Today, Benton County law enforcement officials seized more than 400 dogs from a puppy mill owned by 66-year-old Ella Stewart in what they are calling “one of the worst cases” of animal abuse the state has ever seen.
All the dogs reportedly require medical treatment for a variety of ailments, including malnutrition, overgrown nails (which can cause painful foot injuries), and urine burns.
Urine burns! That’s because all these pups were found living in makeshift crates (including shopping carts) that were caked with feces and soaked with urine.
You can bet that this isn’t an isolated incident. Puppy mills, from which almost all pet stores buy their dogs, are breeding grounds (no pun intended) for disease and neglect. The animals who are unfortunate enough to be housed in these hell holes are viewed as commodities, not as living beings who require exercise, love, and care. They are crammed together into cages that they can barely turn around in, they are fed barely enough to survive, and when they suffer from injuries, their wounds go untreated.
So, the next time you’re in the mood to bring a cute, dreamy-eyed pup home, don’t support the Ella Stewarts of the world. Stop by your local animal shelter instead.
Written by Shawna Flavell