The Puppy Mill

The Puppy Mill

ALAN NAFZGER

The Puppy Mill – Pecan Street Press

Lubbock ● Austin ● Fort Worth

FREE DOWNLOAD – http://freeebooks.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/The-Puppy-Mill.pdf

 

The Puppy Mill is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Amazon edition

The Puppy Mill

 

Copyright © 2015 Alan Nafzger

All rights reserved.

The Puppy Mill –  ISBN: 9781072188155


THE PUPPY MILL

The Puppy Mill Written by Alan Nafzger

The Puppy Mill
The Puppy Mill

The Puppy Mill FADE IN:

INT. CLASSROOM – UNIVERSITY – LUBBOCK – DAY

Three African American girls, athletes, enter a predominantly white classroom. Professor Kyle Brugha (68) is about to begin his lecture. There are three minutes until the top of the hour. Also in the classroom are a noteworthy African American, Rashard Pageotte (19) and a ultra conservative WHITE GIRL (19).

The Puppy Mill

Brugha

Hello girls.

GIRLS

Hi, professor.

Brugha

Girls, did you go to the dog show?

GIRLS

Thanks for the tickets. We went.

Brugha

I didn’t see you but I wasn’t there long.

(beat)

If you lose you go home. You know what I mean?

The Puppy Mill

GIRLS

Sorry you lost.

The Puppy Mill
The Puppy Mill

Brugha

That’s part of it. Right?

 

GIRLS

Sure.

 

Brugha

What’d ya think?

 

GIRLS

Doctor Brugha, your friends have foul mouths.

 

Brugha

What?

 

They are all “Bitches in the ring” and these ladies bring their dogs in. And then the winner is “Winners Bitch”.  “I like your bitch” and bitch this and bitch that.

The Puppy Mill

Brugha’s jaw drops. Half the class laughs. Half the class doesn’t understand what is so funny. Brugha tries to keep a straight face.

 

Brugha

Bitch? That’s a female dog.

 

The remainder of the class chuckles.

 

Brugha

Well, I’m sorry. I should have explained that to everybody when I gave you girls the tickets. My fault.

 

Brugha

It’s not really a bad word. It…

 

Rashard

Why is that?

 

Brugha

Well, if someone calls you a bitch. They are calling you a female dog. But what do you call a female dog?

 

Rashard

Well, I don’t know; black girls where I’m from, the first thing they call each other is bitch and the hair pulling and fighting begins. Most of the time, one girl waits until the other one turns her back.

The Puppy Mill

Brugha

Female dogs do that.

 

Rashard

Is that why women are called that?

 

Brugha

I don’t know.

 

Rashard

But that is true?

Beat.

 

Brugha

My dog’s fight, every once in a while. The boy dogs they will have bites sometimes on their face or front legs or shoulders. Face to face. Female dogs… sometimes they will have bites on their hips and rear legs. You just know what happened.

 

Rashard

Oh, that’s the way black girls fight. They sneak up on ya.

 

The entire class laughs.

 

WHITE GIRL

How come?

 

Brugha

Nature. I’m sorry if you are offended. But that is just the way dogs are. But to answer your question, that’s how some people “perceive” women. It’s probably a false analogy.

 

A girl pops out of her chair and walks toward the door. She frightens/concerns Brugha, who is mild mannered and doesn’t want to offend anyone.

 

Brugha

I’m sorry. That might have been inappropriate.

(beat)

I didn’t mean to offend you.

 

WHITE GIRL

You didn’t.

 

She reveals a tissue that she throws in the trash. We realize she has a cold.

 

Rashard

Oh, women they like that. Sneaky.

 

Brugha

So you would advise men to watch their back.

 

Rashard

Protect yourself at all times.

 

The class chuckles.

 

Brugha

Well, its about that time.

(half beat)

Okay, I have the magic list…

(gesturing to a small index card)

… which is basically taken directly from your test. Coercion, legitimacy, revolution and elections and tyranny. Totalitarianism. The Soviet system. Nazi use of power. Official corruption in Mexico. The Arab Spring. So is everyone ready?

