WHAT IS A PUPPY MILL?
While doing research I came across many articles written about the wholesale dog industry. In
September of 1992, Life Magazine wrote an article called "Not Fit For A Dog". The author of
that article was Mr. Jack McClintock. He wrote:
"Puppy mill" is a postwar American coinage, used to denote commercial breeding operations that
mass-produce supposedly pedigreed dogs for sale in pet shops across the nation. These
establishments first proliferated-and were decried-in the 1960's.
The 1960's were not the first time that an author broached the subject of the use of animals for
human gain. In 1903 Mark Twain (Ironically, a Missourian and my favorite author of all time)
wrote a very controversial story in Harper's Monthly. This story, called "A Dog's Tale" was
nearly a century before its time and yet only Mark Twain could get away with writing a story like
this…in 1903 or 2003. The story starts in the normal Twain captivating way:
My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian.
Over 60 years went by before the subject made its way into the public eye. When I feel like I will
never make a difference in the world of the wholesale dog industry, I need only to remind myself
of a wonderful dog named 'Pepper'. In a rare and classic stand made by Sports Illustrated in
November of 1965, "The Lost Pets That Stray To Labs", by Coles Phinizy, started out:
It is fence-mending time on Capitol Hill now, and the halls of Congress are deserted-except
perhaps for the ghost of a dog named Pepper.
This story was quickly followed by Life Magazine in February of 1966. "Concentration Camps For
Dogs", written by Michel Silva, took the 'in your face' approach to public awareness:
The dog's name is Lucky. He is a lemon-colored English pointer with a fine head and subtle signs
of good, expensive breeding.
Lucky and Pepper paved the way for what we now know as the Animal Welfare Act. But Lucky
and Pepper were only dogs. They had no voice in their life…or their deaths…so we are left with
the voices of Mark Twain, Coles Phinizy, Michel Silva and Jack McClintock.
I hope to follow in the footsteps of these wonderful men. The Internet has given me the resources
to do this. I hope to be the voice of the millions of dogs that have lived and died in puppy mills
throughout the United States.
So, what is a puppy mill? Plain and simple it is no different than a steel mill, sawmill, grain mill or
paper mill. A puppy mill is the starting point of a product that is mass-produced and destined for
the retail industry…via wholesale channels. Puppy mills don't have to be dirty, they don't have to
be illegal, they don't have to have sick and dying dogs…they just have to produce dogs for the
wholesale dog industry.
I hope that you enjoy my website. I hope you find it factual and easy to follow. My name is Kim
Townsend and I am the author of this website. My only goal of this website is to educate you
about the real truth behind the wholesale dog industry. I'm not a group or organization. I'm not
affiliated with any animal rights groups or humane organizations. I am one person here to educate
you so that you will be able to make a difference in this world.
Every one of us has a 'gift' to give when it comes to animals. Some of us can foster homeless
animals, some of us can help with transporting homeless dogs to new homes, some of us are ready
and able to accept a homeless animal into our families. Still others are in a position to educate
through media. Some have financial resources available to help, others can write letters and
organize petitions. There is something for everyone that is willing to get involved. I can't help you
decide what you should do. One thing is certain; you must first be educated before you can
proceed. I hope I accomplish that so that you…and thousands like you…can be the voice that
Pepper and Lucky never had.
"Dr. Anna M Platt, Supervisor of the Virology Lab at the Animal
Disease Laboratory in Centralia, Illinois, has sent the following
information to the ISVMA. This article is published due to the
urgency of this situation and to alert members regarding.......
STREPTOCOCCAL TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME IN DOGS (APRIL 1999)
"For the past three months, I have been receiving inquiries about
incidences of severe kennel cough in show dogs throughout the U.S..
