ST Forum Mar 15, 2011 Step up regulation of puppy mills RUNNING a puppy mill is an attractive financial proposition, given the propensity of Singaporeans to buy dogs as pets, coupled with the huge increase in prices of dogs in the past eight years.
I say this from personal experience, having purchased a puppy eight years ago for $1,200, and recently paying $2,800 for a puppy of a similar breed and age, and with no pedigree. This could explain why puppy mills are such popular ventures, and the same applies to pet shops that offer these dogs for purchase.
However, the way these dogs are treated is nothing short of animal abuse. I read with interest how a local pet shop owner stated that a puppy kept in an air-conditioned room needs less water because its body temperature is lower ("In the doghouse"; Sunday). That is a flimsy excuse at best to justify such atrocious behaviour. The converse should be true as a puppy exposed to constant air-conditioning is more susceptible to dehydration.
While I applaud those pet shops and puppy mills that provide adequate facilities for the puppies they house, the sad fact is that most do not even provide the bare necessities.
Public education and awareness campaigns by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are not enough. Legislation or subsidiary regulations have to be passed to penalise animal abuse in puppy mills.
The absence of deterrent rules has emboldened recalcitrant owners to treat puppies inhumanely.