To the editor:
I recently read that a dog breeder in West Point had his license suspended for improper treatment of his animals. After further investigation I found that he had over 1,300 animals on his residence and that many were in need of serious medical attention. I also found that Iowa is the second worst state in America for puppy mills. Our state has lax laws and requirements for puppy mill breeders. I believe that it is time we change that.
People need to know that when they purchase puppies from a pet store, through the internet, classified ads, swap meets or flea markets, they are unknowingly supporting puppy mills. Puppy mills are inhumane breeding facilities that produce puppies in large numbers. They are designed to maximize profits and commonly disregard the physical, social and emotional health of the dogs. The breeding dogs at puppy mills often live their entire lives in cramped, filthy cages. They are forced to breed over and over again, producing litters of puppies that often have physical and behavioral problems due to the poor conditions. These dogs rarely get the medical attention they desperately need and are often killed once they stop producing puppies.
Over a million puppies are produced by licensed facilities each year. Between three and four million animals are euthanized by shelters each year because they cannot find homes. I urge all readers to reconsider buying that puppy in the window and consider adopting a shelter dog.