Dear Council Member,
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this letter. I realize, in your position, that you have many issues to consider.
I write to you today, begging for your assistance in having Puppy Mills banned in Ontario.
Most people are completely unaware of puppy mills and, the disgusting way in which, their adorable puppies are manufactured. These are the healthier puppies who survive, who aren’t killed or surrendered to shelters. People don’t think past the sad ‘puppy dog eyes’ looking out from the cage or glass box in a pet store. So sad that he is confined to that space, they scoop him up and take him home. That is first class accommodation compared to a mill. Purchasing that puppy from a pet store ensures further production of milled puppies. Other individuals simply turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not as bad as ‘they’ say. ‘They’ are the few individuals working tirelessly to increase awareness and ban the puppy mill industry. ‘They’ are people who, have seen first -hand the horrific conditions these animals live in, some for their entire lives, until they are eliminated with one or more strikes of a hammer to their head. Perhaps it is the lucky ones that are shot. Regardless of method, these worn out creatures, used purely for the purpose of mass production, are disposed of, when no longer of use, ending up on the same heap of waste. There are photos (sparingly, not included) which, I assure you are not staged.
THIS IS THE SHAMEFUL REALITY; we, as a society, care more about how the cattle and chickens we consume are raised. Perhaps it is because some of us feel guilty that they are slaughtered for our consumption, and feel less guilty supporting a manufacturer that assures us the livestock is being raised and slaughtered in the most humane manner.
There are more than a hundred Mills in Ontario. This number is an estimate, provided by Kimberly Thomas of Kismutt Rescue http://www.kismutt.com . Kimberly provides shelter to dogs surrendered by millers. Speaking with an employee of another rescue organization recently, I learned that, although inspections are carried out, the owners of the mills are provided notice. Time to modify conditions, prior to inspection. The millers are well aware of what is required to simply ‘pass’ an inspection however, do not exercise the same consideration for their livestock on a day-to-day basis as, it costs more time and money to do so. Inspectors are there to ensure basic standards are met.
The puppies are shipped to pet stores, purchased online or picked from the stall in the ‘upper class’ barn on visitation days (again, giving farmers time to relocate and spruce things up). Non puppies that are healthy may be used to breed and further produce livestock. The dogs surrendered to shelters require rehabilitation and training. Essentially, they are wild, unsocialized animals. Many have health issues, for example; broken bones, under-developed, missing limbs and blindness.
I have friends from Korea and Africa and, I understand there are issues surrounding even the ownership of dogs in the Middle East. I am told that, even our milled dogs are better treated. THIS IS CANADA. Most dog owners in Canada consider them to be part of our family. How can we ignore this inhumane, mass-production is happening within our own communities?
My dogs Henry and Reese are puppy mill survivors. I speak from experience the work required to rehabilitate a dog that not only, does not trust, it is so fearful of a human he will urinate if you come too close. A dog afraid to play with other dogs and doesn’t know what to do with a toy. A dog that, for the first six months, slept in corners and under furniture until, nearly two years later, finally appreciates a cuddle and the comfort of a cozy bed.
Please, investigate this matter for yourself. Once you have experienced first-hand the heartbreaking situation, I believe you will agree that changes need to be made. Starting with, closing down mills in Ontario.