Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dog #201 - Daisy the Wonder Dog

Daisy came to me with two things I had not seen before: 1) a tattoo in her ear (# 201), and 2) a roving microchip. You might be asking yourself why a dog from a puppy mill would have these things.  I know I did. 

When I first got Daisy (as a foster), I didn't know a lot about puppy mills other than what I had learned on the news or TV shows. I knew that most puppies sold at pet stores were from puppy mills, but I didn't know a lot about the things puppy mill owners did, other than mistreat animals. What I discovered is that some puppy mills tattoo a number in the dog's ear to help them keep track of each dog. It's literally a book-keeping method for them.  The tattoo also allows them to identify and track which dogs they want to breed together to get a certain type of dog with a certain look, color, size, etc. In Daisy's case, she was used as a breeding dog in an effort to create a new and popular breed of dog that is being seen in increasing numbers around the Twin Cities. 

Daisy's tattoo labels her as Dog #201. Nothing more. Nothing less. No name; just a number. According to the vet, Daisy was kept pregnant as much as possible, so I am sure that some "breeder" was making a good amount of money selling off her pups while Daisy sat in a cage caring for the next litter to be sold.  

In addition to her tattoo, Daisy also had a microchip. It had been placed in the middle of her ear,  just above her tattoo. Finding a microchip in a puppy mill dog is actually quite unusual. Most puppy mills won't spend any money on a dog, much less the costs associated with obtaining and inserting a microchip. So. it was somewhat of a puzzlement to me and to my friends at the shelter. We tried scanning her chip, but it appeared to be deactivated or no longer functioning. It has remained a mystery. 

Since that time, Daisy's microchip has actually migrated to the bottom of her ear. I was puzzled by this until I heard Katie K9 talk about how the older microchips used to migrate over time throughout the dog's body because it had nothing to anchor it. Today's microchips have tiny hooks that anchor the microchip in place to keep it from moving around, thus making it easier to find and scan if your dog were to get lost. My suspicion is that the puppy mill had been doing their own microchipping using the old microchips. Perhaps, they were using the microchips as a replacement for tattooing. Or, perhaps they wanted an easier way to track dogs they wanted to breed together. Who can really know? What I do know is that they were taking care of their dogs' dew claws on their own because my vet has commented on the fact that Daisy's dew claws were mangled when she was younger and that it most likely happened because the puppy mill owner was doing it him or herself.  So, it would not surprise if they also did their own tattooing and microchipping. In either case, Daisy has both. 

Although, I know about the tattoo and microchip, I was surprised to see a video on YouTube today that featured a dog owner being interviewed for her book about her puppy mill rescue dog, Baby. It seems Baby also had a tattoo in her ear. Daisy is not alone. She is only one of the many dogs being kept in puppy mills today. Just a number. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I believe the more we can educate people about puppy mills, and how dogs are treated in puppy mills, the less likely it is that people will buy from them, either through a pet store, on the internet, or the puppy mill owner directly. They may call themselves a "breeder", but don't be fooled. Puppy mill owners are only in it for the money, not to better the breed. I encourage you to find out more by checking out the links below.  Daisy thanks you.


  1. Hi, Mel -

    ANother great post. Thanks for your efforts to inform everyone about the mistreatment of animals. And thanks to Daisy the Wonder Dog too!


    P.S. Have you checked my blog lately?

  2. Thanks for the info, Daisy is beautiful! These puppy mill owners are horrible!