It is unfortunate that International Homeless Animals Day exists. One day all shelters may be empty and all canines will live in a forever home but that day hasn’t arrived yet. The existence of puppy mills is a huge obstacle to achieving this goal.
The Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare (3CW) works tirelessly to end puppy mills, as is expressed clearly by their mission: Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare’s (3CW) mission is to end puppy mills by educating the public and policy makers about mills and their connection to pet stores, the Internet and other sales venues. 3CW advocates for animal welfare issues, encourages pet adoption and supports ethical breeding practices.
Their work includes supporting other organizations and advocating for positive changes in animal welfare legislation as a part of that educational premise. 3CW believes that the public will not stand for the cruelty perpetrated by mills once that cruelty is brought to light. It is their vision-and yours-to shine a light on those who mass produce for profit only and bear responsibility for overproduction and death of millions of dogs yearly in the U.S. Their all-volunteer organization devotes thousands of hours to this work so the public will be enlightened and take a stand against animal cruelty perpetrated by mills and the retail outlets that sell mill produced puppies.
3CW volunteers attended 15 events this last year-thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers! Because of those volunteers more events in Colorado Springs and Northern Colorado were attended.
Their website provides an extensive list of rescue organizations, shelters and reputable breeders through Colorado. If you are looking for a specific breed and do not see it, search the Internet and find the national breed-specific rescue group. Every breed has one!
What is a puppy mill?
Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities where puppies are produced solely for profit. There is little consideration for the breeding male and female dogs who live in cages their entire lives. They often lack veterinary care, grooming, decent water and food, shelter from the weather, and socialization. The mother dogs are bred over and over until they can no longer produce. Puppies are taken from the moms when they are very young and are often born with congenital problems or catch diseases at the mill. Unsuspecting consumers buy sick puppies and are heartbroken to learn that their new puppy has a serious illness or defect. The costs of treating sick puppies can be very high. Returning the puppy to the store often means death.
How is a Puppy Mill shut down?
It is very difficult to shut down puppy mills because they are legal and rarely allow the public onto their property. There are many businesses and organizations, strictly driven by commercial interests, that work against changes to the mill industry. Those organizations have paid lobbyists and a lot of money to fight any new animal welfare laws. Only by educating and enlisting the public’s help in making legislative changes can this cruel industry be curtailed and eventually ended.
What Can You Do to Help End Puppy Mills?
There are many ways you can help end puppy mills.
• First, never buy from a pet store or the Internet, no matter what they say, the puppy most likely comes from a
• Adopt from a rescue or shelter first
• Tell your friends and family never to buy a puppy from a pet shop or the Internet without seeing the breeding
location and the parents
• Don’t shop at stores or website stores that sell puppies
• Don’t buy a puppy from anyone who refuses to allow you to see the location or parents
• Remember, a reputable breeder would not sell to a pet store. A reputable breeder will want to know everything about you and how you plan to care for the puppy
• Become active with policy changes, let your representatives know that dog welfare is important to you
• Join 3CWs email list on the right side of this page, become a volunteer and donate.
Report a Puppy Mill
The Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) gives the Colorado Department of Agriculture the statutory authority to license and inspect all pet animal care facilities. Any person who is operating a pet animal facility that engages in selling, transferring, adopting, breeding, boarding, training, grooming, sheltering or rescuing any pet animal may need to be licensed with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. For 3CW, the big ones are breeding and retail facilities-puppy mills and pet stores.
The Pet Animal Care Facilities Program, overseen by the Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, was set into place to ensure that pet care facilities meet minimum standards for physical facilities; sanitation; ventilation; lighting; heating; cooling; humidity; spatial and enclosure requirements; nutrition; humane care; medical treatment; methods of operation and record keeping.
Other options to report mills and cruelty:
• Humane Society: Report a puppy mill or dog fighting!
• Animal Help Now: Find local authorities to help
• ASPCA: Report animal cruelty to ASPCA
Puppy Mills must be stopped. Consider volunteering time to help 3CW’s mission or donate to this cause. Follow them on Facebook to learn about events and successes. No dog should have to endure the torture of puppy mills.
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