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January 5, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Jan.5-6

Know where your puppies come from

I recently picked up two puppy-mill breeder dogs from a Kentucky animal control facility. The “breeder” was finished with them, so they dumped them at the shelter for society to take care of. While this is far more humane than the typical use of a gun, this is your tax dollars at work.

Additionally, these breeder dogs are chewed up from being locked in a pen together 24/7 and fighting with each other over the tiny territory they called home since they were of breeding age. The one breeder dog has very low thyroid and is missing hair  — she looks more like a chimpanzee, not a dog. Their mammary glands are hanging all the way to the ground, their backs are swayed from their body carrying puppies twice a year since their first heat (usually around seven to nine months old — they were still puppies); never did they or their bodies get a break.

My rescue has had them fully vetted, balancing out the thyroid on the one breeder mama, and getting them used to living in a house. So far, they are coming along nicely and are starting to play and carry toys around the house. You can follow their progress on Piece of My Heart Rescue’s Facebook page.

The breeder was selling “Christmas puppies.” I wanted to let your readers know what they’re buying/enabling when they purchase puppies from ads on the Internet, local store parking lots, Craig’s List and newspapers. Please buy from a reputable breeder that can show you the parents of the puppy, the condition and whelping box the puppies are raised in, and have a pedigree on hand showing pups breed for health and temperament and not as a way to make a quick buck.

Otherwise, be prepared for loads of vet bills in the future. It’s unfair to the families who purchase the puppies from these sick dogs, and it’s unfair for the breeder dogs to live like they’re livestock.

— Lauren Howard, president, Piece Of My Heart Rescue, Floyds Knobs

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