About Puppy Mills
Puppy Mills are commercial breeding operations. The goal is to produce as many puppies at the greatest profit possible. This is done to the detriment of the dogs, mothers and pups. The dogs are housed in sub-standard conditions, often lying in their own waste, exposed to the elements and improperly fed. They are kept in cramped, wire cages usually one stacked on top of the other, so that one dog’s waste falls into the crate of the dogs below. They do not even have a mat to lie down on and often have sores on their feet from the wire of the cages cutting into them. There have even been cases where dogs in adjacent cages will gnaw on the legs of the dog beside them, causing wounds and infections that are never treated by a vet.
These dogs do not get to play, socialize or exercise. They do not receive any love or attention or any kind of stimulation to combat boredom. They suffer from mental problems, health problems, parasites and do not receive the care of a vet. Easily preventable and treatable diseases run rampant through the kennel due to lack of veterinary care. Many go “kennel crazy”, which causes them to spin around in circles, pace at the front of their cage or bark incessantly from lack of attention and lack of stimulation. They live a miserable existence.
Puppy Mill Dogs Live in Deplorable Conditions
The kennels are often kept outside where dogs are exposed to the elements, blazing hot sun or freezing cold temperatures. They are often denied necessities such as water in the heat and bedding or proper shelter in the cold. The facilities are often infested with rodents and insects.
Quotes from reports of the conditions of dogs and their living quarters at puppy mills, excerpted from stoppuppymills.org:
“There was a lab female with 7 puppies that was very thin. Her ribs were visible. There was no fresh food in the pen … and the dog was digging in the gravel trying to get to old food that had spilled and was wet.”
“The [water] pans were sitting in the sun. There was gunk floating in the pans – some greenish colored and some brownish colored. The water was not clear or clean appearing.”
“The animals were panting heavily and behaving in a lethargic manner. There were empty water receptacles in a few of the enclosures but no water had been provided to the animals … At 11:14 am [the temperature] was recorded at 86.8 degrees F with humidity at 85 percent. … Affects 222 animals.”
“The coats were so overgrown that there [were] mats all over the dogs –especially around the heads and faces of the dogs.”
Brutal Treatment of Females and Pups
Females are bred starting with their very first heat cycle and every heat after that until they are no longer producing enough puppies to earn their keep. Frequent breeding takes a heavy toll on the bodies of these poor females. Once they are deemed useless, they are taken and shot or worse, clubbed to death since taking them to a vet to have them put down humanely would cost money and therefore eat into profits. Females are bred with little regard to temperament, health problems and with no genetic screening for hereditary issues. Eyes and joints are not tested for soundness. This results in pups that may have a whole host of behavioral and health problems. Many of these pups die at a very young age.
The puppies are often taken from their mothers far too young. The pups do not get a chance to play or socialize properly since they are kept in cramped cages. The mothers themselves may have come from generations of puppy mill dogs and therefore don’t know how to properly care for or teach their pups. The puppies are often shipped at six weeks of age – pups should leave the litter or their mothers any earlier than eight to nine weeks. As a result, you have a pup with behavioral and temperament issues along with the health problems and genetic defects it may possibly have. Many of these pups are not strong enough to survive the trip across country to their final pet store destination.
The Puppy in the Window
And where to these unfortunate pups ultimately end up? At your local pet store. The pups are bathed and groomed, so that outwardly you see the adorable, playfully little pup that will tug at your heart strings and entice you to buy him. But remember, purchasing this poor pup does not rescue him, but condemns his mother and future pups to living a lifetime of misery. Purchasing that pup from the pet store only places money and profits into the hands of the people who perpetuate the misery and will encourage them to continue. As long as there is the demand for puppies in the pet stores, the puppy mills will continue to operate.
If you are searching for a puppy, please, do not buy your puppy from a pet store. The pet store may tell you that they receive their stock from breeders, but don’t believe it. Legitimate breeders do not sell their puppies to pet stores. They want to know who is buying their pup and about the homes where they are being placed. The pet store will tell you that the pup is a purebred and has papers. This does not mean anything. A pup being purebred does not guarantee you anything, the same with the registered papers. You can still have a sickly pup with behavioural issues and genetic problems.
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