Swank Pets Dog Blog

Helpful Tips and Lifestyle News About the World of Tiny Dogs

Swank Pets Dog Blog header image 2

Oprah Takes a Fight Against Puppy Mills

April 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Last week on Oprah, there was a special report where super undercover reporter, Lisa Ling, went along with Bill Smith to find out what really goes on in puppy mills.  Bill Smith represents the Main Line Animal Rescue , an organization that recovers and rehabilitates dogs that puppy mills no longer want because they are unable to keep breeding.  In this one hour special, Lisa and Bill’s main goal is to raise awareness to the public that 99% of all dogs found at pet shops come from puppy mills.  Bill Smiths’ hope is that people across America will see the absolutely horrid conditions that these dogs and puppies live in, and hopefully deter anyone from buying a dog from a pet shop in the future. 

lisa ling and bill smith of MLAR

I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at one point in our lives.  We go into a pet shop and see all the cute little puppies.  Their furry little faces are so adorable that you just can’t resist bringing one home.  In actuality, the majority of people love to just look, but there are still many many people that buy their dogs from pet shops.  Bill Smith and the MLAR hope that their show on Oprah will help deter people from buying puppies from a pet shop and end the puppy mill business.

The show on Oprah was actually very disturbing to watch.  Lisa and Bill wanted to prove that these puppies from pet shops were actually from puppy mills.  So the two first set out to a local pet shop to start their investigation.  By looking at the puppies papers, Lisa and Bill were able to track down where the puppy originally came from.  Even though the pet shop owner denied the fact that his puppies were from puppy mills, Lisa and Bill later that day proved that to be a completely FALSE statement.  At the puppy mill, the two were greeted by the “breeder” who later showed them around the mill.  Bill was pretending to be in the market for some breeding dogs which is why the puppy mill owner was so obliging.  Lisa Ling’s hidden camera revealed some absolutely gruesome footage.  First, there were sights of dead dogs just laying around the yard.  Next, the sheer smell of urine and feces was so pungent and strong that it was almost unbearable.  The cages that these dogs lived in were the worst part.   The cages themselves were absolutely filthy with feces and other nasty looking debris.  Many of the puppy mills had cages that were so small that the dogs couldn’t even stand up in them!  Furthermore, the bottom of the cages were wire mesh…sort of like a rabbit cage if you can picture that.  The wire cage caused many of the dogs to have permanent cuts and lacerations on their paws because of the wire constantly digging into their feet.  Imagine that under your feet 24/7! The most disturbing moment was when Bill rescued a dog and tried to take it home.   The dog’s cage was so small that this dog was never able to stand or walk around.  Basically, the dog had lost the use of its legs becuase it was never able to stand! 

shot of puppy mill conditions

Basically, these puppy mills were the most gruesome, inhumane, filthy, and disturbing place I’ve ever seen.  I couldn’t believe how poorly someone could possibly treat an animal…especially a DOG!  The looks on these puppy mill owners’ faces made me sick.  They had no emotion or any care in the world that these dogs were treated so horribly.  Theses puppy mill owners simply saw these dogs as inventory rather than an actual living breathing animal.  These people are truly sick in the head.  If I were a judge, I would sentence these puppy mill owners to live in these cages themselves so they know what it feels like to be kept in such horrible conditions.

puppy mill conditions caught on camera

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that these puppy mills are not illegal.   Since dogs are seen as livestock in these states, there are no laws against having a puppy mill.  On the brighter side of things, Bill Smith and the MLAR has been able to save about 8,000 of the dogs that puppy mills were planning on simply killing becuase they were no longer able to breed.  The MLAR helps to rehabilitate these dogs and place them in loving homes across the country.  Oprah’s staff ended up adopting 3 of the dogs just from the show itself.

MLAR dog rehabilitation center

So what can we do to help Oprah and the MLAR on the fight against puppy mills?  First, NEVER EVER EVER buy a puppy from a pet store.  As I mentioned earlier, there’s a 99% chance that the puppy comes from a puppy mill.  Next, tell all your friends and family to NEVER EVER EVER buy a puppy from a pet store.  Hopefully, this will slowly put puppy mills out of business. Now spread the word or send this link to your friends and family!

Tags: Doggie News

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 terriers4me // Apr 17, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Nice summarization of the key points of the show as well as just how horrid a mill is. Thank you.

You must log in to post a comment.