Puppy mill operators subject dogs to horrendous conditions before tidying them up to sell them to pet stores or showcase them on the internet. You’ve probably seen plenty of those graphic, disgusting images; I’m never going to show them here. The avoidance of suffering porn — as I think of it — is also the approach the ASPCA has taken in this video that is trying to steer people away from buying anything at stores that sell puppies.
Part of the No Pet Store Puppies campaign, this video is a bit peculiar, and I don’t know if it’s effective, but it’s definitely not graphic or upsetting. What do you think?
More on puppy mills
There’s been a whole lot of ranting going on about puppy mills as a result of the recent showing of the Madonna of the Mills documentary on HBO — which is a good thing. The topic inspired me to write about drunken puppy buying last week. And then I read about a recent New Yorker article by Adam Gopnik. The author talks about buying a dog for his ten year old daughter and says:
Shrewd enough to know that she would never get us out of the city to an approved breeder, she quietly decided that she could live with a Manhattan pet-store “puppy mill” dog if she could check its eyes for signs of illness and its temperament for symptoms of sweetness. Finally, she backed us into a nice pet store on Lexington Avenue and showed us a tiny bundle of caramel-colored fur with a comical black mask. “That’s my dog,” she said simply.
For the rest of the article, see http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/08/08/110808fa_fact_gopnik#ixzz1WqomeHhD
Let’s get this straight: Gopnik’s 10-year-old daughter did her homework, but Mom and Dad couldn’t be bothered. They’d rather shell out hundreds of dollars for a product of substandard breeding than track down a reputable breeder or, even better, choose a dog from the local shelter. In so doing, they’ve helped perpetuate the awful cycle that will doom that puppy’s mother to life in a cage, churning out litter after litter for profit’s sake.
I’m shocked and appalled. If a writer of Gopnik’s stature can be fooled, we have lots more work to do.
I’m shocked and appalled, too. And my original source of information about the article, Tracie Hotchner, devoted a good part of her public radio show, Dog Talk, to the topic. No one rants like Tracie — and I mean that in a good way. Listen to her here:
Tracie Hotchner on Adam Gopnik