Puppy mill operators do not need pet shops to sell their product any more; they have a better way that eliminates the two middle men, the dealer and the pet shop. Now the puppy mill breeder has the internet.
Recently, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, (IFAW) conducted a study examining the use of the internet by puppy mills. What they found is shocking. Many people opt to buy a puppy sight unseen, over the internet. What is sad is that these buyers are led to believe that they are purchasing puppies from reputable breeders. It goes without saying that the puppy mill is not going to show the horrid conditions that their dogs live and die in, but rather pictures of cute, healthy puppies and dogs.
The IFAW examined the activity for just one day on nine web sites: Animaroo, DogsNow, NextDayPets, PuppyFind, PuppyTrader, TerrificPets, Craigslist, eBayClassifieds and Oodle and compiled the following statistics.
Ads for puppy sales equaled 361,527; a conservative estimate showed this to represent 733,131 individual puppies advertised in one day.
You may wonder how these numbers could be so high. A conservative estimate is that there are 9000 – 10,000 puppy mills operating in the United States. This does not count the backyard breeder and smaller operations.
Based on their findings they ranked the sites which most likely had puppy mill dogs for sale as follows: Animaroo, 85 percent — PuppyTrader 64 percent,-- DogsNow 62 percent, --NextDayPets 61 percent,-- PuppyFind 55 percent and TerrificPets 44 percent.
Unfortunately the laws governing puppy mill operation were written before the internet, so there are loop holes that allow these people to operate without being controlled.
As a result of this study, the IFAW is working to support the USDA’s proposal to regulate online sellers (rescues excluded) in addition to urging Congress to increase funding for USDA inspections of licensed facilities and to increase the number of trained inspectors available to ensure that regulations are enforced.
What can you do? Do not buy a puppy or dog online. Encourage everyone you talk to not to buy online. Contact your Senator and Representative about the problem. Spread the word about puppies and the internet.
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