The following segment aired on The Balancing Act Lifetime Television. Joining the show was Annemarie Lucas from the ASPCA to discuss dog adoption and how you know you are buying from the right type of breeders.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television Host Marybel Rodriguez: If you’re planning on getting a new pet pooch, you could be paying a higher price than you realize. Many pet stores and internet vendors are actually selling dogs that were bred in puppy mills. The ASPCA, which stands for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, wants to warn consumers about this problem before they buy. Joining us is the top dig in a top-rated TV series, ASPCA’s Supervisory Special Investigator, AnneMarrie Lucas.
Lucas: A puppy mill is a large-scale substandard commercial dog-breeding operation. Basically, they house numerous dogs where their sole purpose is to breed over and over and over again, and the results of that breeding are the puppies that then get shipped to pet stores all over the country. So the ASPCA strongly advices people not to buy puppies from pet stores.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Are puppy mills more prevalent in some areas than others?
Lucas: They are and Missouri is number one. Followed by Nebraska and Oklahoma–but we also see them in Florida and across the entire country. No state is without a puppy mill.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: What should consumers know about the puppies sold at pet stores and over the internet?
Lucas: Every time you buy a puppy from a pet store or even over the Internet, if you have no idea where that puppy comes from and the origin and where their parents are from, then you have no idea of the health of that puppy. So you could buy a puppy for thousands of dollars and then, in turn, spend thousands of dollars in medical bills because that puppy was not bred correctly. They have hereditary diseases and they are very sickly so that could be a huge problem for you that you certainly cannot afford.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Then how do you know if the papers that you get when you purchase the puppy are legitimate or not?
Lucas: Basically, you don’t because pet stores and anybody can make a breed registry. You can make one up if you wanted to. A responsible breeder will always invite you to their home. They will want to meet you, interview you, show you where the adults are, how they’re bred and they’ll show you the puppies and how they’re kept. A puppy miller on the other hand could care less about who takes the puppies. They just want to get them out as quickly as possible and make as much money as they can. So every puppy in a pet store is from a puppy mill and it is important that you remember that.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: For those people who want to get involved, what can we do to help get rid of these puppy mills?
Lucas: We have to support legislation to protect puppies. You can write to your local legislators and tell them you don’t want puppy mills in your state. Tell them you want responsible breeders only.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: That is good advice and somewhere that people can start helping. Can you tell The Balancing Act viewers where the best place is to actually find a pet?
Lucas: You should visit your local animal shelter or your local rescue group. If you want a specific breed then contact a breed rescue group.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Can you tell me more about the animals in the shelters and why they deserve homes?
Lucas: There are so many fantastic adoptable animals in animal shelters. A lot of people think hat they’re only abused animals or that they have been abandoned because nobody wants the. That is absolutely not true. They are adoptable, beautiful and healthy. You can go to aspca.org for more information on puppy mills and also responsible pet ownership.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: How are you able to deal with the trauma you see in abused and injured animals?
Lucas: It affects me every day and my heard breaks every day with the cases that we deal with. I rush home at the end of the day and give lots of hugs to my dogs and cats and that seems to get me through the next day because I look at them and see their faces and realize how important my job really is.
The Balancing Act Lifetime Television is the only morning show in America produced by women specifically for women. Every morning, The Balancing Act on Lifetime hosts Danielle Knox and Kristy Villa tackle the issues that face today’s woman. Popular show segments include live weather updates with Mark Mancuso, surprise celebrity visitors, and news about the latest trends affecting your life, home, career and family. The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television airs daily on Lifetime at 7 a.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television’s website at www.thebalancingact.com.