What is a “Puppy Mill”?

Many people use that term to describe a place where puppies are bred for the sole purpose of profit. But most don’t know HOW MUCH the animals are abused and mistreated.

Not only are dogs crammed into cages, 3 or 4 at a time, fed very little, not cared for, have almost no human contact, and the bitches are bred relentlessly every heat cycle to make as much money as possible.

The dogs are not lively companions; they are unhappy, sometimes aggressive, with matted fur due to lack of nutrition, and unhealthy. Puppies are taken away from their mother way too early; most of them are disoriented, sickly and underweight.

Puppy Mills can be applied to everyone, from the backyard breeder who has a few dogs (or cats) and tries to make as much money as possible by breeding constantly without proper knowledge, to facilities that house 40, 50 or more dogs, the mass producers. This is not the way to breed happy, healthy, and fit dogs!

When you visit one of these Puppy Mills you will hardly be able to see the puppy’s mother because she might already be pregnant again, to produce more moneymaking offspring’s. The female dogs are bred relentlessly, without break, starting at the early age of 6 months!

Most of them are malnourished, dehydrated and rarely given veterinary care. After about four to five years where she is no more useful, she will be disposed of, most of the time not even euthanized, rather shot and left in a landfill, like garbage.

  • Why do people buy from Puppy Mills?

Because most don’t know that their animal comes from one! This is not the way to make a dog happy! I seriously doubt that anybody who has ever visited one of these facilities would actually buy a dog from there.

Many of these puppies end up at pet stores. Luckily the problems of selling sick puppies with seizures, parasites, bacteria, infections, and behavior problems have surfaced and more and more people are aware of that problem.

You might pay $500 for a puppy at a pet store, but you can be certain that the store did not pay more than $70 – 80 for this puppy to a broker, and this one, in return, paying about $30 – 40 to the breeder. As everybody can see from these numbers, it is virtually impossible for a breeder to make money on a puppy when raised and cared for properly.

Therefore the “shortcuts”, the neglect of care, the missing playgrounds, the missing clean kennels, and the trend to breed females to exhaustion, to get as much money out of her as possible are common and practiced. Don’t forget, though, that puppy play-biting is common. To read more about this topic, click on the link.

Unfortunately, there is little protection for the animals. Certain states protect consumers that have bought one of these poor creatures. This might help the owner getting his money back but definitely does not address the problem itself. Puppy Mills will continue to produce puppies under inhumane standards to make a profit.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Is supposed to check on these facilities for sanitary conditions, proper care, feeding, housing, and veterinary care, etc. But with a shortage of inspectors responsible for overseeing these facilities, the agency has developed a reputation for failing to meet its obligations.

  • What can we do?

Do NOT buy puppies from pet stores, or backyard breeders. Do NOT buy an animal from a Puppy Mill directly! If you want a companion, be it dog or cat (yes, cats are bred under similar conditions), go either to a shelter to pick up your animal, or contact a responsible, reputable breeder if you insist on a certain breed or a purebred animal.

Visit not only one, but more facilities, and look how puppies are treated, how much interaction they have with humans, if they are kept with their mother, if there is a playground, and how clean the facilities are. So if you want to raise your Shih Tzu puppy in a healthy way, be sure not to buy one from these facilities.

You might have to wait for your puppy, responsible breeders don’t give away animals that are too young or not fit yet to develop properly without their mother, but it’s worth it! You will get a healthy animal with no behavioral flaws.

  • Spread the word!

The fewer people buy these poor animals, the less they are in demand, the better! Let’s not support a business that is based on the cruelty towards animals. Every puppy (and kitten) has the right to start its life in a healthy environment, the right to be cared for by veterinarians and loving people.

Behavioral problems are hard to correct in animals, and many are given away, brought to shelters, because the owner could never correct them and ends up with an aggressive or sick animal. What happens next? These poor animals that got such a bad start to begin with end up being euthanized.

Please, don’t support these businesses!