I would like to warn readers not to put cruelty on their shopping lists this year. The holidays are a busy season for puppy sales and people need to know that when they buy puppies over the Internet, through newspaper ads, or at pet stores, they are often unknowingly supporting a puppy mill.
Puppy mills are inhumane breeding facilities that produce puppies in large numbers. They are designed to maximize profits and commonly disregard the physical, social and emotional health of the dogs. The breeding dogs at puppy mills live their entire lives in cages, and the poor conditions cause puppies to have more physical and behavioral problems than dogs from good sources. The best way to stop puppy mills is for consumers to stop supporting them. To find a puppy from a reputable source, visit your local animal shelter or find a reputable breeder and visit their premises in person to see how and where your puppy's mother is living.
Responsible pet purchasing, adoption and ongoing guardianship takes effort. But it's worth it to do things right and find the canine companion of a lifetime. By finding a responsible breeder, shelter or rescue group, you can help defeat the inhumane puppy mill system that places profit above animal welfare.
Readers can look up local shelters and breed rescue groups at http://www.petfinder.org and http://www.pets911.com. A checklist of good breeder characteristics is available at http://www.humanesociety.org/puppy. People who love dogs need to help stop them from being mistreated by making sure they aren't supporting a puppy mill!
* Smith column nails Hubbard issue
Plaudits to Steve Smith for uncovering another layer of the Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard affair with of Board of Education ("City Life: Teachers are right to be mad," Nov. 9). Certainly the teachers of the district need to be heard. As a taxpayer and grandfather of two students in the district, I too am aware of the hypocrisy of a board member saying that they are treating the superintendent as they treat all other employees. Five months of leave with pay to fight his indictment is unheard of for any other employee. The teachers have been heard.
Now, I understand that we the people elected the board, but right now, on these decisions made in this case, I totally disagree. In talks with others in the community, they too are chagrined by their actions. How can we tell the board that enough is enough with Hubbard? I can't imagine what they well do with a guilty verdict of him. Let's hear from others on this side of the controversy.