Economic Woes & Puppy Mill Awareness Day


Today is Puppy Mill Awareness Day. (I learned about the day through my favorite Vet Blog.)

Gandhi said that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. If we think about puppy mills and illegal breeding facilities, we have further evidence that our nation is in trouble.

What do puppies have to do with Human Resources? Over the years, I have run into my fair share of professionals — IT, Finance, Legal, HR, Aviation — who left corporate America for various reasons (e.g., layoffs, retirement, opting out) and are now breeding dogs for profit.

I know the economy is tough and money is tight, but I have a difficult time with the idea of making money on dogs.


The good news is that most people are kind and caring towards animals. Spay & neutering efforts have been successful in large parts of America, and there is a shortage of unwanted, healthy, mixed-breed puppies in the marketplace.

There are thoughtful breeders out there who raise their animals in a humane way. Responsible members of my community have told me that they love a specific breed of dog, want to see healthy dogs inserted into the population, and very rarely make a profit on their endeavors. I can’t argue with animal lovers who are trying to do the right thing. If you love animals and want to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder, that’s okay by me. If you are a registered business owner and follow local laws and guidelines and breed puppies, it’s no business of mine as to how you earn a living.

The bad news is that shifty & unethical entrepreneurs are filling our communities with unwanted and over-bred dogs. When a puppy is born with genetic malformations, or if an adult dog can no longer have puppies, those dogs are either killed or dumped at a local animal services facility. When a breeder in your community acts in an irresponsible and uninformed manner, and when a simple breeding operation gets out of hand, the consequences are dire for local agencies. Those agencies, funded by your tax dollars, are required to step in and save the day.

Furthermore, many breeders operate under the radar of the IRS, state tax agencies, and local guidelines & ordinances. Your community doesn’t reap the benefits of a business that operates within its jurisdiction, but your local agencies are asked to intervene when a puppy mill is discovered, animals are dumped at shelters, and when puppies and older dogs require emergency medical care.


I think Gandhi is right — the greatness of a nation community and its moral fiscal progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. This philosophy applies to children, the environment, and a host of other local issues, too.

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