Dr. Michael W. Fox

Puppy and Kitten Breeding Mills

Vegetarianism: A Bioethical Imperative
Dr. Fox on the Tonight Show
In Memoriam_Feral Cat Mark Twain
DVD Links
Releasing Cats To Live Outdoors
Outdoor Cats, Wildlife And Human Health
Cat and Dog Nutrition--the Thiamine Issue
Cat Food Recipe
Cat Tail Deemed To Be Good Vaccination Spot
Cat Behavior
Cat Vaccination Protocols
Declawing Cats
Feline Stomatitis Complex
Cat Litter Box Issues
Introducing A New Cat
Introducing A Dog Into Cat's Home
Choosing To Live With A Dog
Dog Vaccination Protocols
Dog Mutilations
Dog Food Recipe
Dental Problems In Companion Animals
Dog Food and Feeding Issues
Dr. Fox's Good Medicine Juice
The Truth About Manfactured Dog and Cat Food
Companion Animals Harmed By Pesticides
Dominance-based Dog Training
Dr. Fox and the Super Dog Project
Guide to Congenital & Heritable Disorders in Dogs
Dogwise E-Books
Concerning Outdoor Chaining/Tethering Of Dogs
Dogs In Shelters
Dr. Fox's Good Dog Cookie Recipe
Don't Clone Your Dog Or Cat!
The Pros and Cons of Neutering Your Dog
Recovering Canine Health And The Natural Dog
Animal Vaccination Concerns
Care For Dogs and Cats With Renal Failure
Urinary Tract Stones
Green Pet Care
Puppy and Kitten Breeding Mills
Pure Water for Cats and Dogs--and All
Dental Problems In Companion Animals
Chemical-related Human Diseases In Companion Animals
From Mineral Oil & Multiple Sclerosis to Plastics, Nanoparticles
Companion Animal Care
Companion Animals and Flea and Tick Treatments
Behavioral Problems and Drug Solutions: A Last Resort
Preventing Fleas
Domestication and Diet
Lyme Disease and Wildlife Management
Disease and Animal Rights
GMOs and Pet Food
Journal of AVMA and GMOs
Indoor and Outdoor Poison Hazards for Pets
Carrageenan In Pet Foods
Cats, Dogs and Cadmium
Fluoride In Pet Food - A Serious Health Risk?
Best Manufactured Pet Foods
Pet Food Letters
Nutrigenomics and the Pet Food Revolution
The Ethics of Krill Oil and Protein Supplements
Animal-Insensitivity Syndrome
Wolves and Human Well-being
Wolf-Dog Hybrids
Crying Wolf Too Much
Betrayal of Wolves and Public Trust
The 'One Medicine'
Pet Health Insurance
The Veterinary Profession
  Pharmaceutical Cruelty In Animal Farms: Consumer Beware
Pig Parts For People
Conflicts Of Interest In The Veterinary Profession
Bioethics: Its Scope And Purpose
The Bioethics And Politics Of Manufactured Pet Foods
Animal Rights, Human Rights And Wrongs
The Future of the Veterinary Profession
Holistic Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Ethics and Economics
Veterinary Bioethics and Animal Welfare
Principles Of Veterinary Bioethics
What Price Our Animal Relationships?
Changing Diets for Health's and Earth's Sake
Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Reseach Needs Ethical Boundaries
Wildlife Management Practices
How Animals Suffer Around the World
Feeling for Animals and Animal Liberation
Animal Altruism and Abilty To Empathize
What Makes Animals Happy?
The Empathosphere: Animal Prescience, And Remote Sensing
Mental Effects on Physical Health: The Mind-Body Connection
Animal Spirits
Light Of Compassion
Religion, Science and Animal Rights
Animal Suffering And The God Question
Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health
Islam And Animals
Panentheism: The Spirituality Of Compassion
One Earth, One Health
Why We All Must Care For Animals and the Environment
Quality Of Life In Animals
Healing Agriculture's Broken Connections
Mammon Vs. Civil Society
Justice For All Beings And The End Of Terrorism
Universal Bill Of Rights For Animals And Nature
Science Writers' and Reporters' Political Agendas
Cambridge Declaration On Consciousness
Michael W. Fox Resume'
Dr. Fox Biographical Interview
Interview: History of Animal Welfare Science
Curriculum Vitae
Books By Dr. Fox
Dr. Fox Lectures, Seminars and Workshops
My Life For The Animals
To Kiss Salamanders and Stones




Dr. Michael W. Fox *


Commerce in purebred and ‘designer’ (cross-breed) dogs, and purebred cats has expanded in many farming states since my first investigations of commercial dog breeding facilities, so called ‘puppy mills’ in the Midwest in the early 1970’s. Brood-bitches, stud dogs and litters of puppies were generally treated like commodities; no different from other livestock, such as pigs, chickens, and fur-ranch foxes and mink.  Even then, inhumane breeding practices and conditions were widespread, and they have not been improved upon over the intervening years in spite of government (USDA/APHIS) inspections and licensing schemes and purported AKC (American Kennel Club) inspections. Most state authorities see nothing wrong with applying the same standards, if any, for how producers should treat their livestock and poultry, to puppy and kitten mill commercial breeding facilities.


