March 23 is National Puppy Day, a day that not only celebrates the pure joy that puppies bring to our lives, but also a time to bring awareness to the horrors of puppy mills and the care and concern that every puppy needs.
Puppy mills cause lifelong mistreatment for many dogs, like Billy the Chihuahua. There is a large connection between pet stores and puppy mills. Odds are that if a pet store is selling puppies, they may be coming from puppy mills where puppies are made to endure horrific conditions and often inbreeding. They then spend most of their lives in filthy cages, many of them suffering from genetic conditions.
Others are victims of backyard breeding, like Rosie the Chihuahua. Once you get over the appearance of this poor pup, her story is both heartbreaking and uplifting.
Even among those who are not trying to profit from puppies, mistreatment can play a factor. Often, people simply don’t understand the dedication and daily interaction it takes to raise a puppy. Many times, people will bring home a puppy without considering how it will change their life, or make a spur of the moment decision on a birthday or other holiday. Once the owner decides they can no longer care for the puppy, they return it to a shelter. That is the best-case scenario among people who no longer want their puppy. Sadly, many will just turn the young dog loose to live on its own. The ASPCA outlines the importance of careful thought and planning in this video called “Puppies Are Not Toys.”
National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by pet lifestyle expert, animal behaviorist and author, Colleen Paige. Paige also started the Animal Miracle Foundation & Network, which is a non-profit organization that “offers financial assistance and educational programs ranging from pet cancer to fire safety and travel safety for kids and pets alike.”
MORE FROM DANIELLE: