KNOXVILLE, TN – Reports of abuse at puppy mills are not new, but this week a flour mill owned by the Sara Lee is being heavily scrutinized by the Puppy Labor Bureau, according to the lead investigator, Sergent Peppers, a 7-year-old Australian Shepherd. Puppies at the mill, whose responsibilities range from driving the grindstone to financial planning and accounting, have complained of low quality chew toys, lack of sufficient nuzzles, and violent anti-union practices.
“The toys in the breakroom are so worn out that they barely squeak anymore,” alleges Fluffernut, an 18-month Pomeranian assigned to the lye-dipping process for signature Sara Lee soft pretzels. “What we really need is collective bargaining, but we have no power – Sara Lee owns all the kibble and treats.” Such treats, Fluffernut adds, are made at the Knoxville mill itself.
Although the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 ostensibly protects all puppies from labor abuse and wage theft, Sergeant Peppers says that the company has a long way to go to meet the standards it set for itself to end its reliance on underpaid puppy labor. Additionally, she cautions against the model that the milling industry has imposed on puppies entirely, “Look, dogs probably shouldn’t be working heavy industrial equipment anyway; no one should with so much long hear and no opposable thumbs.”