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Sunday, 15th Aug 2010, by Zeus Communications

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Dear Friends and Fellow Animal Lovers,

The puppy mill industry in Singapore is currently poorly regulated. A puppy mill is a factory that churns out puppies for commercial profit. In Singapore, due to inadequate puppy mill regulations and the lack of clear and enforceable best practices and guidelines in the industry, irresponsible puppy mills are able to mass produce puppies solely for profit, with little or no regard for the welfare of the breeding dogs. Most of these dogs are kept in appalling and inhumane conditions including being confined in uncomfortably small cages, some too small for them to even turn around and in the worse cases, all live in the midst of their excrement. They are also severely  malnourished as to cut cost, most  of them are fed only once every 3 days with just rice mixed with some kibbles. 

Sentenced to life for being sweet?

Passing the days by staring at blank walls with no future to look forward to

A slow lonely death

These breeding dogs are usually in poor health, rarely vaccinated or given adequate healthcare and are therefore highly susceptible to infectious diseases and parasitic infestations and other conditions that are prevalent in the appalling conditions in which they are being kept. Even siblings from the same litter are mated (as well as fathers with daughters or grand-daughters) resulting in congenitally-diseased pups which are sold below the Singapore Kennel Club-accepted age and standards to the unsuspecting public. 

Old Beagle. Despite her blindness, you can see pain and hopelessness in her eyes.
And despite being old and blind, she was still being bred for profits.

You would never have known what your cute puppy's parents looked like

It's here in a puppy mill that they spend all their sad lives of utter misery and suffering with little care, exercise and social interaction. In properly regulated puppy mills in other countries, female dogs are only permitted to breed a maximum of 2 litters a year only after they have had their first heat and not beyond the age of 6 years. In the puppy mills here, female dogs are forced to produce litter after litter which leads to terrible pain, uterine infection and suffering. And after they have outlived their productivity, they are discarded like old furniture and sometimes abandoned to die. The “luckier” ones are killed. Death is their only relief.

Such irresponsible breeding at puppy mills constitutes cruelty to animals and contravenes the prevention of cruelty to animals’ provision under the Animal and Birds Act. All animals including breeding dogs are entitled to reasonable care and supervision and to be protected from unnecessary suffering. How is it possible that such puppy mills are able to get away from being punished? 

Would you buy her puppies? NO?
Did the breeder show you your pup's Mom before you bought?

Would you please buy this not-so-cute puppy and take her out of her living hell?
Who would buy a not-so-cute puppy?
Does that mean this poor puppy will never see the sun nor walk on grass?

Animal welfare volunteers have often-times rescued these abused dogs from the mills but this is neither a long-term nor sustainable solution . In April 2010, 2 puppy mill owners abandoned their farm of 85 very sick dogs and animal welfare volunteers had to rescue all the dogs and  clean up the mess they left behind. (Read the newspaper articles here.) They have been working diligently  round the clock to nurse the dogs back to health and are still in the process of finding homes for those that have not been rehomed or adopted. (Read about the rehomed and remaining dogs.) The irony is that one of these 2 owners has set up another similar farm shortly after the whole fiasco. Why is he able to do that?  Because of minimal commercial and legal barriers to entry, inadequate regulations and penalties. We believe this is not an isolated case and this suggests there are gaps in the system. [Also, the maximum composition fine that the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority can impose on these breeders under the Animals and Birds Act is only $1,000. All the breeders have to do is to sell an unhealthy pup to cover this amount.] 

If only dogs could commit suicide . . . .perhaps they would.

In line with prevention of animal cruelty laws in Singapore, where animals including breeding dogs are protected from cruelty and unnecessary suffering, we wish to prevent further acts of cruelty, raise the standard of care and improve the welfare for all breeding dogs by strongly appealing to the relevant authorities in Singapore to step up and to close the gaps via improved legislation, regulation and implementation of clear and enforceable best practices for this industry. 

Labrador used for breeding. He had skin cancer and a deformed leg. 

We want to urge the government and the relevant authorities to collaborate with the existing animal welfare (non government organizations and volunteer) groups to review the puppy mill issue. We believe the government of Singapore and relevant authorities are supportive of nurturing a caring and responsible society including nurturing the right attitude towards the welfare of animals . In this regard, we, as concerned civil citizens wish to pledge our full support and help to assist the authorities and animal welfare groups to achieve this. 

Please help me. Please put an end to our suffering.

With your support and signatures, we can win the hearts and minds of the government,  authorities and citizens to undertake the necessary and critical steps to close the loopholes in the puppy mill system to create a cruelty-free  and responsible industry. 

Thank you. 

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated...I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by (people) from the cruelty of (human kind) - Mahatma Gandhi 

To read more about Puppy Mills please click Away from Prying Eyes

A song for all the dogs who continue to remain behind bars for the rest of their lives. Waiting, hoping, for someone to save them.
Acknowledgement of Photos: Monica Eng and Davis KK Lee

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