Australians rally to end puppy farms

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 14 September 2011

Most people are aware that the majority of animals raised for the production of meat and eggs are kept in terrible conditions in factory farms. But few realise that similar facilities around Australia are keeping breeding dogs to churn out thousands of puppies every year that are sold to unwitting dog lovers.

Update: Thousands of animal lovers participated in the rallies against puppy factories in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide on Sunday. The massive turn-out gave a powerful voice to all the dogs suffering in terrible conditions in industrial breeding facilities where they lack care and affection. The demand for Oscar’s Law was heard loud and clear by politicians and has brought an end to puppy factories nearer. A Sky News report serves as just another reminder why this is so important. A huge ‘Thank You‘ to all of you who attended one of the rallies!

Puppy factories (or puppy ‘farms’) are commercial dog breeding facilities that produce the large numbers of puppies at the expense of the welfare of animals — particularly the parents. Breeding dogs are often confined in small, filthy cages for their entire productive life. Denied affection, exercise and a clean environment, dogs’ behavioural, social and/or physiological needs cannot be met. Dogs in these conditions frequently suffer from serious health problems, yet are left to languish without adequate veterinary treatment.

The puppies bred in these horrific conditions are supplied to pet shops and sold on internet sites. Often they have health conditions such as hip dysplasia, chronic skin conditions, overshot jaws and heart murmurs. They are also likely to have developed behavioural problems.

A little dog named Oscar became the symbol of protest against puppy factories after he was rescued from a puppy factory in Victoria — only to be returned by authorities to the very people who failed to provide veterinary care to him.

After Oscar was rescued, he was treated by a vet; his matted fur was shaved, he was desexed, and he was found to weigh only 1.6Kg. Photo: Debra Tranter.

The Oscar’s Law campaign doesn’t only seek to abolish the factory farming of companion animals, it also aims to encourage the adoption of companion animals through rescue groups and shelters over pet shops and online trading sites. Such a transition would save the life of one perfectly healthy dog or cat every three or so minutes — the rate at which abandoned companion animals are killed today simply because there is no loving home for them.

You can play an important role in stopping the senseless killing of healthy companion animals. If you’re planning to welcome a new pet into your home, find your new best friend at your local shelter or on shelter networks like Pet Rescue or Rescue Network.