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Research Topic Memo / HCP 1ST Draft

Date: April 10, 2018


To: Charlene Keeler
From: Jennifer Vazquez
Subject: How Puppy mills is an on-going issue that effects the physical and mental states of
innocent animals that are dogs.
Puppy Mills
A Puppy Mill is a dog breeding facility that sells dogs, which are kept under poor conditions,
illegally. Puppy Mills do not care for the puppies and their goal is to seek mass reproduction
from the adult dogs to gain as much profit as they can from the puppies they sell. Part of the
problem with puppy mills are that not many states have strict laws against or controlling puppy
mills and the part of the U.S government in charge of making sure that the “legal” puppy mills
are following the “correct” regulation isn’t on the side of the Animals. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) took down the website in which the pet sores could look at if the puppy mill
was legal or not or if the breeders had any past violations. Some bills such as the Arizona senate
bill 1258 stated that pet stores must have a page with the record of where the animal was from
whether it be a rescue or a legal puppy mill and the website from the USDA in which people
could find out more information. However, due to the retraction of the website from the USDA
many pet stores are at a loss and don’t know what to do. Also, there are loop holes to existing
legislation, such as the Animal Welfare Act, that was enacted to try to protect the dogs in puppy
mills. The living conditions in which the puppies are living in these mills are unpardonable.
These animals lack the proper veterinary care and the unsanitary conditions in which they are
caged in is horrendous. Dogs are put into small cages limiting their movement to stretch and
might even have to urinate or release their excrement in the cage. These cages are staked one on
top of another, so the feces of another dog can just fall on them and they can get sick. Because
these dogs lack the proper care and are caged up they don’t get to socialize very much and so this
cause extra stress and fear on the dog. Many of the older dogs are trapped in these conditions
their entire lives because the breeders, humans, have them there so they can be constantly
reproducing and birthing new puppies that will be taken away from their mother at a very young
age that cause a strain on the social lives of the puppies and their mother. It is very difficult to
find these clandestine places in which puppy mills are run, because it could have hidden in
someone’s backyard.
One of the guiding questions that I have asks, “How many states have actual regulations and or
have banned puppy mills”. One of the sources provide spreadsheets that address how well or if
they are at all enforcing some type of state law additionally to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
This spreadsheet showed that 20 out of our 50 states don’t have additional state laws that protect
animals in puppy mills. I need to find out What type of physical, emotional, and mental harm are
these dogs undergoing? One of my sources include an article form the journal of Applied Animal
Behavior Science, Franklin D. McMillan, Deborah L. Duffy, James A. Serpell researched how
the mental stability and health of dogs who were part of puppy mills were affected. They noticed
that female dogs who were pregnant transmitted the stress they felt from their environment to
their unborn liter.

Puppy mills date back to the end of World War II. This was ironically promoted by the USDA
and advertised that it was a “lucrative and failproof business”, as said by the nonprofit research
organization called Faunalytics. Historical aspects are important because puppy mills arose as a
source of income for many people who had no money after World War II and sought to look for
an easy and steady way to make a living. We can see how USDA advertised the start of puppy
mills and across time we can see how government laws have been formed and shaped to start
protecting these innocent animals from the cruel hands of the breeders.

I have found useful sources from veterinary journals such as the article from Franklin D.
McMillan, Deborah L. Duffy, James A. Serpell. They provide an actual “experiment” result in
which they first hand are noting down how the mental health of a commercial bred dog (puppy
mill dog) compares to the mental health of a dog which is not under those stressing conditions. I
have also found the court cases and senate bills in which certain states formed or adjusted
existing legislation to further protect animals in puppy mills. The current conversation on the
issue is stronger than ever. The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA have
brought a lot of awareness to the public through the new and emerging technological platforms.
These platforms allow the young and old connect and try to make a difference for this
controversial issue. Pictures and videos are shown on social media that brings devastating images
in which these helpless pups are living under. Some of my sources state that the new legislation
will really help in stopping puppy mills that work under gruesome conditions, but other explain
the loopholes in the legislations. To work on the viable solutions, I must see what has been done.
As well as what has been done in the past, I need to investigate the efficiency of these past
techniques on regulating puppy mills making sure that it is in favor of the dogs and what other
solutions have been done efficiently and are working. I must also ask myself if there are any
other possible improvements to such solutions?