Friday, July 19, 2013

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries...."

“The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit.”-Albert Einstein

Sunday, July 21st is "No Pet Store Puppies Day" On this day the ASPCA highlights awareness of the serious issues of puppy mills and over breeding in the US.
Thousands of pet store owners in your own neighborhood  may have adorable designer puppies for sale. Many stores and online companies advertise they can supply their customers with any and all "popular breeds". Where do the puppies come from? Store owners will tell you that they don't get their puppies from puppy mills and say their puppies are all from (United States Department of Agriculture) "USDA licensed breeders."  What does that actually mean? If you investigate a little further you will discover many USDA licensed breeders are no consolation.

     The standards of "care" required by the USDA are disturbingly inadequate and not what most people- animal lover, advocate or not- would consider the least bit humane. According to the ASPCA, under this federal Animal Welfare Act, which is enforced by the USDA, dogs in commercial breeding facilities can legally be kept in cages a mere six inches longer than the dog in each direction. If you have difficulty picturing what this looks like go to the ASPCA website and you can view some appalling photographs recently taken at these "breeder" facilities. It's extremely hard for people to look at  photo's of animals being tortured and it damn well should be. If you have a conscience it should invoke feelings of sickness and disgust. There are other countries in the world that are much more brutal with dogs. Their treatment is  much more severe and citizens, law enforcement and activists are working together to stop the greedy vicious cycle of stealing, maiming, skinning alive and then selling dogs and puppies for food. We as Americans cannot allow this to happen in our country.  In the US right now dog cages in puppy mills and breeding facilities are stacked on top of one another as dogs live out their entire lives this way. They never step paws on the ground or the grass, breathe fresh air, receive veterinary care or even get cuddled or stroked by a human hand. Some breeding dogs will spend their lives outdoors exposed to the elements or crammed inside small dog house like structures. They are suffering in pain, hungry, there fur is matted and covered in urine and feces.
   Believe it or not, it's completely legal in the US to house dogs and pups in cages with wire flooring. The standards of care currently required are leaving disastrous loopholes for dogs to be severely mistreated.  Female breeding dogs have little or no rest and recovery time between bearing litters.  Even more unbearable is the fact that when, after a few years, the females can no longer reproduce or when that "popular breed" goes out of “style,” the dogs are often abandoned, shot or starved to death. Most of the female breeder dogs are only fours years old when put to death. As painful as this may sound,  please imagine your own pet. Imagine what it would be like for you to see your own dog or puppy suffer. You would never allow this to happen if you could prevent it, right?  You can. You can do more than you realize. Imagine that you do something to save just one animals life. Imagine if we all did something to help. Now stop imagining and  please, do it.

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“In our day, there are stresses and fractures of the human-animal bond, and some forces at work would sever it once and for all. They pull us in the wrong direction and away from the decent and honorable code that makes us care for creatures who are entirely at our mercy. Especially within the last two hundred years, we've come to apply an industrial mind-set to the use of animals, too often viewing them as if they were nothing but articles of commerce and the raw material of science, agriculture, and wildlife management. Here, as in other pursuits, human ingenuity has a way of outrunning human conscience, and some things we do only because we can--forgetting to ask whether we should.”
Wayne Pacelle, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them