 

The student open notebooks and take out pens.

 

Brugha

This lecture… regardless of how boring you think it might be… this sets the theme and tone of the entire relationship between government and citizens. Without this foundation, your political experiences might make little or no sense at all.

(half beat)

It’s important.

 

Brugha

What does the government use coercion for? You know fines, handcuffs and prisons.

 

Rashard

To scare and intimidate.

 

WHITE GIRL

Law enforcement.

 

Brugha

What is the different between influence and coercion?

(long beat)

One is persuasion and one is force. Right?

(beat)

Why do we obey? Who are they to tell us what to do and not do?  What’s easier for the government – persuasion or coercion?

 

Rashard

It’s easier just lock everyone up.

 

WHITE GIRL

No, it’s easier to persuade people to follow the law.

 

Brugha

(to the white girl)

Like the Pledge of Allegiance? I think you are right.

(to Rashard)

Prison’s and cops cost a lot of money.

(half beat)

So, legitimacy is the best way. Everyone just agrees to follow the rules.

 

Beat.

 

Brugha

Compare our country to a country like Syria now.

 

Rashard

The dictator has lost his legitimacy.

 

Brugha

Why?

 

Rashard

He used gas on his own people.

 

Brugha

Maybe, he did. What else might he have done?

 

WHITE GIRL

He oppressed his people.

 

Brugha

Good. Basically, when that happens the people have the right to rebel. So we have a civil war. And its’ a balancing test… every leader has the right to defend itself but there comes a time when maybe they lose their legitimacy (right to rule) and everyone piles on them. Foreigners begin to enter the fighting.

(half beat)

So, just to make this easy to understand, if you suck at government, then you lose your authority. And people either ignore you or they get a gun and try to kill you. Think about the Arab Spring.

(half beat)

How does our democracy work with all this? It prohibits power without legitimacy. Elections give you legitimacy.

(half beat)

What do you get when you combine legitimacy with power?

 

WHITE GIRL

Authority.

 

Brugha

You read your text book. That’s great!

(beat)

Who has authority in here? I do. What if someone comes into this room with a gun and he points it at my head and says, ‘class is over’?  Don’t argue with him, just leave. Whether you like this class or not, don’t get me shot.

 

The students chuckle.

 

Brugha

Now when you lose your legitimacy that pretty much leads to revolution.  We are a bit stressed for time and you had all this in Western Civ. So I’ll just mention a few… 1688 Glorious Revolution, American 1776, French 1789, Russian 1917, Chinese Communists in 1949 and Cuba in 1959.  There have been thousands but they all share a beginning… a eroded legitimacy.

(half beat)

Now do you have the right to question the government?

 

WHITE GIRL

No.

 

Rashard

Yes.

 

Brugha

Well, you do. Yes. Always. Free speech, petition, lawsuits, journalism. But what if it gets really bad and the government goes crazy… totalitarianism.

(half beat)

Anyone know why we have the second amendment? Guns? Anyone?

 

WHITE GIRL

To keep people from robbing your house.

 

Brugha

And?

 

OTHER WHITE GIRL

So if you are gonna get rapped, you can shot them.

 

Brugha

Do you carry a gun?

 

OTHER WHITE GIRL

No but my momma does. She keeps it in her umbrella, in her car.

 

The class chuckles.

 

Brugha

That is all very true. Any other reason?

 

Rashard

To keep communists from taking over the government.

 

Brugha

Interesting take. Oooh, “Communists”. But essentially correct.

(half beat)

Yes. Basically… to persevere our right to limited government. Tonight I’m going to ask you to read the Declaration of Independence again. And tell me if you think it was a revolutionary document. And if you think it was… is it still? I mean does it mean anything today, or is it a bunch of old out-dated source code?

 

WHITE GIRL

What exactly do you mean by totalitarianism?

 

Brugha

Well, look at the root word… total.

 

Rashard

It’s where everything is against the law.

 

Brugha

The government has ‘total’ control. Think about Hitler and the death camps…

 

WHITE GIRL

How do they get away with something like that? He killed something like 6 million people.

