The Iowa Gazette
Weds., April 25, 2007
Opinion Page

Research Source Before Buying Puppy from Store

Two years ago, our family adopted a rescued Missouri Puppy Mill dog, and a second just two weeks ago.

Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota, ragom,org, has recently rescued 90-plus dogs from a puppy mill in North Dakota. Puppy mills are everywhere, including Iowa. Puppy mills are about greed and producing lots of puppies to sell to pet stores and other unsuspecting customers for enormous profits.

According to Retrieve a Golden, the dogs are often kept in horrendous living conditions. Cages may be stacked three high and the dogs may never be let out of their cages their whole lives. They are bred over and over until they quit producing, die or are rescued. They come into rescue organizations filthy, malnourished, with infections and broken teeth and are afraid of everything.

I can say first hand how pathetic the young dogs were when we got them.They would only crawl on their bellies, had little muscle tone and their fur coats were in poor condition. They didn't wag their tails and did everything they could not to look at anyone. They were afraid of everything. However, with time, patience, and socialization they became more confident and happy golden retrievers.

Before you buy a puppy via the Internet or a newspaper ad, check into the breeding conditions of these puppy brokers. Be wary of any breeder who will not let you visit the house. Don't even think about buying a puppy from a pet store. Consider getting your next dog from a shelter or a rescue organization.

I urge all dog lovers to inform others about the wide spread existence of these puppy mills. By refusing to buy a puppy from a pet store or from one of these types of breeders, we can put the puppy mills out of existence.

Pam Yenter