Cat (Small Animal) Mills: The Awful Truth

Any animal can be milled!

That is a truth that not everyone realizes. Sugar Gliders, Rats, Chinchillas, rabbits,  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 to keep the cages in the pet stores full. But because no rodentmillone 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.

But it’s not just dogs and cats…. Again, every animal can (and is) milled. There are thousands of small animal mills in the United States, with millions of rats, mice, chinchillas and rabbits who are suffering for their short lives. These pets are not only sold to pet stores, but they are sold to testing facilities and bred at colleges for “scientific purposes”. Where do we draw the line? 

According to the HSUS:
There are Shocking Conditions in Small Animal Mills

Commercial pet dealers who breed or sell most warm-blooded animals to pet stores are required to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But The HSUS’ review of USDA inspection reports reveals that many of these breeders are guilty of repeated violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act for crowded and dirty conditions.

Inspection reports from 2004-2006 reveal Animal Welfare Act violations that include:

  • a cattery full of expired medications, which could leave the kittens exposed to deadly diseases
  • a small-animal dealer with over 2,000 hamsters and other small pets inside cages that had reportedly not been cleaned in weeks; sick hamsters being treated without a veterinary consult; holes in the facility walls, and accumulation of dust, cobwebs, and rodent droppings throughout the facility
  • a small-animal breeder with “dead hamsters found in different enclosures housing other hamsters,” as well as “green algae” growing in some of the animals’ water bottles
  • 11 guinea pigs housed inside a small tub only large enough for four
  • a ferret and chinchillas without enough room in their cages to stand up
  • rabbits in overcrowded enclosures less than 9 inches tall

But what can we do? As a group that is actively fighting puppy mills, we have a hard enough time getting people to care about dogs living their entire lives in cages… Letalone  getting people to care about rats. But education is so important. Getting the word out about ALL types of animal mills and raising awareness about the conditions in which these beating hearts are forced to live. 

So, we already know that pet overpopulation is a big problem in this country, and many other countries. But are there  really small animals in shelters waiting to be adopted? YES! There are! Please check petfinder.com or adoptapet.com . Any animal that can be purchased, is usually dumped on local shelters, rescues or craigslist. So please, the next time you are looking to add ANY pet to your family, consider adoption first! 

 

If you liked this article, PLEASE like us on facebook and share 🙂 

–Mindi

“Don’t Shop, Adopt!”

Background information

What is “Bailing out Benji”?

Because this is my first post, I must first ask everyone for forgiveness.  I am  definitely really new to this blogging thing, but I felt like I had to use the voice that I have to speak for those who are voiceless… Our Pets

The goal of my blog is to inform, educate, and update the public on the horrors that are going on in our own backyard, while gaining more for this very important issue.

As for my “cause”: I have recently realized that Iowa is within the bottom 6th in the US when it comes to animal cruelty laws. IOWA! I was so shocked upon hearing this; the state that prides itself in being fair, hard working, and being “something we can be proud of.” But when I look at how well our citizens treat our animals, should we really be holding our heads so high? Our pets are not able to speak for themselves, and if we’re not willing to speak up and DEMAND more of each other, who will?

Back in April many people listened and/or read in disgust of the lady in Urbandale who had ten dogs in a motel room.This is the story that finally pushed me over the edge and forced me to start Bailing out Benji….  This lady had 2 female, adult dogs, as well as 8 puppies in which she starved and neglected to the point of the dogs eating cigarette butts! We listen to this in disgust, and if you’re like me, you could even bring yourself to wish harm on this woman, or some type of retribution for her cruelty. Instead, the lady gets off on one count of animal neglect, which under Iowa law is a $65 fine, and 30 days in jail. These are 10 dogs that may never be able to trust humans to take care of them again, and 10 lives that were carelessly neglected. This lady, whose only excuse was she was “down on her luck,” has the audacity to say in the end she wants her dogs back!! Sadly, she is only one case of a growing trend in mistreatment of our pets.

I also learned that Iowa is the SECOND WORST state when it comes to puppy mills. For those of you who aren’t sure what puppy mills are: they are commercialized breeders who are USDA licensed (which means they can breed as many dogs as they want and sell to pet stores). They are referred to as mills because they always have 20 dogs on their property that they breed and can constantly be selling puppies at any given time. For the most part, here in Iowa, the breeders have upwards of 100 dogs on their property (not including the puppies) and  there is one notorious mill owner who has over 1000 dogs that he is constantly breeding. These breeders breed their females every heat cycle and keep all of the dogs in small, wire cages with inadequate shelter. And don’t even get me started on the food/water that they are given. The whole puppy mill industry is atrocious! This is why Iowans need to take a stand on commercialized breeding!

Fortunately, Iowa does have some great citizens who often feel the same way as I do. Upon doing all of my research, I have met so many kindred spirits along the way, and, for that I am thankful!

If you want to get involved comment to this blog, Facebook group “Bailing out Benji”, or email peopleforanimals2011@hotmail.com.

-Mindi

“The Greatness of a nation and its

moral progress can be judged by

the way its animals are treated.”

Ghandi