Apr 6, 2008
What I learned on Oprah II
Oprah's episode on Friday, April 4th, touched my heart deeply. Of course, it was another one of my favorite "Lisa Ling investigative reports". This time, Lisa exposed the cruelty of puppy mills for all to see. The director of Main Line Animal Rescue took her along with him as he rescued puppies and near-death breeding dogs from the puppy mills in Lancaster, PA. It seems the Amish look at dogs more as livestock and, therefore, there is a large concentration of mills in PA. Oprah showed clips of crowded dogs in cages, tumbling over each other. Their coats were matted with urine and chains were embedded in their necks. If they received any exercise at all, it was those dogs "lucky enough" to have a makeshift hamster wheel attached to their cage.
I really knew nothing about puppy mills until we adopted Maggie. She, as many of you know, was rescued from a mill. Perhaps the owner of the mill gave her up because she had kennel cough and would be hard to sell to a pet store. If she had been healthy, I imagine the mill could have kept her to breed for years to come. I can't stand to think about it.
Beyond that, the episode also featured a shelter in Ft. Worth. This shelter receives 50 dogs a day, but only adopts out a few. Hence, over 30 dogs/day are euthanized. They film followed a dog through the entire euthanasia process. The targeted dog appeared sweet, young and healthy. I watched her grow limp from the lethal injection. The taping then went on to show the dumpster filled with body bags. By this time I was sobbing. If they were trying to use gore or the scare tactic - it worked.
I took several messages from this show:
1) Spay or neuter your dog. It sounds cliche - but it's very important.
2) Never ever buy a dog from a pet store
3) Strongly consider a rescue dog. Even if you want a specific breed, you would be surprised at the number of breed specific rescues. I already found labradors, golden retrievers, and german shepherds. Many of them have puppies, too. Although after dealing with Maggie's puppy energy, it might be nice to get an older dog next time.