Kitty Mills: The Awful Truth
Any animal can be milled!
That is a statement that not everyone realizes. Sugar Gliders, Rats, Chinchillas, foxes, Ferrets and kittens. Any animal that you see in a pet store has (more than likely) been milled.
Thankfully, there has been some (not enough) media attention surrounding puppy mills. Most everyone has at least heard the term or seen a picture and realizes that it isn’t a good thing. But sadly, any animal that is sold in pet stores is usually milled. Just think about it- pet stores are always able to have more than enough of the animals listed to sell to anyone that walks in their door. And why is that? Since there is a demand, there will be an industry. There will always be ”farmers” that make sure there are more than enough rats, hamsters and chinchillas. But because no one is speaking out against these types of mills, breeders are able to switch which species they are breeding rather easily. Many former puppy mill breeders have switched, and now breed a multitude of cats to public (and private) organizations. Much like the puppy mill industry, the breeder has absolutely no concern for the health of the animals, the conditions they live in, or the fate of the animals leaving the property.
Kitty mills are just another example of humanity’s “supreme reign” over the animal kingdom. We have the power to torture for profit, so we do. Most people don’t even think that kitty mills are that prevalent in this day and age because of the high number of cats in shelters. However, it is a huge problem.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, most cats are adopted “casually”. About 48% of human owned cats are taken in as strays, or found by someone who gives the kitten or cat to a friend, or is adopted directly from a rescue league. A much smaller percentage, 14%, adopts their cats from shelters, especially kill shelters. The remaining percentage goes directly to either breeders or pet stores. However, with all this kitty purchasing going on, 71% of all cats or kittens that find themselves in the unfortunate position of being in a shelter are euthanized before forever homes can be found. Only one out of every five kittens and cats are destined to live in one home for their lifetime. Most cats find themselves abandoned or left on the shelter doorstep when they are either too much responsibility or lose their cute little kitten appeal.
So, we already know that pet overpopulation is a big problem in this country, and many other countries. But is there really that big of a demand for cats? Unfortunately, yes. The cats that aren’t adopted out to actual families end up being sold in bulk to laboratories and other testing facilities. This statistic alone makes me want to run out and buy as many kittens as I could, just so they wouldn’t have to suffer. Alas, once I
give the breeder money from my own pocket, I am only proving that there is a demand.
I went ahead and googled “Cat Breeders in Iowa” for you… I was astonished when I found out how many people actually bred cats. The animal that is most euthanized in shelters! The animal that you see more prevalent in the streets. The animal that is “disposed of” more routinely by people. The one site I checked out (after clicking around) I found over 25 “purebred” cat breeders, yet only 6 of them are USDA licensed! Yes, that number FAILS in comparison to the number of puppy mills, but it is still outrageous. When perfectly healthy cats and kittens are being euthanized every day, why add to the pet overpopulation? DON’T BREED OR BUY WHILE HOMELESS PETS DIE! Can it get any more simple?!
Perhaps you are reading this and you are furious. I hope that you are deeply affected and that you want to help educate the people around you a huge lesson in compassion and responsible/ethical behavior towards all living creatures. If you feel this way, then we are kindred spirits! Or are you going to be the person that goes on with their life- forgetting just what people will do just to make an easy dollar! If it is the latter, just stop reading now. Go back to twitter or facebook and go on with your day.
The rest of us can take our anger and turn it into a little action! Thanks to all of the people who are working hard to shut down puppy mills, it won’t take that much to get the ball rolling to stop kitty mills as well. I will include some links at the bottom. If there are any kitty mills in your area, I suggest stopping by and seeing the sights for yourself! Only if you see a mill in person, can you file a complaint!
“Kitty mills” are not difficult to recognize. In most cases, you will instantly notice too many cats. There will be cats everywhere, and the great majority will most likely be in crates (but who knows if you will see these.) The kittens for sale will most likely be dirty, covered with fecal matter and urine, and appear to be a bit malnourished. Mother cats are usually very malnourished, often starving to death while feeding each new breed. Unlike dogs, cats come in to heat very frequently! If you ever visit, watch how the kittens are handled. More often than not, the kitty will be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and dropped in your arms. To breeders like these, the kitties are products- dirty, smelly products that aren’t worth proper care. These places are very obviously places of pure business and have little heart.
If you truly care about stopping industries like this, PLEASE speak up! Public education surrounding kitty mills is almost nonexistent. Just like any other
type of animal milling, there are innocent kittens and cats being placed directly in harm’s way for the sole purpose of profit. The more the public cries out against practices like these, the more difficult it becomes to make a living this way. Unfortunately, the problem with both puppy and kitty mills, they are often owned by the husband or the wife. So when the USDA is closing in on them, the owner can then turn the business over (legally) to their spouse and continue operations without missing a beat. Closing down places like these takes patience, dedication, heart, and many tears. But it does happen, and in the end it is so worth it.
To check out a few breeders in Iowa: http://www.breedlist.com/loc/iowa.html
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“Don’t Shop, Adopt!”