 

Brugha

Power.

 

WHITE GIRL

That will never happen here.

 

Brugha

No?

(half beat)

I had a high school coach for a history teacher. We used to watch the dinosaurs out the window rather than listen to him. It would make him so mad.

 

The class chuckles.

 

Brugha

He was old school, red head, football you bet, flat top.  You guys have no idea what that was do you? He warned us, and this was nearly 50 year ago, that someday everything will be against the law.

 

Rashard

How did he know that would happen?

 

Brugha

Well, the legislature is always making new laws… they think that’s their job and we’ve been a state for 170 years and a country for over 240 years.

(half beat)

How many laws have they written in this time? You go up in the library to the third floor. Turn left. Half that floor is the government documents. Maybe sixty rows what are they eight foot tall. Volumes and volumes.

 

Rashard

Control freaks.

 

WHITE GIRL

No they’re not.

 

Brugha

Well, some of you might have noticed, I don’t hang out on the first or second floor there on that west side… I figure someday all those government documents  will collapse the building.

 

The class chuckles.

 

Brugha

I’m just kidding, but over-taxation, over-criminalization and over-regulation is a major drawback to “democracy”. Eventually they all seem to devolve into these over-criminalized socialist states, basically what we have now.

 

WHITE GIRL

I don’t understand when will this happen?

 

Rashard

We already there.

 

Brugha

Are we?

 

WHITE GIRL

So what will happen with like criminals and stuff?

 

Brugha

Well, in a totalitarian state, everyone would be a potential criminal.

 

Rashard

Once they know who you are… they will be around for you.

 

Brugha

Well, I remember Coach Williams mentioning what this does to policeman. He said you know how everything is pretty much up to judges (it used to be that way). He said the police would have all the power… and they do don’t they?

 

Rashard

They can do whatever they wanna do.

 

WHITE GIRL

The police can do whatever they need to do to keep us safe.

 

Rashard

No, they can do whatever they want to do to anybody they don’t like.

 

WHITE GIRL

Like you?

(half beat)

What about juries? The other day you said they are the last protection someone has.

 

Brugha

Yes. But think about it, if you’re on a jury in a country where EVERYTHING is against the law, how do you vote?

 

Rashard

You vote guilty just like “the man” tells you.

 

Brugha

Well, conviction rates just keep increasing. So, I agree with this young man. I’m sorry I don’t know your name yet.

 

Rashard

Rashard.

 

Good you just keep saying opposite of what she says and you will be right half the time.

 

Brugha

Coach William, he also said and that someday Russia will be free and the USA will be worlds tyranny.

 

WHITE GIRL

I don’t know if I agree.

 

Rashard

I agree.

 

Brugha looks at the white girl to expound her ideas. The class is clearly interested in the debate…

 

WHITE GIRL

I just don’t. This sort of stuff doesn’t happen in my country.

 

Rashard

You rich or your daddy friends with the police?

 

WHITE GIRL

No. He’s a county commissioner.

 

Rashard

See!

 

Brugha

This is a good lesson in what is happening here.  It’s largely self-interest. If you think you are best served by a large government then you vote a certain way.  If you are outside of the government you probably vote the other way.

 

Rashard

Half of us, it’s not our country anymore. It’s been stolen.

 

WHITE GIRL

Nothing’s been stolen; you and your buddies you are just a bunch of losers.

 

STUDENT

Who’s right professor?

 

Brugha

I have no idea… but I’m having fun just listening.  Technically, that’s not my job.  It’s your job. But maybe it happens so slowly; you don’t even know it is happening. That is the idea… so they don’t risk counter-revolutions. Bolsheviks don’t care they just usurp all the power at the point of a gun “all power comes from the barrel of a gun” Who said that?

 

STUDENT

Mao.

 

Brugha

That idea’s outdated… Mensheviks have the power now and say “all power comes from a ballot,” but of course they say that. They are the majority now. But arguably it could still go the other way and we might return to limited government.

 

WHITE GIRL

We are never going to agree.

