What are puppy mills?
A puppy mill is an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility that churns out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers. Dogs from puppy mills are often sick and unsocialized. Puppy mills commonly sell through internet sales, online classified ads, flea markets and pet stores. In fact, the majority of puppies sold in pet stores and online are from puppy mills. Responsible breeders will be happy to meet you in person and show you where the puppy was born and raised—and where their mom lives too.
Mother dogs spend their entire lives in cramped cages with little to no personal attention. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are abandoned or killed. Due to poor sanitation, overbreeding and a lack of preventive veterinary care, the puppies from puppy mills frequently suffer from a variety of health issues, creating heartbreaking challenges for families who should be enjoying the delights of adopting a new family member.
Cruel commercial breeders want to maximize profit by producing the highest number of puppies at the lowest possible cost. Here’s how they do it.
More breeding dogs equals more puppies, which equals more money, so cruel breeders maximize space by keeping dogs tightly contained. Dogs are commonly kept in small, stacked, wire-floored crates or in outdoor pens exposed to heat, cold and rain. They eat, sleep and give birth in confinement.
The conditions of these facilities encourage the spread of diseases, especially among puppies with undeveloped immune systems. Puppies often arrive in pet stores with health issues ranging from parasites to parvo to pneumonia.
Dogs, like people, need regular health care. However, because it can be costly and time-consuming, veterinary care is limited. Breeding dogs and puppies don’t get to see a veterinarian often—not for regular checkups, vaccines, teeth cleanings or even when they’re sick.
Puppy mill dogs aren’t bathed, their hair is not brushed and their nails are not cut. This can lead to painful matting and nails so long it hurts to stand or walk.
Since puppy mills only plan on selling puppies, there is little incentive to provide much physical or emotional care to the adult breeding dogs. Lack of normal human interaction hurts social animals like dogs. They may pace back and forth in their cages, bark nonstop, cower or appear entirely shut down.
Female dogs are bred at every opportunity, even if they are sick, injured, exhausted or have genetic traits that could be damaging to their puppies.
Puppies aren’t given time to gradually separate from their mother and litter-mates. Once there’s a buyer, puppies are immediately removed. This kind of sudden separation can lead to fear, anxiety and other lasting behavioral problems that may be difficult or impossible to treat.
Puppies are often shipped long distances by truck or plane to brokers and pet stores. The transport may be noisy, crowded, filthy, and too hot or cold. Puppies may also be exposed to illness and disease.
To a commercial breeder, the profits are in the puppies. No effort is made to find homes for adult dogs who can no longer breed. When their bodies are so depleted or sick that they can no longer produce puppies, they’re often abandoned or killed.
BE WARNED: WHERE DO THEIR PUPPIES COME FROM?
Pet stores are the primary sales outlet for puppy mills and are essential for keeping puppy mills in business. Both licensed and unlicensed mills sell to pet stores (many mills sell to pet stores without the required license and are not held accountable). Puppies are bred in mills and then shipped all over the country.
For example, puppies bred in the Midwest may be shipped on trucks to southern California or Florida. So these kind of mills can ship all over United States.
My personal story:
I wanted a pug so bad and begged my parents. We would stroll through pet shops and look at all the puppies. One day my mother and I walked into a pet shop that was in the mall. There was one pug that had just been brought in. Of coarse we asked if we could play with him. We played and I begged to get him. Finally they said yes. We asked all about where he came from and the shop owner said he came from a nice Amish breeder with last name Yoder. I thought, “Wow, he must have had a nice family.” On the papers, it said his mom was China Doll. I thought this all sounded like a reputable breeder. My parents and I were the perfect owners. We took him to the vet as soon as we got him to make sure he was healthy. Everything checked out great. Then as I was training him, he LOVED to eat his own poop and everything he could get into his mouth. I thought this was just puppy behavior. But he never grew out of it. Thank god that everything he did ingest, came out without surgery!
This was all before I educated myself about puppy mills. Turns out that a lot of Amish do puppy mills as a source of income. It broke my heart to learn this. At first I thought that I had saved a puppy. But that should not have been my mentality.
That’s what puppy mills are hoping for in today’s world. That you “SAVE” a puppy. That just means that you fell for “PURCHASING” a puppy from them. So as the saying goes: