In your visits to the mall this holiday season many of you will walk by those puppies in the window you see those sad eyes looking out at you so you stop in to visit with the puppies. Somehow you walk out the door with your brand new tiny purchase. Sure the fluffy little puppy is cute and it was no more difficult to purchase then the new tv that is on sale you were there to buy or the winter coat you needed. Without even thinking of what next you are in the car on the way home with a brand new puppy and completely overpriced puppy. The kids will scream with glee when the puppy with a ribbon around its neck runs into the house.
Then two days later you notice green gunk coming from the puppy’s nose or it seems really tired sleeping the entire day away. With so many parties and events you don’t have time to take the dog to the vet or the money to spend on the visit. So you ignore the issue until the puppy can barely lift its head up and finally at 9pm on a Friday a week after purchasing the puppy you run to the emergency vet kids hysterical crying and demand they make the puppy all better. The vet determines that the puppy had distemper or parvo or pneumonia and will cost about $1,000 to treat at this stage. Its now that you start screaming at the staff how dare they charge those prices when your dog is so sick and in need of medical care and make you pay it before they will treat your dog. Well you just spent $1500 or more on the puppy and don’t have the money to care for the dog and your contract with the puppy store says well they don’t refund money (unless a doggy autopsy has been performed) or help offset the cost of medical issues if the dog was “healthy” when it left the store. So now with the kids crying, the vet saying they will not euthanize a puppy with a condition they can treat, and no desire to spend anymore money on the dog you need to make a decision. You can either take the puppy home with some antibiotics and watch it suffer because what it needs is iv fluid and intravenous antibiotics or sign the dog over to the vet to care for and find a new home.
Then again you could get lucky and the puppy not come home with a horrible sickness. Your dog might even live the first year of its life like any other puppy on the block. Its sort of like playing Russian Roulette and the looser is the puppy. Actually no at least your puppy knew what love was and the feel of grass under their paws and the taste of a treat and licking a human’s face no matter how short its life or the pain it was feeling from diseases completely preventable. Your puppy had a warm bed to sleep in, in the winter and cool water to drink in the summer. Your puppy chased balls, fetched sticks, and walked in the fresh air. Your puppy might have been three before it showed signed of fatal Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) that advanced so quickly all you could do was treat with heart meds and hope it wasn’t suffering. Your puppy might have lived until 5 when you noticed it started to bump into things and slowly over weeks and months become completely blind from Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Your puppy might have even lived to 6 or 7 years old before it became too painful for it to walk due to hip dysplasia or luxating patellas. But it did know love and happy times, compassion, and friendship. Because by now you are attached to the puppy and willing to pay anything so it doesn’t suffer you are willing to pay for the experimental therapy for the hip dysplasia or the $200 per month on meds to try and halt the spread of the disease that could have been prevented before the puppy was ever born by some testing of the parents but tests cost money and eat away at the bottom line of puppy mills.
The real loser is the puppy’s mother who will now be forced to continue breeding in deplorable conditions because there is a demand. A mother whose fur is so matted and dirty that it weights them down. Whose paws are so raw from standing on metal grates that their toes are infected and eye is infected from rubbing against the rusty crate it calls home. Who is so malnourished from its moldy food and dirty water its a miracle the dog is still alive let alone producing puppies. A mother who had her puppies ripped from her side when the owner of the horrible facility decided that the puppies could now eat solid food and go on to the pet store while they are still super small and cuddly so people will buy them. A mother who will be forced to produce litter after litter of puppies with no veterinary care where a complicated birth means the mother cut open by the facility owner with no proper tools or anesthesia to get the puppies out because to loose them would mean loosing money. Hey they can always have another one of their sick malnourished mothers nurse an extra litter of puppies without thought to her well-being or health.
While we at Two Little Cavaliers do not advocate puppies as presents and especially not for the Holidays (but that’s another post) there are puppies and dogs of all ages who would love to have a place they can call home for the New Year. Check out Petfinder.com in your area to see the available dogs for adoption.