The Price Of That Puppy In The Window - A Life Of Pain And Misery For Puppy Mill Dogs. Is It Worth It?

Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103

For the second time in as many months the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, New York, in  partnership with News Corp,  rescued 40 dogs from a puppy mill in Missouri.  Most of the dogs this time are shih tzus, and mixed breeds.  In a valiant effort to give the poor four legged prisoners of these commercial breeders a chance at a normal life, North Shore along with other rescue groups have been involved in the ongoing battle with these callously run businesses.  There has to be a way to put these soulless people out of business.  The only interest they have in the animals in their care is the money they produce.  The fate of the puppy mill dog is dismal at best.  So many of them live in the most deplorable conditions, with little if any protection from the elements, locked in a cage for years with no exercise; not even clean food and water.  When they can no longer produce puppies, they have often been cruelly murdered or otherwise disposed of by uncaring owners.

dogPeople who buy their puppies from pet stores are, wittingly or otherwise, partners in the crime against these innocent animals.  Before someone walks by and says "how much is that doggie in the window," as they look at the adorable bundles of fluff, they need to know these dogs come from puppy mills.  By putting their money down on that adorable canine, they're condemning countless other dogs to a life of abject misery and pain.  Thankfully, a number of states have begun to enact legislation, cracking down on puppy mills.  In the last three years, 15 states have passed laws requiring at least basic standards of care.  It's a long way from stopping the canine slave trade, but at least it's a step in the right direction.  Missouri, a major puppy mill state has a proposal on the ballot in November's election.  I pray it's electorate supports it.

We can only make a difference in the lives of man's best friend through education.  If each of us can stop one person from walking into that pet store and buying a puppy, rather than going to a reputable breeder who work at the betterment of their breeds or from a rescue group, we too can make a dent in the problem

If anyone out there thinking of buying a puppy is reading this, I implore you, think twice about where you choose to go.  Right behind the face of the cute little one you hold in your arms are the faces of the tortured souls forced to produce it.  Look online.  Google puppy mills.  Check out the videos on YouTube.  I promise you, you'll cry your eyes out . . . as I have, many times over. 


About the author:

Geri Sonkin is a Licensed Broker Associate/Stager/Decorator serving Long Island sellers and buyers for over 24 years.  Areas of expertise include Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens and Brooklyn.  Specializing in resales, new construction, co-ops/condos, waterfront homes, estates, short sales, rentals and staging your home to sell for the most money the market will bear.  For more information:  For new construction:   516-425-6098   Search all MLS listings and access up to date market statistics at

All text and graphics contained herein Copyright © 2010 Geri Sonkin & its licensors. All rights reserved.

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Comments (13)

Yvette Chisholm
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Rockville, MD
Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500

I saw one of my neighbors who lost their dog last year.  She had a new dog (looked like a puppy).  I asked her about it and she got it at the shelter....was maybe 7-10 years old.   Thank goodness for people like that.  There are so many homeless pets.

Sep 22, 2010 04:50 PM
Debra Davis
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners - Snellville, GA
Realtor - Atlanta, Decatur, Snellville, Loganville

Thanks for bringing up this horrifying problem. I love the picture with those beautiful eyes.

Sep 22, 2010 04:53 PM
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

Yvette, almost all of my life I've been rescuing dogs.  We have to be their protectors because they have no voice of their own.  Getting a dog from a shelter is a wonderful option.

Sep 22, 2010 04:54 PM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Thanks for sharing this kind, sensitive post with us Geri............I'm sure many out there are not aware of the puppy mills and how these poor, defenseless dogs are treated.........dealing with a reputable breeder is the way to go.

Sep 22, 2010 05:28 PM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

I have always done cat rescue, and I don't particularly like cats, although I have two that keep things lively with the two kids and two dogs. We have woods and barns nearby and so keeping the feral cat population in check is a community effort. Catch 'em, test 'em, fix 'em, vaccinate 'em and take them back to whatever barn they hang out at. I don't even look at the vet bills, it's just a good thing to do.

I'm always glad to hear about people who do animal rescue work, since, as you say, they have no voice of their own.

Sep 22, 2010 05:37 PM
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

Debra - It is a horrendous problem and I know pet shop owners tell buyers that they get the puppies from breeders, when in fact they come almost exclusively from puppy mills.  I truly believe if buyers had to watch a video of the conditions in the mills before taking that puppy home, they would never do it.

Roger - It breaks my heart for them.  I wish I could do more.

Leslie - You made me laugh.  I think what you're doing is great.  I'm not particularly a cat person either, with one exception.  During the time I had my son's cat living with me (about 10 months), I fell madly in love with him.  I think he was my soulmate.  He developed cancer and died this year.  I cried my eyes out.  I think I'll miss him all the days of my life.

Sep 22, 2010 05:54 PM
Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI
Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE - Carmel, IN
Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert

Geri--I rescued two puppy mill females this past year.  They are the sweetest creatures---asleep at my feet now.  People should not shop at pet stores that sell puppies.  They will tell you theirs did not come from puppy mills but they are either lying or they are repeating what they haven been told.  I am up to five dogs now.  If everyone does just a little..... Gotta suggest this blog even though it is not real estate related.  It is important!!

Sep 22, 2010 06:29 PM
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

Pat, the gift you give by getting those rescue dogs is paid back ten fold.  I have stood in a pet store myself when I heard the owner say their puppies come from a great breeder, one they've dealt with for years.  How are people to know they're getting them from puppy mills or puppy brokers.

Sep 22, 2010 06:55 PM
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Geri thanks for the post.  This is so important and people really need to be aware. 

Sep 24, 2010 04:26 AM
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036


Sep 24, 2010 04:26 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Geri,  I can't bear to walk near one of these stores.  It breaks my heart to see the puppies in the window seeing their faces and knowing where they came from.  I know all about puppy mills.  I won't buy anything from a store that sells dogs.

Sep 25, 2010 02:47 PM
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

Debra - Thanks for the feature.  I do agree.  It's very important to educate the public.  They often don't know and the peoplel who sell them tell buyers they buy from great breeders.  I'm a moderator of a dog forum and I've attached a link to the post so anybody new coming to the site (and there are many) will have a chance to read it before getting a puppy.

Elyse - It is subjecting those poor innocent souls to a life of torture.  Just the thought of it breaks my heart.

Sep 25, 2010 03:10 PM
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

It is an industry...Poor animals...

Thank you Geri!

Have a nice day!

Oct 07, 2010 11:31 PM

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