Everyone has heard the term “puppy mills,” and knows instinctively that it is bad. Have you ever wondered what goes on in a puppy mill and why they still exist?
WHAT ARE PUPPY MILLS?
Puppy mills are basically large-scale dog breeding operations where they sacrifice the dog’s well-being for profit. They are breeding as many puppies as possible to sell to pet shops and have often lied to buyers about where the puppies are from. They also hide the fact that puppy mill dogs have higher health risks due to the unchecked hereditary defects from breeding across breeds and generations.
My dog, Roo, was rescued from a puppy mill. I don’t know if her parents were also from the puppy mill, but she was bred to be small and was going to be used to breed smaller puppies. Female dogs are usually bred at every opportunity with no healing time between litters. When these mothers can no longer reproduce, they are often killed. Most of the parents don’t make it out of the puppy mill alive.
Another part that is hard to swallow is the fact that each puppy mill is overcrowded and unsanitary. There is no love or veterinary care. Dogs are often kept in wire cages stacked up in columns. Most of these dogs never get to experience the outside because they are kept in cages for their entire life.
There was a law passed in 1966 called the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that requires breeders who have more than 3 breeding females to be inspected and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even with this law, there are puppy mills that meet the minimum requirement but are still often inhumane.
HOW TO AVOID SUPPORTING PUPPY MILLS
First of all, you should make adopting your first priority. Secondly, you should check the breeder’s license, and if possible, visit where the puppies are being bred. If the breeder is honest, they will allow you to visit their home and visit the puppies. It is still very easy to falsify this information because most puppies are sold online and they often come from puppy mills. Responsible breeders will want their puppies to go to a good family so they will usually screen buyers.
There are a lot of organizations that raid puppy mills across the country, and with social media, they will post puppies that need to be adopted. Roo was rescued from Asia where an organization raided a puppy mill. She wouldn’t have made it due to her size, and thankfully, an organization rescued her — yet another reason why you should adopt and not shop. Rescue a dog, and your life will be changed forever.
Did you choose to adopt instead of shop? Tell us your experience in the comments.