The last incident was after the Florida show circuit. Upon discussion
with Dr. David Bromwell, Illinois Dept of Agriculture, Dr. Brad
Fenwick of Kansas Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Dr. William
Castleman a pathologist at the University of Florida, it was found to
be Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome in Dogs (JAVMA Vol. 209 No. 8
Oct. 15 1996)
The early symptoms are depression, weakness, rigor, febrile (105 - 107
degrees), shock, DIC, blood in feces and urine, with rapid progression
to coughing up blood and severe bruising of the skin. Dogs can appear
normal in the morning, by noon showing lethargy, and die within 2 to 4
hours. The route of infection is inhalation of Streptococcal
organisms. Treatment is effective if early, with IV injection of
Penicillin G or other appropriate antibiotics. Drugs such as Baytril
are of little benefit because they are primarily for gram negative
bacteria. From cases reported to me from veterinarians, there is
usually a stress factor; participation in dog shows, estrus, change of
environment, shiping, etc.
This syndrome has been confirmed at all Florida greyhound racetracks
during January and February resulting in the closing of some race
tracks as well as the quarantine of dogs. Cases have been reported in
Alabama, Texas, Kansas, New York and Wisconsin. There is concern as
the Greyhound racing season comes to northern states that there will
be continuing outbreaks as most of the initial cases WERE NOT in
Greyhounds. There is also reasonable proof of human transmission to
Dr. Fenwick is available for support and personnel, and encourages
calls if a local outbreak is suspected. (Phone 785-532-5650)"
HOLISTIC GUIDE FOR A HEALTHY DOG
by Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown, DVM
VACCINES: POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
Vaccinations are also responsible for many allergic reactions we see in
dogs. Because of the severity of some of these reactions, both short and
long term, vaccines have become a hugely controversial subject. The
veterinary community is becoming increasingly aware for the potential
dangers of the combination vaccines and the routinely given annual
Our purpose here is not so much to question the underlying validity and
benefits of vaccinations as to make th reader aware that the manner in
which they are used may be detrimental to the do's health--specifically,
the kind of vaccine given, the practice of giving several vaccines at the
same time, the timing of the inoculations and annual booster shots.
Moreover, some breeds have extreme, sometimes fatal reactions to vaccines
readily tolerated by other dogs.
Vaccines have the potential to cause allergic reactions in any dog. No tow
dogs are alike, and what may be tolerated by one may be extremely toxic to
another. For some, getting yearly vaccines can produce a myriad of small
reactions that build up and get worse each year they receive their
vaccines. Giving several vaccines at once instead of spacing them out over
a period of time can create reactions in many dogs. Symptoms will appear
anywhere from 10 to 21 days after the vaccine has been given. These vary
from lethargy, joint swelling, gastrointestinal upset, lameness, seizures,
wasting, thyroid and adrenal gland disease and general lack of vitality and
Immunologists are finding a direct correlation between the increase in
autoimmune and chronic disease states and the overuse of vaccines.
Breeders have had entire litters wiped out after using Parvo vaccines.
Some breeds, notably Rottweilers, who were subjected to weekly doses of
Parvo vaccine in the late 1980's were riddled with bone cancers and died
around the age of 4 years. The Lyme disease vaccine is thought to have
been responsible for the collapse of some dogs' immune systems, and a
recent study at Cornell University suggests that treating the disease is
less risky than getting the vaccine.
Some European veterinarians now believe that the benefit of many vaccines
are outweighed by the risk and that the dog is better off either not being
vaccinated or being vaccinated only for distemper and parvo. There is also
a growing concern about the scheduling of shots. It is becoming recognized
that bombarding a puppy with multiple vaccines several times during the
course of a few months has an adverse effect on an immature immune system.
For example, the young puppy bought at 7 weeks, having already received
vaccines while the breeder, goes to a new home and then visits a new
veterinarian, who immediately vaccinates again.
The reason that puppies are vaccinated so heavily during the first few
months of life is that the protection from disease they receive through
their mothers milk wears off anytime from 6 weeks up to 20 weeks. They are
then vulnerable to many diseases. Vaccinating puppies is supposed to
The problem is that maternal antibodies interfere with the efficacy of the
vaccines. Because there is no easy way to find out when these maternal
antibodies stop working, multiple vaccines are given to puppies to protect
them when maternal antibodies no longer provide the protection.