But there is one huge difference between traditionally farmed animals and cats and dogs. Dogs and cats are so much more domesticated in terms of their need for human contact during their first formative weeks (called the critical period for socialization), and throughout their entire lives. On large commercial breeding facilities there is inadequate human contact and socialization of mass-produced puppies and kittens, leading potentially to emotionally unstable, unreliable, even unsafe animals. Their parent ‘breeding stock’ can suffer their entire lives from lack of consistent and caring human contact. This is compounded by living in a literal prison cage or wire run, often in extremely noisy and crowded conditions where sanitation, clean water, and adequate food and shelter may all be deficient to some degree.


All this means animal stress and distress, which impairs their immune systems leading to increased susceptibility to diseases. Some of these are transmissible to humans, including round worms (Toxacara) that can cause blindness in children, to ringworm that can ravage a family and Toxoplasmisis that can cause human fetal abnormalities and birth defects. . Other diseases that can take hold in unsanitary facilities and stressed animals and be transmitted from infected puppies and kittens to humans (children, the elderly, and others with impaired immune systems being especially vulnerable), include: Salmonellosis, Campylobacter enteritis, Leptospirosis, Blastomycosis, Histoplasmosis, Giardiasis, Echinococcosis, and Sarcoptic mange.


Pups and kittens whose mothers were chronically stressed during pregnancy, and environmental influences, especially diet, and quality of human contact or lack thereof, during their first few weeks of life can suffer  alterations in the ‘wiring’ of their nervous, endocrine and other body systems. This is called epigenetics, a recent branch of human and veterinary medicine and that was an integral aspect of my first doctoral dissertation (published in 1971 by the University of Chicago Press, entitled Integrative Development of Brain and Behavior in the Dog.). This in part accounts for the high veterinary bills people find themselves paying because of the chronic health problems that result.


Another reason for the plethora of health problems in pure-bred animals is because of the low ‘hybrid vigor’ and higher incidence of genetic and developmental abnormalities, hereditary diseases, and behavioral problems ranging from extreme shyness to unpredictable aggression and hyperactivity syndrome. Large scale commercial breeders---anyone with say more than six breeding animals---cannot follow up through the marketing matrix to determine the quality of their produce. They have no system of progeny testing, which means keeping records of all the health and behavioral problems of the puppies and kittens that they are marketing that could be traced to a ‘defective’ bitch or stud dog.  It is inexcusable that the AKC, that opposes any legislation like this Bill, should actually profit from selling   pedigree registration papers to the unwitting purchasers of puppy mill puppies.


Additional stress is placed on the offspring when they are shipped out, shortly after the stress of being weaned that is coupled additional stress on their immune systems of being wormed and given a cocktail of vaccinations.  Such treatments can lead to life-long sickness and suffering. Kittens and puppies should not be shipped any distance more than a two-four-hour journey in a climate-controlled vehicle and then only after they have passed the sensitive period of development that in the dog is around 8 weeks of age, and possibly one or two weeks later in kittens. ‘Locally bred and locally purchased’ animals could be sold at an earlier age, around 6-7 weeks of age for puppies, and 7-8 weeks for kittens, provided the distances they must travel are within the two-four hour range.


The ‘breeding stock’ not only suffer a life of extreme confinement on the typical puppy and kitten mill facility: They also suffer the stress of repeated pregnancies one heat cycle after another with no rest and recovery after raising a litter, many being bred, for cost-saving, on their first heat, at an age when they are not yet even fully grown and physiologically ready to bear offspring.  No conscientious hobby breeder would ever consider adopting such a stressful practice. Nor would anyone who respects the nature and beauty of cats, or appreciates how dogs have contributed to the well-being of humanity since before the beginning of recorded history, give nothing less than unequivocal support for legislation as is being proposed that would help reduce the suffering and improve the health and well-being of dogs and cats used for commercial breeding purposes, and their helpless offspring.



* Writing, consultations and lectures/seminars in companion animal behavior, communication, health and well-being; veterinary and global bioethics; humane, sustainable agriculture and nutritional health. For details go to www.doctormwfox.org





Check the link below for a Dr. Fox C-Span feature concerning "Animal Testing"

Dr. Michael W. Fox on C-Span

--Video Link--

Dr. Michael W. Fox

What right do we humans have to exploit other animals?  Where does that right come from and what are the limits if any?  What duties or obligations do we have in our relationships with our dogs, cats and other animals domesticated and wild?

          Follow and support Caroline Kraus and her Moments of Truth Project documentary film as she travels across the U.S. asking people, who variously live, work with and care for animals, these and other relevant questions.

Is there an overriding consensus and what are the reasons why people respond very differently to these questions, which in part examine our character, culture and future?

The viewing and discussion of this kind of documentary should be part of every school curriculum and will be of interest to all who work with, profit from and care for animals. Project Home Page: http://momentsoftruthproject.com/  To see the interview with Dr. Fox go to http://momentsoftruthproject.com/dr-michael-fox/