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Neecy's Journal
Posted by Neecy in Vegetarian, Vegan and Animal Rights Group
Fri Mar 24th 2006, 11:07 AM
Long story, but I'm pissed.

Six months ago, I adopted a puppy mill rescue. He's a black and tan Pomeranian and he came to me with a host of mental and health issues. His health issues have been and are being addressed - his teeth were broken from trying to chew through his cage at the mill so they were pulled, and his hind legs were so weak from lack of exercise he would simply topple over when walking. He's building up strength and can now do a slow trot in the yard. He has a number of digestive problems but those are showing improvement as well.

His neurotic behavior will take much longer to address, and we're making slow, steady progress. He has an abundance of trust issues, lives in terror of almost any noise or movement, has a fear of doorways, etc. He's slowly being socialized and he's progressed to the point where he'll now approach you for pets, something he'd never do when I first got him. He's a very sweet little guy and I'm wholly committed to giving him a normal, healthy existence.

The vet involved in his rescue had given me a written history with his health and AKC records, and yesterday I was glancing over them again when the following item caught my eye in the written history (this was provided by the rescue person who actually got him from the mill):

"He came from a breeder who said that he wss a reluctant breeder and she had no use for him. His name was (name deleted)* but he didn't answer to it so we named him Guido."

I thought - how odd, that a six year old dog wouldn't know his own name. I knew he was a puppy mill rescue but even that's kind of extreme.

I looked at the name of the miller on his AKC papers and did a quick google search and she has a website, and there is a large photo of my dog - ears back, eyes glazed, looking terrified - with a photo of one of his broods. She presented him and the dam as loving family pets, when I know for a fact they lived their lives in cages in a barn. This is a common scam with millers to give the impression that their breeding stock is socialized and living normal, healthy lives so I expected that particular outrage. This woman hawks 11 different breeds of dogs - typical - and openly says that they do it for the money to keep their 'modest home' on the farm.

What I was more interested in was where she got her breeding stock to begin with - I have my Pomeranian's pedigree, and he has many, many champion bloodlines. What reputable breeder sells breeding stock to a puppy mill?

So, I went back to my handy AKC registration and googled the name of my dog's breeder - and lo and behold, I came up with an elegant website of a breeder/handler complete with photos of her champion Pomeranians at their latest dog shows. This woman presents, without question, as a 'reputable' breeder of Pomeranians and even provides a lecture on what it means to improve the breed, tells us that she only sells to 'approved' homes, and goes on to say that she doesn't sell to puppy mills, brokers, or anyone selling commercially to a third party. What lies! She lives in the same small community as the miller, so there's no doubt whatsoever that she knows exactly what happened to the dog she sold her - my dog. This 'approved' home abused him and eventually gave him away because he was of 'no use' as a profit center.

I'm wondering if this isn't a common thing, an ugly secret among some 'reputable' breeders to sell quality breeding stock at (I'm sure) top dollar to a miller. How else can a miller offer pedigreed AKC dogs? Who's selling to them to begin with?

Perhaps the problem doesn't begin with the puppy millers - it begins with people who are accepted within the dog community as 'reputable'. It would be an interesting project to begin tracking puppy mill stock to the source. Maybe putting pressure on the 'reputable' breeders will do some good.

Sorry for the long post, but if you knew this wonderful little dog you'd be furious at the cruel life he led for six years. There has to be more than one method to shut these terrible operations down, and depriving them of their breeding stock might be a place to start.


*I deleted my dogs' original name because at least this miller surrenders dogs who don't produce. I want to encourage this behavior rather than have her kill or set them loose.
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