A Puppy Mill is ANY place that breeds mass numbers of puppies for the main purpose of making a profit. They do not breed for genetic superiority, not for intelligence, not for longevity, not for confirmation… only profit. They breed to produce quantity, not quality. They do not worry about the physical or mental health of the parent, as long as they can produce pups. They breed cheaply to supply pet stores with pups, allowing the store to make a profit. They do not care who buys the pups.
Some puppy mills are filthy over crowded places, where as others may be neater, and the dogs treated better, the main thing that separates them from Reputable breeders is that the Puppy Mill owner does not take the dogs to shows to prove their worth as a breeding animal nor do they do many veterinary checks for genetic problems such as hips and eyes.
In the above picture you will not the long nails on the front dog, you will also note this is a line of many cages, not just one cage. In most puppy mills the adult dogs will spend their entire life in a cage like this.
Often Puppy Mills cater to “cuteness”, small sells, so it is not uncommon for them to stunt dogs with poor nutrition. The parents are kept in small cages, sometimes stacked on top of one another. No additional expense is occurred. They are fed minimal amounts of cheap food. Vet attention is only given as a last resort, or sometimes not at all. It is all about spending as little as possible so they can make the most profit.
In most cases, the females are bred over and over, their bodies given no time to rest or recover. They are killed or abandoned when they are no longer useful. The majority of puppy mill adults are not adoptable, they are not socialized, and may have never even walked on grass. They are mentally unstable because of the substandard conditions of their life, and are generally unsafe as pets. They are not house broken.
The pups suffer from poor nutrition, often have worms, and may have other mental problems as a result of being raised with very little human contact, or in filthy conditions. Puppy mill pups have a higher rate of coprophagia (eating their own feces). Most puppy mills sell to pet stores rather than to the public directly.
Often Puppy Mills have more than one breed of dog, and more than one breeding animal of each breed. Even the cleanest puppy mill is a problem because they are not breeding for anything other than profit.
Back Yard Breeders
Not much better than the Puppy Mill breeder, it is sometimes hard to tell them apart. In many cases the only difference is the people actually include the dog as a pet. They may spend a little more money on dog care and well being. Backyard Breeders are different from Reputable Breeders because they do not show the parents to prove their worth as breeding animals.
Pet stores will deny buying from Puppy Mills, but who else would sell to a store? A reputable breeder would not sell to a store and would never hide anonymously behind a store front, nor would they need to. Who needs to hide? Pet stores buy pups as cheap as they can, and sell for as much as they can. They are stores, they are in the business of making profit.
They play on the fact many buyers are taken in by a cute pup and buy on a whim, or many people feel sorry for pups and think they are rescuing them. What people need to know, is that they are NOT rescuing one dog.. they are condemning others to live in horrid conditions because they have supported this industry by making a purchase. When you buy a puppy that had a horrible start in life, you may have a dog with loads of health problems later in life, including mental health issues.
A few stores are recognizing this and are housing dogs from local shelters and adopting them out on behalf of the shelter, but it is hard for a person to know unless they ask and check into it further. The much lower cost is usually an indication of a shelter animal for adoption.
How can you stop Puppy Mills?
Puppy Mills are illegal in many areas, the problem is that the stores simply buy from other areas, or from brokers who buy from the mills, and keep the location of the mill secret. Pet stores turn a blind eye to where the pup comes from. As long as it is priced right.
Thus the ONLY want to stop Puppy Mills, is to stop buying pups from pet stores. If the stores can no longer make a profit by selling pups they will discontinue to sell them. Educate others not to buy from stores.
YES!!! Other animals come from “mills” too. Not just pups. Purebred cats, birds, rodents, etc. All come from mills when sold at pet stores. It is harder for the public to find breeders for some animals such as reptiles or birds so they support the store.
Where to buy from?
In addition to buying from Reputable breeders (which can be found in Magazines, or at shows, or from word of mouth) a person can find a pup at their local animal shelter, SPCA, or breed rescue. If you go to a home to look at pups and the facilities or dogs are in bad condition, do not feel sorry for the pups. Do not reward the seller. Instead call the local authorities for pet care and report the substandard conditions. You are better off to buy directly from a good back yard breeder than from a store, just remember that if the parents have no show record, or genetic tests done by a vet, your new pup may not be worth the asking price.
- NEVER pay a cent for a pup that has not been vet checked or vaccinated.
- A mixed breed dog is ONLY worth the cost of the vaccinations and vet check done prior to the sale.
- A purebred dog is ONLY worth more if the parents have been to shows to prove their quality.
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