To the Editor:
As a resident of Sylva, a dog lover, and a volunteer for several local rescue groups, I am astonished that any reasonable person would oppose the very basic protections that regulating commercial dog breeders would offer to their breeding dogs.
At puppy mills in North Carolina, dogs are literally crammed into tiny wire cages, denied even basic veterinary care, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and given no exercise or human attention. Opposition groups are attempting to divert attention from one basic fact: puppy mills are cruel and the way these dogs are treated is wrong. Dogs are companion animals and were never meant to be bred or treated this way. Reasonable regulations will crack down on puppy mill abuses by establishing common sense and COMPASSIONATE standards for the basic care of dogs. Puppy mill operators are motivated by one thing: MONEY. They do not care about the welfare of the animal, nor do they care about the health of their breeding dogs, or the offspring for that matter. Offspring are sold to an unsuspecting and uneducated public despite the truth about these torture chambers for canines.
Animal shelters are already at full capacity and rescue groups (who are all nonprofit and rely on volunteers, donations and fundraisers) continue to be overwhelmed with unwanted pets. Every time a “puppy mill” location is shut down, or they feel the need to purge themselves of worn out and elderly breeding dogs, these same shelters and rescue groups are then burdened with the task of caring for these animals, as well as finding them suitable homes.
In addition, because these castoff animals are not socialized properly, many have behavioral issues as well as medical issues. It costs taxpayers a lot of money for the shelters to take care of these issues. Not to mention the emotional strain this adds to shelter workers and the rescue organizations. It affects our communities beyond what you could imagine.
Honestly, I am embarrassed with our country at large regarding the fact that we even allow “man’s best friend” to be kept under these conditions, knowing how inhumane it is. Responsible breeders carefully breed their dogs to improve the genetics and positive attributes of their canines, and, typically are very particular about the homes their dogs are placed in. They actually care for their dogs.
I urge anyone who loves animals to contact your legislators and ask them to regulate commercial dog breeders and require them to pay taxes like all other N.C. businesses. I would also encourage you to familiarize yourself with what a puppy mill really is, if you do not know. If you’re not appalled and repulsed, then check your pulse.