To those of you who say I don't know what I am talking about, I am lying and I don't have my facts straight, I say this to you: I HAVE BEEN TO PUPPY MILLS. I HAVE SEEN THEM FIRST HAND.
July 2009 we went to rescue victims of a puppy mill just west of Harrisonville. The owner's girlfriend had called an animal welfare friend of ours and said "my boyfriend is going to start shooting the dogs. He can't afford to feed the big ones and the small ones won't breed anymore. He said he is going to shoot them on Saturday."
We went to that puppy mill. Without a word, without a grimmace and without telling this man what we thought about him, we took more than TEN TRUCKLOADS of dogs from him. The small dogs, as his girlfriend said, woudn't breed anymore because their bodies had nearly fallen apart from being bred too many times.
My friend Melissa and I watched in horror as this man dragged mastiffs - normally 150+ pounds - who were terrified and skin-and-bones (not one weighed over 70 lbs). The mastiffs were pancake dogs - a termed used by the animal community when a dog is so terrified he hits the ground, like a pancake. These dogs had NEVER seen sunlight. NEVER stepped on grass. Many of the male dogs' back legs had atrophied because they'd never been used. They were kept in cages so tiny they couldn't stand up. They were only needed to impregnate the females so why give them a good sized crate?
This is a small tidbit of what I've seen. So, when you get all hysterical that I am lying, not doing my research and don't know what I'm talking about, I ask you:
Have you seen the look in a dog's eyes when he's given up hope? Have you seen what a dog looks like after living EIGHT YEARS in a wire crate with infections on her paws from standing in her own urine and feces?
I'm co-writing a column with Melissa describing our days at that puppy mill...so please, stay tuned for more factual accounts of what some Missouri commercial breeders really are.