Born in the bottom of a rusty cage, he made his way over the filth to eat. There wasn’t much to suckle and what was there was a fight to find through the clumps of matted and foul smelling hair that he knew as his Mother. She was a small unrecognizable girl, a Yorkshire terrier under the putrid hair that she had accumulated over the years of living in a mill. She did her best to care for her puppies, even in these horrific conditions she was a good Mother, the best that she could be.
He was only one, with his Mother barely hanging on she could only conceive but one, her little body knew her limits. So it was only he that she had to care for but even one was a lot when no one is caring for you. He managed to get just enough to grow, he was alive and that’s all that the millers cared about. Thriving meant nothing here, you were either alive producing or on your way to make them money.
It wasn’t long before the pup was opening his eyes, what lay before him was his life for a short time, hers for a lifetime. She sat there in this cage for as long as she could remember, here in her hideous so-called life given to her by those who were her captors. She had been purchased as a loving pet, her original owner duped by the one that had tossed her in a cage and left her to simply produce. And now she was with pups yet again, just one this time and he would be with her long enough to see the despair and then be swept away in a box.
As the sun peaked over the disheveled building the frenzy of barking commenced, it was collection day. Any puppy 4-5 weeks and over that wasn’t half dead was stuffed into the collection boxes and thrown onto the transport truck. This was what it was all for, the fat check in return for the puppies. The more puppies, the more money was to be had. There were no long goodbyes, no sad faces watching their pride and joy move onto a new life, no this is simply a money making business fueled by greed.
The puppies arrive at their destinations across the country. They are set into new cages, ones with big windows on one side so that the prospective buyers can pick and choose. The retailers draw you in with the big windows in the front of the store, filled with happy, romping puppies in them. You know that you cannot fight the force of an adorable puppy face and you just have a quick peek. Just looking.
It isn’t long until you are thinking, the sales associate is hovering, they can spot a deal in the making. Their sales pitch begins, they spew lies as they reel you in. “No, we don’t buy from Puppy Mills, no we have a list of reputable breeders we buy from.” Noticing the little puppy in the corner of the cage you ask “is there something wrong with this one?” “Oh no, he’s just tired.” With his head wobbling from the sheer weight of it he struggles to keep going. From the filthy cage where his life began to this brand new pink and purple one where again, there is no one who cares, really cares.
So you are duped into buying the little fella, the impulse purchase. Impulse and the AWWWW factor is what these stores rely on. And the employee agrees as he pushes, he’s so small and seems like he needs you. You take him home where you expect him to fill your home with puppy happiness. But he won’t eat, he cannot hold his head up and he isn’t waking up. After a day of not eating you rush him to the vet where they take drastic measures to try to save his life. Finally with people who really care it is too late. The Dr. and techs are rushing to save him, but with all of their attempts his tiny life slips away, he never stood a chance.
This is a fictitious story that I wrote as I considered all the folks that will be wandering into the pet stores this Holiday Season. Although these dogs are not real, it is a very real story played out everyday across the country. Please, as you pass by a store that sells puppies, think of the ones left behind in the filth and horror, take a stand.