 

Brugha

It’s really something personal.

(half beat)

Everyone is affected in a different way. That’s why you are “forced” to take this class. It affects you personally and you can’t escape that.

 

Rashard

My brother is in prison for smoking weed. They pulled him over, DWB, no reason.

 

WHITE GIRL

What’s that?

 

Rashard

Driving while black.

(half beat)

They said he didn’t put on a turn signal. The lawyer contested the search; they lost the police dash cam but the judge still allowed it. Texas man.

 

WHITE GIRL

He had marijuana.

 

Rashard

Handcuffed and in the back of the police car, my brother said he saw them planting it. A whole trunk full.

 

Brugha

I’m sorry that happened. Wrong place at the wrong time?

 

Rashard

He said, that waited and waited until a photographer came around. Once they had a photograph for the newspaper, they take him to jail.

 

WHITE GIRL

Your brother’s a drug dealer.

 

Rashard

My brother isn’t ambitious enough to be a drug dealer.  He said he only had a bag with residue.

 

WHITE GIRL

He’s a criminal of course he is in prison.

 

Rashard

They filled his trunk full. He out in 10 years.

 

WHITE GIRL

But he “had” marijuana!

 

Rashard

Oh, man. Are you listening?

(half beat)

It’s goanna happen to you someday white girl. When they get all us brothers’ locked up they will need something to do.

 

WHITE GIRL

Your last name is funny, what kind of name is that?

 

Rashard

Pageotte. Haitian. My daddy escaped a dictator there and came here.

 

Brugha

Duvalier?

 

Rashard

And now we have the same kind of crap here. Where am I gonna go now to be free?

 

Brugha

Russia?

 

Beat.

 

Brugha

Okay, now that is settled. I’m only joking. It’s never settled. It’s politics.

(half beat)

Which is?

 

STUDENTS

The struggle for who gets what when and how.

 

Rashard

Yeah, who goes to prison.

 

WHITE GIRL

You need to be in prison.

Hey, hey…

 

Rashard

I thought you had to actually do something to go to prison. Free speech right?

 

WHITE GIRL

I apologize.

 

 

Rashard

Professor I read the average person commits three felonies per day. Is that true?

 

Brugha

There is a civil-liberties lawyer up in Boston, Harvey Silverglate he wrote a book “Three Felonies a Day,” referring to the number of crimes he calculated the average American now commits because of vague and numerous laws. I guess I should add unwittingly. People don’t know they are breaking the law.

 

Rashard

But they can get arrested if the cops want to. If the cops don’t like them.

 

Brugha

There is a lot of innocent activity potentially criminal. I think a lot of the time the police just look the other way; they are just like everyone else and follow the path of least resistance. Like electricity.

 

Beat.

 

Brugha

And there aren’t enough prison cells for everybody,

 

Rashard

They got enough cells if you’re black though.

 

Brugha

Okay, not that my opinion matters. I was educated a long time ago and I wish things were like they used to be. But I think we do live in an over criminalized society where this huge volume of laws are dangerous for everyone, EXCLUDING the wealthy, the connected, professionals, lawyers, judges and police officers.

 

Rashard

They get a pass.

 

WHITE GIRL

No they don’t.

 

Brugha

Everyone has to be careful, maybe that is one reason this class is required.

 

WHITE GIRL

What about the people that don’t go to college.

 

Brugha

Prison’s are full of them. Pretty much.

(half beat)

Well there you have it. We are learning lessons here at Tech right? “Stay away from these people in law enforcement.” We aren’t just an agricultural school, right?

(half beat)

Yeah, well tell that to the university president.

 

Rashard

Walk with your head down and never make eye contact.

 

Brugha

I didn’t say that. But I wouldn’t sit down at a dinner table socially and tell them what you do for a living or your hobby or anything.

 

Rashard

It’s probably against the law.

 

Brugha

This arbitrary power of the police and legal ambiguity of every human activity invites the sort of thing that can stamp a permanent criminal record on an otherwise squeaky clean slate of a harmless individual.

