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What is a Puppy Mill?


"Puppy Mills", also known as "commercial breeders" in the eyes of the government, breed thousands of puppies a year for sale to pet shops across the country.

In a world of "pregnancy for profit," most of these dogs are forced to live their entire, sometimes very short lives, in dark warehouses . . . in tiny, crowded, and indescribably filthy conditions. Females are bred continuously until they die.
Between pregnancies, hundreds of dogs compete for attention and food - their bony bodies a testament to inadequate food and water, substandard housing, insufficient exercise and infrequent, if any, veterinary care. Puppies are taken away from their mothers as young as four weeks of age, packed several to a crate, with little food, water, or ventilation and transported to pet stores across the country.

Many times the puppies arrive at the pet stores malnourished or ill; some never make it at all. The people who buy these puppies think they are taking home a healthy, well adjusted companion animal. But sadly, many times they discover they have purchased a dog that has a personality problem, disease, or genetic defect - caused by over breeding, inbreeding, or the unsanitary, squalid conditions at the puppy mill.

Several puppy mill/commercial breeder facilities that are not the filthy norm. The dogs live in fairly clean areas, kennel runs and some even in the house. This does not sound like a typical mill now does it? It is though. It is, because these dogs are bred every time they come into season without doing any genetic testing and they are not even necessarily bred to the same breed.

These dogs may not live several crammed into a wire rabbit cage, may get groomed or may even sleep on someone's bed doesn't change the fact that they are bred every single season until their little bodies are failing.

Bottom line...a puppy mill, or, to be politically correct, commercial breeder, is in business to crank out as many puppies as they can to sell to pet stores, flea markets, on the side of the road, individual ads in the paper and now through internet classified ads.


What is a Puppy Mill?


Hundreds of thousands of puppies are raised each year in puppy mills.

Mills are distinguished by their cramped, crude, filthy conditions and the constant breeding of unhealthy and genetically defective dogs solely for profit.

Very often the dogs in puppy mills are covered with matted, filthy hair, their teeeth are rotting and their eyes have ulcers. We have seen many dogs whose jaws have rotted because of tooth decay.

The dogs are kept in small wire cages for their entire lives. They never are allowed out. They never touch solid ground or grass.

Many of the dogs are injured in fights that occur in the cramped cages from which there is no escape.

Many dogs lose feet and legs when they are caught in the wire floors of the cages and cut off as the dog struggles to free themselves.

Very often there is no heat or airconditioning in a puppymill. The dogs freeze in the winter and die of heat stroke in the summer. Puppies "cook" on the wires of the cages in the summer.

Female dogs are usually bred the first time they come into heat and are bred every heat cycle. They are breed until their poor worn out bodies can't reproduce any longer abnd then they are killed. Often they are killed by being bashed in the head with a rock or shot. Sometimes they are sold to laboratories or dumped. This is often by the time they reach five years old.

Puppy mills and pet stores maximize their profits by not spending money on proper food, housing or veterinary care.

The food that is fed in puppy mills is often purchased from dog food companies by the truck load. It is often made of the sweepings from the floor. It is so devoid of nutritional value that the dogs' teeth rot at early ages.

Dogs in puppymills are debarked often by ramming a steel rod down their throats to reputure their vocal cords.

Puppies are taken from their mother when they are 5 to 8 weeks old and sold to brokers who pack them in crates for resale to pet stores all over the country.

The puppies are shipped by truck or plane and often without adequate food, water, ventilation or shelter.

Many of the puppies do not survive the trip.

Innocent families buy the puppies only to find that the puppy is very ill or has genetic or emotional problems. Often the puppies die of disease. Many other have medical problems that cost thousands of dollars. And many have emotional problems because they have not been properly socialized in the mills. Don't bring this misery into your home.

Many of the 4000 federally licensed breeding kennels have substandard conditions.

Approximately 3,500 petstores in the United States sell puppies. They sell approximately 500,000 thousand puppies a year. It is estimated that the puppy industry in Missouri is valued at 40 million dollars a year. The puppy industry in one county in Pennsylvania, Lancaster, is valued at 4 million dollars a year.

There are seven states that are known as puppymill states because they have the majority of the puppymills in the country. They are: Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

There is federal law, the Animal Welfare Act, and many states have laws that purport to regulate puppymills but the fact is that those laws are rarely enforced.

Our research has shown that 98% of the puppies sold in petstores come from facilities that we consider to be puppymills. Petstores often tell customers that their puppies come from local breeders or quality breeders. Don't believe them, ask to see the paperwork and find out where the puppies really come from. We even heard about a sign in a Massachusetts petstore that said their puppies were lovingly raised in homes in Missouri. Those puppies actually came from the notorious Do-Bo-Tri in Missouri - a puppymill that has been cited numerous times for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

If the people of the United States refused to buy a puppy in a petstore, the misery of puppy mills would end. Please tell everyone you know about puppymills and the petstore connection.

There is no excuse for the abuse of mills to continue. Boycott stores that sell puppies.