Jean Dodds, DVM, a noted veterinary immunologist, also challenges the
number of vaccines used. She asks why a Toy Dog ad a giant breed dog
should get the same amount of a vaccine when the blood volume of each dog
is so different? She also talks about the "shedding" of live virus
vaccines. This means that if you have on dog in our household vaccinated
with live vaccines, that dog sheds the virus through skin and feces for 10
to 21 days after receiving the shot. The other dogs in the household are
exposed to this and pick up their own immunity from the vaccinated dog. If
one of those other dogs has an autoimmune disease, exposure to the shedding
can be extremely dangerous to that dog.
Dodds asks, " Why are we causing disease by weakening the immune system
with frequent use of combination vaccine products? After all vaccines are
intended to protect against disease."
MODIFIED LIVE versus KILLED VACCINES
There are two types of vaccines used in veterinary medicine: (1) modified
live (MLV) and (2) killed (inactivated). In MLV the viruses are altered
to decrease their virulence or ability to produce disease yet retain their
ability to stimulate the immune system. In order to produce enough antigen
to cause immunity the MLV must replicated after your dog is vaccinated.
Because the MLV do not replicate, it is felt they produce a stronger and
more durable immunity. Because a live virus is being used, there is a
decrease in environment and return to a more active form and cause a
"vaccine induced" disease. Immunologists agree that modified live vaccines
are not always the best nor suitable for all animals.
Killed vaccines cannot replicate and they are not able to cause infectious
disease in the vaccinated animals. As a result, they are much safer. It
is not well recognized that a properly prepared killed vaccine is
preferable to an MLV die to the increased safety for both the vaccinated
animal and the environment.
There are some drawbacks to the killed vaccines. Although all licensed
killed vaccines meet the current USDA efficacy and safety standards, they
produce levels of protection that are lower and of shorter duration. The
are more expensive because they contain adjuvants (a substance added to the
vaccine to improve the response) and larger doses are needed to make them
effective. Because of the use of the adjuvants, there is a greater chance
for adverse reactions at the site of the injection (hard masses).
As the effectiveness of the killed vaccine continues to improve, the safety
of killed versus MLV fare overshadows its drawbacks. At this time the only
vaccine that is not available in the killed form is distemper.
Vaccinating your dog has to be an individual decision on you part. Some
people, prominent breeders among them, have experienced such dreadful side
effects from vaccines that they are raising dogs without vaccines at all.
Some have found that by not vaccinating, their "puppies" mortality rate is
lower than when they were vaccinating. They are, however, compensating by
feeding their dogs naturally and boosting their dogs' immune systems with
the appropriate homeopathic remedies. There are breeds of dogs that have a
poor tolerance for vaccines--- solid -colored dogs, those breeds with a lot
of whiter coloration in the coat, giant breeds, Rottweilers and imported dogs.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you have a dog that has had a bad reaction to a vaccine, or you know
four sure that you own one of the breeds that is susceptible to
vaccinoisis, get a veterinary certificate to this effect. In most cases
this will be honored.
You don't have to give your dogs any vaccination except rabies. There are
drawbacks to this position. If you want to take your dog to an Obedience
class, enter Matches or shows, to seminars or take the Canine Good Citizens
test, proof of vaccinations may be required. Leaving your dog in a kennel
when you go on vacation or even having routine surgery done at your
veterinarian may require having your dog vaccinated.
For the dog deficient in Vitamin B is possible that either a vaccine will
not work properly, or if the dog is experiencing severe stress at the time
of the vaccine is given, side effects could develop. It is therefore
advisable to give the dog some B complex several days before the vaccines
and continue for the several weeks after the vaccine is administered.
Remember that vitamin B works better in conjunction with vitamin C. Both
of these are water-soluble vitamins and are flushed through the system in 4
to 8 hours. You can add a small amount of fresh raw beef or chicken
liver, which contains vitamin B, to your dog's food during this time
period. These supplements should be part of your daily routine with your
dog if you are feeding commercial dog food.
