When it comes to bringing a new dog into your home, many pet owners have preferences on where they adopt their pooches from. From private breeders to local shelters, people pay special attention to the conditions at these facilities as they pick where to go.
Recently, the New York Police Department raided a SoHo apartment that was operating as a puppy mill and rescued 10 dogs.
Giving pooches better shelter
The New York Post reported that NYPD officers saved 10 Yorkshire terrier puppies from a “filthy” apartment on Feb. 26, leading to the arrest of two people involved in the mill. The pooches were merely weeks old, found in the dwelling after multiple neighbors called the police and complained of incessant barking and rancid smells coming from the apartment.
Officers from the 1st Precinct were aided by a special crew from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during an inspection of the apartment on Feb. 18. They were so surprised by the filthy conditions that they returned just three days later with an official search warrant. Neighbors believe the apartment was only used for dog breeding, as the pooches barked and yelped all day long without any signs of quieting down.
“It was extremely unsanitary, things falling apart, garbage thrown about the place,” a police source told the Post. “Definitely not fit for a dog or human.”
The NYPD arrested 46-year-old Luis Sanchez and 33-year-old Xenia Torres. Both suspects are facing charges of animal cruelty. All 10 of the Yorkies, with matted fur, were taken to a nearby ASPCA facility for medical evaluations.
This story highlights the dangers of puppy mills and the priorities that operators of these facilities place over the well-being of the dogs.
Fighting the cruelty of puppy mills
These large-scale commercial operations have little regard for the genetic qualities of the dogs they breed. Most of the time, their main motivator is making as much money as possible. As a result, canines from puppy mills can have unchecked hereditary effects that can cost thousands of dollars in veterinarian fees to treat.
According to the ASPCA, illnesses and diseases are very common in puppy mills, with most pooches prone to congenital conditions. Some of these problems can include epilepsy, heart disease, endocrine disorders, and upper respiratory infections. Puppy mill operators usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary areas without adequate pet care, food, or water. Some pooches may never even step outside until much later in life, leaving them unsociable and shy.
The ASPCA estimated that there could be as many as 10,000 puppy mills operating in the U.S. at a given time. In addition, the highest concentration of these facilities is in the Midwest. If owners want to get more involved in stopping the spread of puppy mills, they can help the ASPCA by signing up for Take The Pledge and petition to end the sale of puppies at stores.