 

Rashard

They can charge you with anything they want and it’ll probably stick.

 

WHITE GIRL

(to Rashard)

Horse shit!

 

Brugha

See, I knew agriculture would sneak in here someway or another.

 

Everyone chuckles.

 

WHITE GIRL

Oh! Professor I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that.

 

Brugha

I teach politics. It’s not like I’ve never hear that phrase before.

(half beat)

Well, it’s time. I guess you should all go home and watch Gilligan’s Island or whatever you all watch.

(half beat)

Thanks. Read chapter 3 and the Declaration of Independence before Thursday please.

 

The students file out of the classroom. Professor Brugha remains for a second or two incase there are questions.

 

 

WHITE GIRL

What are you some sort of athlete?

 

BLACK GIRLS

Hey!

 

Rashard

What? Cause I’m black, I’m here because I’m an athlete?

 

WHITE GIRL

Well, are you?

 

Rashard

I’m here on an academic scholarship.

 

They happen to look at the professor as an arbitrator or perhaps for his approval. Long beat.

 

Brugha

I’ve never seen anything like this in a classroom.

(beat)

That’s not bad.

(half beat)

Actually, I think the banter back and forth pretty much helps explain this all to the class. Man you two had them going.

 

The white girl contemplates and the extends her hand shake. They shake and agree to disagree.

 


COUNTY OWNED PUPPY MILLS

The steal dogs from breeders… sometimes show quality breeders… and operate them as retail rescue…

The sad truth is that we live in a world where numerous government owned facilities exist that directly or indirectly contribute to perpetuating animal abuse. County owned Puppy mills are a perfect example. It is here that dogs are literally mass produced so that the breeders can rake in as much profit from the offspring as possible. Right now there are anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 USDA-licensed breeders operating in the United States. Some of these operations can be so large that they contain 1,000 breeding dogs at the same time. What’s not included in that figure is the number of unlicensed puppy mills that exist; the ones the USDA has not approved and does not know about.

While responsible breeders understand the importance of the parents’ health and careful genetic pairing to produce strong litters that will improve the breed, the operators of these puppy mills eschew quality in favor of quantity. Without the proper husbandry practices being followed at these mills, serious genetic flaws spread throughout the breeding pool unchecked.  More important is the abuse that runs rampant at these facilities.

Overcrowding, disease, and inadequate access to even the most basic veterinary care are prevalent in these types of operations, leading to widespread cases of horrific negligence and malnutrition. Untreated medical conditions such as tumors, birthing complications, respiratory infections, flea infestations, heartworms, and digestive problems are all common side effects to the lack of care and the unsanitary environment.

Stuck within the confines of these germ-filled warehouses, the dogs are simultaneously deprived of exercise and grooming. Many of them are forced to live either on wire or slatted flooring that cuts into their paws and legs, leaving wounds to fester into cysts and infections. Often the cages are stacked in columns to save space. When this happens, all of the waste from the higher cages falls on the dogs below, further leading to the spread of disease. Ventilation is often poor, the overall habitat is a cesspool of filth with minimal to no lighting, no access to outdoors, and barely even room to breathe.

Many dogs spend their entire lives, from birth to death, crammed in these conditions, never once feeling sunshine on their face, feeling the grass beneath their feet, or breathing a single breath of fresh air. The females are used as little more than housing units for puppies. They are rarely given adequate recovery time between births. Once they are physically depleted to the point where they are unable to reproduce anymore they are often killed and disposed of to make room for new females. The male dogs used for stud fair no better.

Where do the puppies that come out of these mills end up? As quickly as five weeks after birth many are shipped off to pet shops while others are sold directly from the owner to buyers through the internet, newspaper ads, at swap meets, and at roadside auctions and open air flea markets.

Currently Missouri is the top puppy mill state in the country with other states following close behind. While the highest concentration of puppy mills is in the Midwest they have been spreading nationwide even as far as upstate New York and into the Great Lakes Region. The largest puppy broker in the country is believed to be Missouri’s Hunte Corporation which ships approximately 80,000 puppies per year to pet stores nationwide.