Saturday, September 17, 2016

National Puppy Mill Awareness Day

As today is Puppy Mill Awareness Day, we're reposting an interview from 2011 with Sarah Little, Manager of Admissions and Animal Healthcare at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City.

I asked her about the role animal shelters and rescue resources like Wayside Waifs can play in our fight to eradicate puppy mills in America. Here's what she told me:

puppy in cage
Puppy in cage, from
"There are so many reasons to become involved with the puppy mill problem. You're helping the animal community but you're also helping the human community. The truth is that some animals are living in horrid conditions because some - not all - breeders either do not have or choose not to use the financial resources necessary to maintain a basic quality of life for these animals.

"In Missouri, there are some decent, licensed breeders but there are also many unlicensed breeders who keep their animals living in terrible conditions. Our goal is to help get the dogs out of there so they can be given the proper nutrition and medical care they need, they can be rehabilitated and given a chance to live a normal life."

Dog in cage, from
"We've seen some serious issues with the dogs we rescue from puppy mills. The biggest issue by far is dental. The animals are fed such a poor diet that young dogs only a few years old are losing teeth. In some cases the teeth have rotted away and the decay has gone into the jaw bone. In one particular case, the decay was so pronounced, portions of the jaw were eroded completely and the jaw was, in fact, broken in places.

"They have found frequent cases of mammary tumors in dogs who had whelped too many litters, some benign, others tragically malignant. Then there are skin conditions that are easily treated but ignored as extraneous expenses: cherry eye, a common congenital eye defect in various dog breeds easily corrected by surgery, is just one example.

"All I can say is that to be able to give these dogs the medical help they need is more rewarding than words can express."

Many thanks to Sarah for letting us interview her back in 2011, and giving us just a brief glimpse into how rewarding it can be for a local shelter to help carry the torch as we all seek to bring an end to puppy mills in the U.S.

Please...encourage your local shelter to consider implementing a similar program!




  1. The doggies eyes tell it all. Those poor babies. I know laws have been passed, but it still goes on and on and on. So sad. Thanks for reminding us that puppy mills still exist.

  2. Hopefully some day...not soon enough...this atrocity will stop.

  3. Excellent post to bring awareness to these poor pups.

  4. Great post ! It's so important ! Purrs

  5. Excellent post. I wish people saw these warnings about the mills every single DAY! And hoarding too.

  6. It's just such a sad thing. We have a hard time even looking at those little faces. It needs to end.

  7. Puppy mills make us so sad. We wish people were more aware and would adopt.

  8. Heartbreaking. It makes us sad and mad that puppy mills even exist.

  9. it is so sad that so many people are working against efforts to reduce / eliminate puppy mills.. People who end up adopting puppy mill dogs have no idea of the life they lived before they ended up in a pet store, nor do they know the life their parents live. Usually when they do they are horrified.

  10. There's a great cat rescue called TinyKittens that has a motto: #adoptdontshop. We wish all peeps who wanted a nice companion animal could do that. What happens to kitty and doggy mamas at lots of breeding mills is so awful and sad--and for what? I mean, *I* myself am a purrfect kitty in every way (yes, I am, too!) and I am a total moggy/mutt. We are the best! This is a great post. XOXOXOXO

  11. Oh these angels! Their eyes tell the stories ♥


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