I Say do Away with the Sale of Pets All Together
Just last year Illinois became only the 5th state to ban the sale of puppies and kittens in retail pet shops. Why is it taking so long for states to end puppy and kitten mills?
Photos by: Neosiam2020, Pew Nguyen (kittens in cage) Irina Zhur (dogs in cage)
The answer might be in the history of puppy mills. After WWII and a cascade of crop failures in the Midwest, The USDA actually promoted the creation of puppy mills as a safe business for farmers who were struggling. Missouri is the leader in licensed puppy mills with an estimated 1.045 in the state. Iowa and Kansas are #2 and #3 respectively with a combined estimate of nearly 900 additional licensed puppy mills between them. Those are only the puppy mills that have a license to do what they do. There is no way to know how many puppy and kitten mills are operating unlicensed across the country. HSUS has a conservative guess of 10,000. Let's let that sink in for a moment. Many of the animals in these mills are kept in cages for their entire lives. They are bred and inbred until they literally can't do it anymore. Many are also destroyed because of birth defects and illness.
It is approximated that 2.15 million puppies are sold each year while approximately 1.2 million dogs and 1.7 million cats are euthanized in shelters every year. According to the chart above, 2.15 million / 16 = 134,375. That means it would take 134,375 females to have 16 puppies a year to be able to sell 2.15 million puppies a year, and that is the minimum.
I am always baffled by the idea of pet shops. I like that pet supply stores make space for rescues and shelters, but I always feel sorry for the birds, ferrets, and other animals that are there with only the most basic care. There are too many unwanted animals in this world already. We should not be selling them at all. And just like the mandate for rabies shots, anyone with a household pet should be required to get them fixed. That's my 2¢.
For more information on the laws in your state, click on the link below.