Every year, the week before Mother’s Day is known as Puppy Mill Action Week, and it is happening now. Puppy mills are horrific in every way, so people everywhere must see that these deplorable places exist and help put an end to them!
One way to do this is by raising awareness of puppy mills and ways that people can help.
What is a Puppy Mill?
A puppy mill or a puppy farm is defined as a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility that puts profit over the well-being of its dogs, with poor conditions and quick breeding.
It is important not to put all dog breeders in this category!
Look out for dog breeders that disregard responsible breeding practices and where dogs are severely neglected.
Why is it Bad to Buy Dogs from a Puppy Mill?
Buying a dog from a puppy mill doesn’t just hurt the dogs — it can hurt you too! Why?
Well, puppy mill breeders have no regard for responsible breeding practices and thus produce generations of dogs that end up having genetic defects and/or diseases because they lack medical care. Their goal is to make the most significant profit by producing the most puppies.
As a result, there is often inbreeding, lack of the all-important socialization, and may be separated from their mothers before they are weaned. There is also the possibility that these puppies are bred from aggressive dogs and dogs that are sick or diseased.
Very often, dogs in puppy mills are bred continuously and often without regard for their age. They are repeatedly bred until they are too weak and die, as they don’t receive any veterinary care.
And the conditions are shocking! The dogs are usually filthy and kept in cages with wire bottoms that hurt their paws. They lack any form of attention and affection and know only cruelty. It’s not uncommon for these dogs to be infested with parasites, fleas, or ticks.
Where are Puppy Mill Puppies Found?
Puppy mill puppies are usually found in pet stores. Unfortunately, there isn’t a screening process for purchasing these pups in pet stores, and they’re usually sold without spaying/neutering contracts.
However, there are still some responsible pet stores, too! These shops keep spaces reserved only for adoptable dogs from rescue groups or the local humane society. The good thing about these dogs is that there is often an application for adoption that may even involve a home inspection prior to the dogs’ adoption. The purchase price for these pups includes costs for medical care, a refund to the rescue group, as well as upkeep costs.
Buying a dog from a pet store means the purchase price is a profit for the store. Adopting a dog from a pet store is different!
Who is Considered a Responsible Dog Breeder?
Hearing all this may make people wary of any dog breeder, but there are many good, reputable, caring, and responsible dog breeders. They can easily be spotted because they follow the local humane society procedures. These responsible breeders:
- Let people visit the breeding site
- Let people meet the parents of the puppy
- Provide guarantees
- Give medical records for all their puppies
- Provide contracts with ongoing post-sale support
- Offer a return policy
How to Take Action Against Puppy Mills
Everyone can help, and it’s EASY.
PLEDGE to NEVER SHOP in pet stores that sell puppies. NEVER buy their puppies! Don’t buy ANYTHING from these pet stores. As their profits decrease, so will their puppy mill orders.
SPREAD AWARENESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Use your voice and social media skills and connections to spread awareness about the cruelty of puppy mills. Give these dogs a voice by voting for legislation designed to protect defenseless dogs from puppy mills and other types of abuse.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL HUMANE SOCIETY: If you have concerns or suspect of a local puppy mill operation, contact the humane society, who will launch an investigation.
ADOPT A PUPPY MILL SURVIVOR: If you are a loving and patient dog lover, you could give a puppy mill survivor the kind of life it should have always had. It will take time for these dogs to trust humans again, but it is possible. Contact your local humane society if you’re interested.
Where are Puppy Mills?
Puppy mills can be anywhere, so it is up to us to report them. However, according to the ASPCA, the leading state in the USA in puppy mills in 2020 is MISSOURI.
The highest concentration in the country is in the Midwest, but also other states, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even New York. Both Mennonite and Amish farmers are very prevalent in commercial dog breeding around the United States.
The ASPCA estimates that as many as 10,000 puppy mills in the country, although it’s impossible actually to track them accurately. However, there are about 2,000 and 3,000 operating licensed breeders that are also commonly referred to as puppy mills. That said, that number doesn’t reflect the unlicensed breeders, either operating illegally without a license or operating legally without requiring a USDA license.
It’s time to end all this and it begins with Puppy Mill Action Week.