Protect our puppies

Years ago, I was involved in rescuing and relocating dogs from a puppy mill, and images of that day will remain with me forever. Groups of dogs were living together in small, feces-encrusted cages that were stacked one upon another. But while physical conditions were shocking, learning about the long-term psychological effects on these animals was even more disturbing. What you may be wondering is why this is allowed to happen.

North Carolina has become a haven for puppy mills because we are one of 15 states that have no regulations for breeders. For a seizure to take place, the perpetrators must be charged with animal cruelty. That’s a high bar; what does or does not constitute cruelty in the eyes of the law can be interpreted in many ways. Another hurdle is the cost and logistics involved in confiscating animals. It is extremely expensive to house, feed and provide veterinary care for sickly animals, and taxpayers get stuck footing much of the bill. These situations can overburden local shelters, which are already stretched thin. So it only happens when the situation is egregious.

Past efforts to enact state legislation have failed, and this time around our leaders again appear to be caving to industry pressure. Some are talking about instituting a voluntary program, an absurd idea that will be meaningless. It is simply nonsensical that breeders are not subject to the same state laws as animal shelters, boarding kennels and pet shops. A whopping majority of North Carolinians support the licensing and inspection of puppy mills. Please sign the petition at and ask your state legislators to adhere to the will of the people. And, if you are considering adding a four-legged member to your family, please adopt from a local shelter or rescue group.  Animals need their lives more than breeders need your money.

— Stewart David


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4 thoughts on “Protect our puppies

  1. boatrocker

    Well, at least I can say I agree with the last two sentences of Mr. David’s letter. I can get behind legislation to monitor puppy mills, but roll my eyes when he suggests (in past letters) that the entire world’s population should give up eating meat.

    I read a sad statistic recently that PETA had euthanized almost 90% of animals sheltered at their Norfolk, VA headquarters in 2012. Is this what they call a double standard?

  2. Stewart

    The existence of puppy mills is one of the very reasons that euthanasia is often, sadly, the most humane option in an uncaring world. I don’t work for PETA, but some people seem intent on slamming them with misinformation every chance they get. I do greatly appreciate PETA’s heroic efforts on behalf of animals. Before attacking them again, I hope “boatrocker” (why must people hide behind monikers?) will at least read this:

    Why We Euthanize

  3. boatrocker

    Ok, I did actually read said article. While some of the descriptions/pictures were pretty gruesome to say the least, I did not find any info on PETA’s efforts to facilitate adoption or spaying/neutering on the part of responsible humans.

    You know, no Sally Struthers public service message with a 1-800 number to call to adopt a pet.

    Apparently, PETA likes to play the angel of mercy AFTER the fact by showing the effects of crappy excuses for humans abusing animals or animals with terrible medical conditions.

    PETA does encourage spaying/neutering and at least gives lip service for adoption, but in terms of facilitating either one, I guess we’re on our own.

    Years ago I had to have a cat euthanized after a debilitating cat stroke (I don’t know the exact medical term) which left her paralyzed and pretty much unable to function, and it wasn’t pretty.

    AS A LAST RESORT, I see the value of the needle with the big sleepy time drug in it, but I still question whether PETA is treating the problem or merely the symptom.

    If I were emperor for a day, anyone who desired a pet or to reproduce would have to pass a written and oral civil service type exam, but then nobody would post on the Internet as we’d be wingnut- free.

  4. boatrocker

    Wow, Thanks Mtn X. for selectively printing only one of my responses to Mr. David’s most recent post.

    You published only the second one, both having been submitted March 28. Taken out of context by itself, it gives the illusion I’m actually agreeing with Mr. David.

    I agree that some of the images are pretty gruesome, but not as to how they should be remedied.

    If there was anything in my first March 28 response to Mr. David’ urging me to read PETA’s statement, please be big enough to specifically list which if any terms of use agreements I may have violated so other readers/posters don’t make the same mistake. Sheesh.

    The thrust of my (first) response to Mr. David’s comments was that the statistics for PETA euthanization come from PETA websites and thus could not be considered misinformation. So much for his comment that I was trying to slam PETA using misinformation.

    I also called him out on using the term “heroic” to describe euthanasia vs. real heroism. Real heroism would be using PETA funds to actively adopt animals, spay/neuter them and make sure they have a good home and aren’t mistreated or abused. Merely putting them to sleep after abuses happen is closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.

    I made the case for adoption being heroic a la Spiderman, but euthanization used in place of adoption or spaying/neutering is more like something Dr. Doom would do. Is there a “No Marvel Comics” reference I missed when I signed a terms of use agreement?

    I finally posed a question a la ad absurdum- Is it preferable to have a human child, properly care for it (or else give it up for adoption to a family that could properly care for it) instead of waiting until the child got sick or ended up without a home and then euthanizing it?

    For the many ads I see in your paper advocating adoption of pets, one would think advertisers (or God Almighty as they are known in the journalism business) would possibly be on to something positive?

    I would welcome an actual printing of my first of two letters submitted on March 28, 2013. If a violation of the terms of agreement happened on my part, I’d also appreciate a specific example of such, unless the Letters to the Editor merely ran out of space on the Internet, in which case all is forgiven.

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