Raise animals kindly or not at all

Puppy mills across Minnesota thrive because consumers are not speaking out against them.

by Keelia Moeller

Minnesota is notorious for having some of the worst puppy mills in the country. Last year marked the third time the Humane Society of the United States placed Detroit Lakes business Renner’s Kennels in “The Horrible Hundred,” a list of national puppy mills whose animals live in the unhealthiest conditions. Two other Minnesota businesses also made the list.
In the past, dogs in Renner’s Kennels have been found with malformed eyes, lame legs and water bowls contaminated with vermin. Despite complaints, problems persisted until 2015. And Renner’s Kennels is not the only puppy mill in Minnesota with conditions too inhumane to imagine.
The Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley recently rescued 95 dogs from a breeding enterprise operated by a Minnesota couple. The operation comprised three locations, including one in Maplewood. All three featured filthy conditions unfit for healthy living.
The Human Society has allowed the couple to keep two dogs — a decision I feel does not fit the injustices committed in this situation. These two people exploited and mistreated innocent creatures, and their punishment should be as extensive as the law allows. 
But treating individual cases of animal abuse isn’t enough. We cannot allow the existence of puppy mills to continue. This means the public needs to start adopting pets from Humane Societies rather than bringing their business to operations that use puppy mills. 
Dogs and other animals do not exist for our exploitation. They deserve sanitary living conditions at the very least — conditions that puppy mills do not provide.
Keelia Moeller welcomes comments at [email protected].