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TOPIC: "The Harmful Effects of Puppy Mills on Breeding Dogs and Their Puppies"
SPEAKER: Veterinarian Dr. Franklin McMillan
DATE: This event was already held; an abbreviated presentation was also given to the MN Board of Animal Health
The term "puppy mill" has evolved over the decades to reflect commercial breeding facilities of any size that have neglectful, not just egregious, conditions which harm the physical and emotional well-being of each animal.
Dr. Franklin McMillan, a board-certified specialist in veterinary internal medicine and leading expert on emotional pain in animals, defines a puppy mill as:
The issue of puppy mills, and dogs and puppies obtained from these breeding facilities, continues to generate awareness and concern among animal rescuers, veterinarians, authorities, consumers and others.
Dr. McMillan has conducted considerable research on the behavioral challenges in dogs and puppies from commercial breeding establishments (CBEs), including the mental health and emotional well-being of animals who have experienced psychological trauma from abuse and neglect.
Dr. McMillan's work has led him to conclude: "The psychological trauma to both the adult dogs and the puppies from their confinement in these commercial breeding establishments is extensive, severe, and long-lasting ... [Today's] laws haven't come close to keeping pace with the advances in scientific knowledge about the nature of canine well-being."
Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, is the director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society (Utah). Dr. McMillan was previously in private practice for 23 years as well as serving as clinical professor of medicine at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. He is the author of the Textbook Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals and has published dozens of scientific journal articles on the subjects of emotional health and suffering, stress, and quality of life in animals.
Dr. McMillan is known for his research on breeding dogs and puppies from high volume breeding facilities. One of Dr. McMillan's studies, based on evaluations of 1,159 dogs from mass commercial breeding establishments (CBEs), was published in 2011 in Applied Animal Behavior Science. This study provided the first clear quantitative evidence that "dogs confined in CBEs for breeding purposes demonstrate impaired mental health and, as a result, diminished welfare."
What the study found:
Another study by Dr. McMillan, published in 2013 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, focused on puppies and compared the psychological and behavioral characteristics of 413 adult dogs that were purchased as puppies from pet stores with adult dogs purchased as puppies from small-scale, private breeders.
What the study found:
• Mental health of dogs formerly used as 'breeding stock' in commercial breeding establishents. FD McMillan, DL Duffy, JA Serpell. Applied Animal Behavior Science 2011; 135: 86-94.
• Differences in behavioral characteristics between dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores and those obtained from noncommercial breeders. FD McMillan, JA Serpell, DL Duffy, E Masaoud, IR Dohoo. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2013; 242: 1359-1363.
• Understanding and Caring for Puppy Mill Dogs by Dr. Franklin McMillan
• Help for Specific Issues with Adopted Puppy Mill Dogs by Dr. Franklin McMillan
RECENT CE PRESENTATIONS
• Maximizing quality of life of ill patients. CanWest Veterinary Conference. Banff, Alberta, Canada, October 19-22, 2013.
• Psychological trauma in animals. CanWest Veterinary Conference. Banff, Alberta, Canada, October 19-22, 2013.
• Animal stress and distress: an update. CanWest Veterinary Conference. Banff, Alberta, Canada, October 19-22, 2013.
• The complexity of animal well-being: advances in our understanding of quality of life, welfare, and happiness — and why it matters in animal research. 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. Prague, Czech Republic, August 24-28, 2014.
• Emotional pain: Why it can matter more to animals than physical pain. 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. Prague, Czech Republic, August 24-28, 2014.
• Life after research: the psychological well-being of animals following release from the laboratory. 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. Prague, Czech Republic, August 24-28, 2014.