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Follow-up on Avoca Crash Involving Puppies

One Year Later

BATH, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - One year ago today a van carrying over 100 puppies crashed on I-86 just outside Avoca. Some of those puppies were rescued and remained in the area and we had a chance to catch up with Big Papi the Boston Terrier as well as Chance the German Shepherd and of course their parents as well. 

Puppy mills are an issue across the entire county and although the puppies involved in the crash on I-86 were suspected to be from a mill in the Midwest we have some right in our very own backyards. 

"The thing is I know everyone was like oh they came from the Midwest we have puppy mills right here in our backyard in Steuben and Yates, and Yates is known as the Puppy Mill capital of New York State." Said  Karen Doucette, Consulting Veterinarian for the Finger Lakes SPCA, people don't realize that this is happening right under their noses. Doucette continues by saying, "There are things that we should do as community members to reach out and look at our towns and say do you know they're here are you watching them? Because the USDA inspectors might come once a year and then there's the other 11 months to deal with."

The USDA claims they have regulations in place, but according to Beatrice Ross-Mulford regulation is defined extremely loosely. "USDA and the Animal Welfare Act are the two governing agents... They have minimal standards, and by minimal I mean where Big Papi came from his mothers cage had 6" above, 6" below, 6" in the front and 6" in the back and she never leaves it."

By definition a Puppy mill is a large- scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well being of the dogs or the puppies. "And that's the scourge of Puppy mills, they're putting dogs out there that do not live up to the integrity of the breed and people are going to get socked with huge vet bills down the road and it's going to be heartbreaking." Said Connie Terry, the adoptive mother of Chance who was one of the lucky puppies that were able to be rescued after the incident that happened last year. 

The take away message that Ross-Mulford, Terry and Doucette want you to know and want to stress is adopt, don't shop. If you are searching for a new family member go to your local shelters or a reputable breeder. There is a difference between a puppy mill and a breeder, the biggest difference being that breeders will typically allow you to see the premises as well as the parents of the puppy you are adopting whereas from a puppy mill you will not get that option. 

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