Puppy mills are nothing new, but they continue to be a problem because unsuspecting consumers keep buying those adorable puppies in the pet store window, on some slick Internet site, or even through an ad in the trusted local newspaper.
But behind the friendly facade of these pet shops, web sites, and newspaper ads, there often lies a puppy mill. These canine breeding facilities frequently house dogs in shockingly poor conditions, particularly for “breeding stock” animals who are caged and continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a family. The bitches are bred at every cycle. Many are never vaccinated. The pups never get the all- important early socialization from dam and litter mates — they are taken away too young so they can be shipped cross-country and placed in pet shop windows or commercial kennels at their most appealing age. Many of these have problems (physical, temperamental or both) that will show up only later in life. Most will bear only a passing resemblance to the best representatives of the breed.
After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems.
The puppies will be shipped cross country by truck to be sold in pet shops, but many are also sold via newspaper classifieds or Internet sites — and are often accompanied by false claims such as, “We’d never sell puppies from a puppy mill.”
Even if you luck out and get a puppy mill pup that is healthy and adjusts well, you will have contributed to the cycle of abuse that condemns their parents to a life of suffering. Please do your homework before bringing a new puppy into your life.