Please, do not buy dogs/cats/ birds and reptiles from pet stores – they often come from “puppy mills,” “kitten mills” and even bird and snake “mills” and/or they are poached out of the wild.
If you want a pet – adopt.
My puppy mill story.
Many, many, years ago, while working as a power meter technician (meter reader) for the local power company, I looked at my work order to find one of those addresses that had a gate. The instructions indicated that the gate was usually closed but that that HQ had been in contact with the homeowner who said the gate would be open during a small window of time during my shift. I timed it just right so I would arrive when the gate was open and could get my job done.
Once I arrived on site my orders indicated that I needed to disconnect the power service for the house, a run-down old mini-mac-mansion behind a high iron fence, for which the owner had not paid their power bill in months.
While behind the house looking for the meter, I found a dozen or so tiny metal cages full of what looked like Bichon Frises of all ages – they were so unhealthy, sad, filthy, and inhumanely housed – I had stumbled upon a puppy mill operation. I noted the dogs and their living conditions with disgust and sadness, and went on about my job of locating the meter (but I fully intended to report the operation after I departed the property).
I eventually found the meter hidden behind some junk* beside a screen door I had passed earlier. *I had seen this before. It was probably an intentional attempt to hide/block access to the meter.
I knocked on the nearby screen door and peered through into a dimly lighted dirty kitchen to inform the homeowner (and 6 or 8 children of all ages – a human mill apparently – yes, I said it) that I was there to turn off the power for nonpayment. A very large woman smoking a cigarette and tilted back in a recliner in the corner said something like “Do what you must, the @#%&*! church would not pay anymore…”
I pulled the meter out, the lights went out, and suddenly the woman went totally nuts yelling, screaming, shrieking, cursing at me, and said “you’re going down!” “I’m suing you – you little @#&!!@ …she paused for a moment, coughed several raspy, deep, wet, smoker’s coughs, and then yelled at the top of her cigarette smoke-filled lungs “did you just assault my @#!%* child! I saw you touch my !@#%*! child!”
Yikes, what manner of fresh hell did I just unleash upon myself and the unsuspecting world?!!
That woman was totally bat-shit crazy!
I was outside the house, on the other side of the screen door, holding a power meter in my heavily-gloved hands, and at least 10 feet away from the nearest child – a dirty little kid in a high chair wearing only a diaper and being fed what looked like ice cream by what may have been a sibling – obviously, there was no possible way I could have ever touched the child. I say again – that woman was totally friggin nutterz!!
At the sound of smoking-woman’s shrill, hateful, raised voice – the dirty baby in the high chair started to cry and all the other children in the room went totally silent, petrified still, and looked absolutely terrified. They had probably see the crazy dog-lady’s temper before and knew exactly what it meant – I had only just been introduced to it and I was also totally terrified.
I didn’t say a word – no need to feed a rabid wolf. If you feed them they only grow stronger.
I quickly finished locking down the meter base and took off running, jumped in my work truck, tossed the power meter on the passenger seat, ducked down into the seat, and tore out of the driveway fully expecting to hear gunfire from the vicinity of the now dark house. Luckily – no spinning hot lead slugs flew past me – only the vociferously venomous rantings of a crazy, power poaching, puppy mill perpetrating, low-life of a person – who was now in the dark.
I felt terrible for the kids and the dogs, but nonpayment is nonpayment and orders are orders.
I was really shaken up so I drove a few miles down the street, pulled the truck off in a safe place, took out a pad and pen and started to write down everything exactly as it happened. After I finished writing out the details of the bizarre encounter I called my supervisor and gave her a full and detailed report including the discovery of the puppy mill and all the madness from the toxic lady. My boss stood up for me and later we collaborated on sending in the police, investigators, and others to get the place investigated, exposed, and shut down for animal and human cruelty and negligence. I assumed I would be called to court to testify but it never happened – possibly because the place was so obviously in great violation of so many health and safety, animal, and human abuse and cruelty laws.
The last time I drove by the place it was still dark, overgrown with weeds and small trees, and the house was falling in. Hopefully, the human filth was dealt with accordingly and the innocent dogs and children found new forever homes.
My lessons from this encounter:
- My first-hand evidence, and the evidence from many other sources, reveal that people who treat animals humanely – will often do the same to people.
- Do not buy pets from pet shops that often source their stock from and animal mills and or wildlife poaching operations.
There are many wonderful orphaned animals out there in need of new homes, maybe you will be the one that gives one of them a wonderful place to call home and to be loved.