The Cruel Secret Pet Stores Try to Hide About Their Animals

Have you ever wondered where pet store animals actually come from?

Emelia Crump, Staff Writer

Picture this: I walk into my local pet store and find myself looking at the tightly caged up animals who want nothing more than a loving home. Before I can look on the rational side of things, I wonder how much longer that adorable hamster is going to be sitting in a small glass cage. My heart gets the best of me and after I take my new pet home, I notice him acting in a petrified manner, which makes me wonder about his background. That’s when I learned the horrible truth- I just supported an animal mill. 

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Pet stores across the U.S. need to stop using animal mills as a staple for their animal supply. Animal mills are the most unethical and inhumane animal breeding system in the nation. They’re irresponsible animal breeding factories that don’t give their animals proper housing, food or water. Dare to look up the phrase and hundreds of gory photos will pop up in an instant. They’re so-called breeders focused on profit rather than an animal’s wellbeing, which is barbarous. Cages are crammed with poorly treated animals, dead or alive, and sickly furballs are left to suffer without proper vet care. Keep in mind, animal mills are legal everywhere in the U.S. but California, even though they’re horrible enough to pose a threat to animal wellbeing.

Actually, they’re so bad that around two million dogs from puppy mills die each year before being bought, and that’s just puppy mills. There are also rodent mills, bird mills and kitten mills, among others. Any popular household animal you can find at a pet store has some kind of animal mill. In fact, there are over 10,000 animal mills across the U.S. and only about 30 percent are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Furthermore, these irresponsibly bred animals take away homes from the deserving animals in shelters who need a forever home most and amplifies the problem of having to euthanize helpless animals. 

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Instead of ignoring these abysmal mills, there are some things we can do. An easy way to help if adopting isn’t an option at the moment is educating others who aren’t aware of the toll these mills put on animals. Reaching out on social media, putting up flyers and warning friends and family about these mills are some things that can really spread and have an impact. Another thing to do is “Adopt, Don’t Shop.” This saying goes right along with why pet stores shouldn’t be supported.

Although you’ll be saving one animal’s life if you buy at a pet store, think about that decision because as it turns out, you would just encourage the breeders at an animal mill to mass produce a whole bunch of innocent animals who wouldn’t have had to suffer otherwise.