Trash piles, the remains of dogs that were never loved, feces everywhere, an appalling stink, and crowded kennels filled with neglected animals. What kind of life is this? Unfortunately, this is the reality for many dogs and puppies born into the world of commercial dog breeding facilities. What is a puppy mill, and what can we do to help?
Puppy mills are breeders who force their dogs to produce puppies as fast as they can in order to turn a profit. There is no responsible breeding program, and the top priority is to maximize profits rather than to ensure the health of the dogs and their puppies. Little attention to who the dog goes home with, puppies are usually in poor health and are also poorly socialized.
Puppy mill operators view dogs as a commodity. The goal is to make as much money as possible, by breeding the dogs continuously and spending as little money as possible. Dogs and puppies living in a puppy mill are badly neglected. They live miserable lives, typically in overcrowded, dirty and confining cages, without adequate or clean food and water, lack of proper medical care, and certainly without love. Many dogs suffer needlessly before finally dying or being tossed aside because they have outlived their usefulness.
Retail pet shops are typically supplied by puppy mill operators. These pet shops thrive from the constant supply of puppies, which in turn allow the puppy mill itself to thrive as well. Puppy mill pets may also be offered for sale online, in newspaper ads, or even in-person.
Of course, not all breeders are puppy mill operators. Legitimate commercial kennels also exist to breed and sell puppies. These kennels are clean, provide veterinary care, socialize their puppies, and have a breeding program in place.
What Can We Do To Help?
There are frequently stories in the news about raids on puppy mills, and animal shelters taking in the survivors who suffer from a host of medical issues. A life in a puppy mill is simply not a good life for a dog. Please choose to support animal shelters and rescue organizations. Adopt, don't shop!