Animal Writes
From 27 October 2002 Issue

Victims of Greed
by Wayne Mayes

Driving down the winding back roads of America's heartland our eyes take in the beauty of the world around us as we listen to the radio and forget about the cares of the world we live in. We feel the warm sun as it shines down around us and look at all the trees and wild flowers and wonder how things could get any better than this as we roar on down the highway to our destination.

If we were to turn off the highway on to almost any one of the millions of miles of back roads in the heartland of our country, turn the radio off, roll down our windows and drive slow we would hear a much different sound. We would hear the sounds of song birds singing in the trees, we would hear the sounds of cattle as they called to each other, and we would hear the sounds of gravel as it crunched under our tires as we drove.

We wouldn't have to drive very far before we would hear a much different sound way off in the distance. This isn't the sound of some happy bird or the sound of any cow as it calls to it's calf. It is the sound of an animal in distress. It is the sounds of hundreds of poor defenseless animals held prisoner because of greed. If you followed the sound it would take you to some locked gate with a sign that said, NO Trespassing, or Keep Out and what lies behind the gate would be left up to your imagination as you slowly turn around and drive away.

Let me tell you what lies past that gate and just out of sight. The first thing you would hear is the sounds of hundreds of animals whimpering and crying begging for someone to help them. Your stomach would turn over as the intense smell of ammonia drifted out through every crack in the dilapidated buildings where the cries from help came from. Your heart would be breaking as you reached for the handle to the door of the first building take a deep breath and try to hold it and rush inside.

As the light streamed inside the building the sounds of the animals gets louder as some bark while others to week to bark just lay and whimper. You would see rows of tiny wire cages stacked one on top of the other where the urine and feces of the animals above fell down on the animals below. The piles of animal waist all along under the bottom row of cages You would see them crammed full of animals almost unrecognizable by any breeds you know of. . You would see adults and puppies with missing limbs from being attacked by other animals while trying to get enough food to eat, injury from getting their limbs caught in the holes in the cages, and from mutilation by the miller. You would see animals that are terrified of people because all they have ever known was pain and exploitation at the hands of the millers. You would see diseased and dying and dead animals in some of the cages. One look in their eyes and you can see their plea for help. "Please help me."

If you haven't already lost the cheese burger you had for lunch in the first building we could venture into the next building or room of the puppymill. Behind that door you would see rows of cages full of mothers with puppies. You would quickly notice the deformed faces of many of the mother dogs and when you asked I would explain how the millers break the jaws of the mother dogs if they try to defend their puppies when the brokers come. How most of these animals have never had proper medical care and the broken bones are left to heal on their own. You would see puppies so far from the breed standard they looked like a totally different breed than the one they were supposed to be. You might see dead or sick puppies laying in the cages as the others walked over them. Like the rock song says, "The smell of death is around you."

If we had time to hang around we could wait for the puppy broker to come. You would see a truck or van stacked full from the floor to the ceiling with tiny plastic cages. Many of them already crammed full of puppies of every imaginable breed. All stacked in their like cord wood. The sounds of hundreds of terrified puppies waiting in those dark cramped quarters waiting for their ride into the unknown. The broker will take most of the puppies if they aren't to sick or so deformed he can't sell them. He will take any puppy the millers say is 8 weeks old. Many of the animals are under 6 weeks but they are the right weight and size so they are torn away from their mothers, by force at times, and sold to the broker.

As we walk away from this place you remember back in school when you read about the concentration camps during WWII. This place is just like that. The animals are abused and exploited until they are no longer profitable to the miller and then they are sold and most are killed. The females are breed every cycle from the time they first come in heat until they die. The puppies are sold to unsuspecting pet buyers all over the world as registered animals and no mention is ever made about the hell holes the parents live in or the genetic problems the puppy has. The Animals in the puppymills are truly prisoners of greed.

The next time you walk by a pet store stop and listen. If you try you will be able to imagine the suffering and pain it took to put that puppy in that window. The broken jawed mother as she struggles to eat so she has enough strength to go on another day. The tiny puppy with the lower part of its leg missing because it was torn off while trying to free it's self from the holes in the wires of the cage it calls home or was eaten by another dog because it was starving to death. The whimpering of the animals as they beg for the tender touch of a humane hand. The cries for help as they slowly die from neglect and starvation.

People wonder why some rescue people do puppymill rescue and now you know. They do whatever has to be done to help end the suffering of the animals in these places. You may not be able to go to a puppymill and see the things many of us have but you can help end the suffering right where you live. Tell everyone you know not to buy products from pet stores that sell puppies and kittens. When the demand goes away the mills will close. Help by promoting rescued animals as an alternative. Every animals that finds a new home from a rescue group makes room for another to be saved by rescue. Donate money to help purchase the freedom of a puppymill baby. The animals at auctions can and many are being rescued when the funds are available. Send a little note to a rescue person thanking them for what they do to save animals. It's easy to become burned out in this business when we keep seeing so many animals that desperately need our help.

Copyright WM 2000 Wayne Mayes

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