Outline: Adopting a Dog is Better than Buying a Dog from Pet Stores and Puppy Mills

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I. A few years from now you might be living in off campus housing or you have graduated college living life more on your own in an apartment or house.
II. You are feeling good and free and more like you can live by your own rules, but something is missing.
III. There is an absence of some happiness, slobbering, begging, and love.
IV. You grew up with a well-loved dog, and your sofa is starting to look bare without anyone to shed on it.
V. According to the U.S. Humane Society, about 58% of people will get a dog after the age of 24 (ASPCA, 2014), which means probably many of you in this class will as well sometime in your life.
VI. Thinking of where to get your dog is a very important decision.
VII. There are numerous places where you can go to get one such as shelters, fosters, rescues, breeders, and stores.
VIII. Today I will tell you my view about pet stores and puppy mills, give you better options for where to get a dog, and what you can do to make a difference.
TRANSITION: In my opinion, getting a dog from a pet store is a poor decision.
Body
I. Most dogs from pet stores come from puppy mills, and there is an estimated 15,000 puppy mills in the U.S (Humane Society, 2012).
A. According to the ASPCA, “A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs who are often severely neglected and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices” (ASPCA, 2014).
B. The living and breeding conditions for these dogs in puppy mills is inhumane.
1. Hundreds, or thousands of dogs live in crowded and unsanitary cages without adequate food, water, socialization, or veterinary attention (What is a Puppy Mill, 2013).
a. Dogs are typically kept in small wire cages inside sheds with no temperature control or even outdoors with inadequate protection from harsh weather.
b. The paw pads on the dogs are often seriously injured or cut from standing on the wire flooring of the cages.
c. These cages are usually stacked on top of one another which lets feces and urine drop down to the other dogs causing diseases and illness, which roots to a huge issue for breeding as well.
2. Breeding at puppy mills is done without concern of genetic quality.
a. This results in generations of dogs with unchecked hereditary defects.
b. Some issues include heart disease, deafness, respiratory disorders, kennel cough, mange, heartworm, fleas, or intestinal parasites (ASPCA, 2014).

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