You can also talk with your veterinarian and explain that you would like
the vaccinations spaced out at least by 3 weeks, and here possible, for
only single vaccines to be used. If your puppy or dog shows the slightest
side effect from the vaccine anytime up to 10 to 21 days after the shots,
bring this to the attention of your veterinarian. Do not get the vaccine
until you dog's sensitivity has been checked out. Continuously use the
same vaccine that caused the symptoms can create enormous problems. This
is particularly true in the case of Parvo and Lyme disease vaccines. If
your dog has experienced side effects, there are homeopathic remedies that
can detoxify these side effects from some vaccines.
If your pet is not left in kennels on a regular basis or is around other
dogs much, the use of kennel cough vaccine is hardly necessary. Many
veterinarians have some to the same conclusion about the corona vaccine.
Sometimes the dog finds it easier to deal with the disease itself than the
side effects from the vaccine. The continued use of leptospirosis and
hepatitis vaccine is questionable. Both diseases are contracted from a rat
and deer urine, and unless you are in a rat-infested area or one that
contains herds of deer, it is unlikely that your dog will come into contact
with these diseases. IF you do need to use then. do so at 9 and 15 weeks.
Look at the the suggested vaccination schedule below, which is provided by
Jean Dodds, DVM.
|7 1/2 weeks
|10 1/2 weeks
|| DA2 P
||Distemper, adenovirus parainfluenza: kidneys are now mature enough to cope
||Booster DA2 P
||you can do a titer test to see if the 16- and 17- month boosters are necessary
ALL VACCINES EXCEPT DISTEMPER ARE KILLED
Care must be taken that when the DA2 P is given, the P is for parainfluenza
and not Parvo. Leptosporosis should be given at 12 and 16 weeks, if you
live in an area where this disease is endemic. Ask your veterinarian.
If you have a very healthy female who was up to sate on vaccinations before
she was bred, you may want to spread out the above schedule for the puppies
over a long period of time.
In order to minimize the side effects of vaccine, homeopathic products can
be used to build up the puppy prior to vaccinating and to detoxify any side
effect after the shot. Supportasode should be used daily during the first
months of the puppy's life all through the vaccination period, and Viratox
for one week after each vaccine has been received.
TIME TO VACCINATE
The best time to vaccinate adult females is between seasons, when there are
no hormonal changes going on in the body. Make sure you write down the day
the bitch's season started, and count 12 weeks forward from that point.
Blood work and hip X-rays, as well as any surgery, should be suggested
during this time frame.
According to Robert Kirk, writing in KIRK'S CURRENT VETERINARY THERAPY
XI-205, a textbook used in all veterinary schools, there is no immunologic
reason that would necessitate annual revaccinations. He tells us that as a
practice it lacks scientific validity or verification. Immunity to viruses
persist for years or for the life of the dog, and revaccination does not
add to that immunity. Given the potential adverse side effects, it is best
no to revaccinate. Presumably the practice developed as a means of
bringing the dog owner into the veterinarian's office on an annual basis so
the dog could get a checkup.
WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE AN ANNUAL VETERINARY VISIT.
If you choose not to
vaccinate yearly, have you veterinarian check the titer or immune level of
your dog with the blood test. If your dog shows immunity to distemper,
parvo, kennel cough and os on, a vaccine isn't needed at that time. If the
titer is low, the vaccine is needed.
When you take your puppy for the rabies vaccine, make sure that it is
separated by at least a month from other vaccines. After the first shot,
subsequent rabies vaccine last for 3 years. Numerous side effects from
aggression to chronic long-term disease have arisen when dogs are exposed
to yearly rabies vaccinations. Even though some states have legislated
that puppies have to have a rabies vaccination at 3 to 4 months, try to
wait until your puppy is 6 months old. A puppy's immune system is immature
during the first six months of life and cannot adequately deal with so many
vaccines all at the same time.
When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian and find out his or her position
on vaccines. Look for a veterinarian who is aware and up to date on
current thinking and research being done on vaccines. Avoid the 5, 7,or 9
combination vaccines. When you get a vaccination for your dog, have your
veterinarian write down on you dog's record the batch number or the
individual vaccine so if ther are problems with the vaccine, it can be
traced back by lot to the manufacturer.