Dog-loving considered a controversial issue? In general, there

Dog-loving families often find themselves rushing to pet stores to get adorable puppies, but they are oblivious to how these puppies suffer.  All they see are what pet stores want their puppies to be perceived as instead of the truth.  Many of these puppies come from breeders working in puppy mills.  These puppy mills might sound like good places, but they are the exact opposite. In order to keep a profit, many puppy mills over breed their dogs and keep puppies in cramped, filthy conditions.   In order to prevent over-breeding and encourage adoptions of shelter dogs, puppy mills need to be closed down because they cause the puppies to live through harsh conditions.Regarding the issue of puppy mills, many people do not have any previous knowledge on the topic.  The general public sees dogs at pet stores, but they do not connect how these (mainly pure breed) puppies are supplied to wholesale buyers.  I only learned recently about puppy mills through a news outlet a few years ago, which makes me feel that puppy mills are being represented by their end product and not what they really are. “Puppy mills are places where people breed large numbers of dogs for sale, often in very poor conditions….”these puppy mills are more concerned about making money than taking good care of their animals” (“California Law Sell Only Shelter Dogs and Cats,”).  Keeping this definition in mind, why should puppy mills be considered a controversial issue?  In general, there are many issues and concerns regarding puppy mills.  First, the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website contends that a huge problem with puppy mills is the lack of clean living conditions.   Puppy-mill kennels can consist of anything from small cages made of wood and wire mesh to tractor-trailer cabs to simple tethers attached to trees.” (“Puppy Mills…Pet Trade”) As a example, the article stated that a Pennsylvania puppy breeder confessed to keeping his dogs in cages because that was the only way he could keep a large amount of dogs at once. Sadly, this way of thinking isn’t too uncommon for dog breeders.  Their need to keep so many dogs for profit is one of the main causes for over breeding and poor living conditions.  While the issue of puppy mills might be considered to only involve the dogs within puppy mills, it goes further than internal issues.  The breeding and supplying of pure breed puppies from puppy mills is also linked to animals being euthanized in animal shelters.  Data found within the article entitled “California Law Requires Pet Stores to Sell Only Shelter Dogs and Cats” indicated that “unfortunately, not all of the cats and dogs in the U.S. have homes.”  Each year about 6.5 million are brought to animal shelters.  About a quarter of the dogs in shelters are purebred, which means they came from breeders or puppy mills.  Of the animals brought to shelters each year, about 5 million are adopted.  The rest are euthanized, which means they are put to death, usually in a humane way.   I have personal experience with this problem because my own dogs came from animal shelters.   They are not the perfect pure breeds that you could get at a pet store, and they are not perfect dogs due to their troublemaking habits.  However,  they are still lovable and important parts of my family.  If I had decided to go to a pet store instead of adopting at a animal shelter, there could of been a chance that my two dogs, Boo and Keira, could have been euthanized.  Along with dogs being euthanized, puppy mills are also spreading throughout the country and world.  In  “A dog’s life; Puppy mills”, the article states “That adorable little puppy in the store probably came from a puppy mill, a breeding kennel that raises dogs in cramped, crude, filthy conditions.”  The majority of these facilities are in the Midwest (there are an estimated 1,500 unlicensed kennels in Missouri alone), but they can be found throughout the country.  Some dealers even import puppies from other countries. A number of states are enacting legislation to improve the conditions within puppy mills. Federal legislation produced the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. This act is defined as “….an exercise in direct democracy that was passed on November 2nd to improve conditions in the state’s breeding facilities.” (“California Law Sell Only Shelter Dogs and Cats,”).   However there is little that the government can do regarding corruption and the large amount of puppy mills that need inspections.  This corruption is documented in ways such as in the PETA site. The website states “The American Kennel Club (AKC) opposes mandatory spay-and-neuter programs for purebred dogs and receives funding from breeders who pay AKC registration fees.  Buyers may be swayed by talk of “papers” and “AKC registration,” but these papers cannot ensure good temperament or good health.  As well, this is seen once again in the newspaper editorial “That Puppy in the window may have come from a bad breeder.” The editorial went on to indicate “And for even the ones that do, the standards set by the Animal Welfare Act are so abysmally low that breeders can keep animals in cramped cages, give them water as infrequently as twice a day, and breed females continuously to the detriment of their health.”  The worst offenders, who fall short of even the minimal standards, get cited but may remain licensed despite repeated violations.  Government actions have been made to go against these mills, but they lack the resources, time, and ability to thoroughly inspect and punish bad breeders in puppy mills.There are many people in the United States that feel that puppy mills should be improved instead of shut down completely.  These concerned citizens feel that puppy mills should be reformed because there are good breeders producing pure breed puppies for consumers.  The demand of these pure breed puppies as well as pet store opinions on puppy mills can be seen in evidence from “California Law Requires Pet Stores to Sell Only Shelter Dogs and Cats.” This source explains that “many people buy from breeders or pet stores because they want purebred dogs.”  People pay more for these dogs, from $500 to $3000, on average.  Some pet stores say the law will put them out of business.  Some people support this opposition against the end of puppy mills.  However, the improvement of puppy mills will not help shelter dogs or stop some breeders from finding loopholes in order to save money.  Previous sources mentioned show this through the weak government policies and corruption that bad breeders use to stay in business.  I respectfully contend that puppy mills should be shut down.  Puppy mills cause both puppies and dogs to suffer in horrible living conditions.  Their suffering stems from over breeding and overcrowded cages due to overpopulated mills.  They also negatively affect the number of adopted puppies and dogs from accredited animal shelters. With these in mind, why should puppy mills even be considered for improvement?  There would be little that could be done to assure that these puppies and breeding dogs would no longer be abused.  The issue of puppy mills has been seen as unimportant in the past, but now is the time for change.  Although the issues surrounding puppy mills have gone virtually unnoticed by the public, they are becoming a greater issue and must all be shut down