Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Puppy Mills: A Scourge on Society

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I feel the need to ask this… After everything in the news about puppy mills, who in their right mind would buy a puppy from a pet store or even over the Internet? If you love dogs, the last place you should be shopping for one is in a pet store or online (with the exception of adoption sites like, of course).

Near my hometown of Seattle, we’ve seen two, alleged puppy mills raided in the last month with nearly 600 dogs seized and now living at the Everett Animal Shelter or in foster homes. These dogs were rescued from deplorable conditions – sick, matted, covered in feces and urine, crammed into cages – one dog even needing an eye removed. Many have tumors or other physical abnormalities and several dead dogs were found on the properties.

I know this is hard to read, but I am outraged and sickened by this as well as discouraged that people continue to sell and buy dogs in pet stores – just perpetuating this scourge.

With that said, I am also encouraged by the outpouring of support and donations from the community – people reaching out to help these dogs – something I’m sure these poor animals have never experienced in their lives. Many area groomers have donated their time and skills. Dog food collection sites have been set up in various locations. And, legislation has been introduced on the state level to more tightly regulate breeders. In other words, there is hope.

But still, many of the dogs seized are/were pregnant so litters of puppies are being born at the shelter plus many of the animals need serious veterinary care. If you would like to donate dog food or money for medical expenses to the Everett Animal Shelter’s nonprofit agency, ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation), you may do so by calling 425-257-6000 or visiting the shelter in person at 2732 36th St., Everett, Wash. To learn more about ARF, visit

Thank you for letting me vent.

Brandie Ahlgren, founder
CityDog Magazine

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