog in a poor environment. Do we really need to buy only a young and pretty puppy?


Article by Kyoungmin S. (Grade 11); Feature Image by Marianne G. (Grade 9)

The views expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.


References:

World Animal Day | 4 October . (2020). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from https://www.worldanimalday.org.uk/

Are Dog Breeders Bad? Negative Effects of Dog Breeding | PETA. (2020). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from https://www.peta.org/features/are-dog-breeders-bad/#:~:text=Reckless%20breeding%20and%20the%20infatuation,%2C%20skin%20problems%2C%20and%20epilepsy.

Atitwa, S., World?, H., Continents, A., America, N., America, C., & America, S. et al. (2018). How Many Dogs Are There In The World?. Retrieved 18 April 2021, from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/how-many-dogs-are-there-in-the-world.html

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