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Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are mass breeding facilities where animals are warehoused in deplorable conditions, receiving minimal care and no socialization. A puppy mill’s sole objective is producing puppies at the lowest possible cost, with the animals paying the price.

Puppy mills house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. They’re denied affection and don’t get treats or toys. Many dogs spend their entire existence in small wire cages with no exercise; they’re unable to roll in the grass or dig in the dirt. In order to maximize profits, the dogs are not groomed and sick animals often receive no veterinary care. To minimize cleaning, the animals are kept in wire cages that cause injuries and deformities to their paws and legs. Cages are sometimes stacked, subjecting the lower animals to the waste from those above them. When the cages are cleaned, they’re hosed down with the dogs inside. The dogs live in these horrendous conditions without reprieve. Some animals are kept in filthy buildings without proper ventilation; others are crammed in outdoor cages where they’re exposed to the elements, enduring bitter cold and sweltering heat.

Puppy mills start breeding females as young as 7 months of age and as long as they’re productive, they continue to breed them every time they come into heat. When they’re no longer productive, the lucky ones are released to rescues; the less fortunate dogs are killed by merciless owners.

Dogs in puppy mills are bred indiscriminately. Breeding animals are not tested for hereditary conditions and are bred without regard for genetic diseases. This, combined with overbreeding, inbreeding, poor quality food, substandard conditions, and lack of veterinary care, results in notoriously unhealthy puppies.

The poorly bred, unhealthy puppies are often taken from their mother at only 5-6 weeks of age, packed in crates, and shipped to pet stores across the country.  Unsuspecting consumers pay high prices in posh pet stores and via elaborate web sites for puppies suffering from a multitude of physical and psychological problems.

Problems common to puppy mill dogs include:

Due to the deplorable living conditions and lack of care, puppies can be suffering from:

Sick and injured puppies (and kittens) are sold to unsuspecting consumers in posh pet stores and via elaborate web sites.

While the puppies may come with pedigrees and registration papers, neither is an indication of quality nor authenticity. Record keeping is often haphazard and in cases of accidental/mixed breedings, it may be deliberately falsified.

How Can I Help Fight Puppy Mills?

Do not buy a puppy from a pet store or a website. Boycott pet stores selling puppies and let them know why.

We recommend adopting from an animal shelter, but we realize that many people will still choose to purchase a puppy. In such cases, we encourage you to thoroughly research the breeder and visit their home/kennel. Meet their dogs and inspect their living conditions. Don’t rely solely on internet photos, as they can be misleading or downright fraudulent. Breeders who are truly concerned for their dogs will want to meet their new family to be sure the animal is going to a good home. They should have a spay/neuter contract if the pet has not already been spayed/neutered and may require an application, similar to that of a rescue organization. If the breeder does not make such efforts and simply sells their pets to anyone with the cash, it’s a sign they’re prioritizing money over the well being of their animals and this could carry over translate to the animals’ care as well.

You can also write to your state legislators and ask them to enact introduce legislation that would end puppy mills. Later – include list of legislators (link) and updates to pending legislation affecting animals.

The only way to free them from the misery of these horrid puppymills is to eliminate the demand for puppies by refusing to buy a puppy in a pet store and boycotting those pet stores that sell puppies. When people stop buying puppies in pet stores, the puppy mills will go out of business and the misery will end.