If you are considering buying a new dog or puppy from a pet store, please take a minute to remember the puppy mill industry that you may be contributing to and consider adopting a pet or getting one from a reputable breeder.
My wife and I just adopted an 8 year old (at least that’s how old we think he is) Shih Tzu from a local shelter. His name is Kane and he has spent most of his life being abused in a puppy mill. K-9 Castle Doggie Daycare (the daycare where we sell our pet supplies) has been taking care of Kane the past year as he was awaiting adoption. Unfortunately, Kane lost his eye in an accident and has very limited vision in the other eye. But his impaired vision doesn’t keep him from wondering around and wagging his tail in curiosity.
As we spend more time with Kane in his new home, it is very apparent that Kane was dealt an unbelievable hard life. He’s very skittish to noises and does not like being patted on the backside (probably a result of enduring years of forced breeding at the hands of in-humane hands). As we work with Kane to overcome his fears, we wanted to research what exactly goes on in puppy mills so my wife and I can help Kane in the most effective and positive way.
Below is an article I found from DoSomething.org detailing eleven horrible facts about puppy mills:
- Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and often unsanitary conditions, without adequate health care, food, water or human company.
- The breeding dogs are bred as often as possible to increase profits and probably will never see life outside of the puppy mill. The owners rarely pay attention to the health or happiness of the dogs.
- Puppy mills often generate health problems for the dogs they are selling. The puppies may have immediate health problems such as respiratory infections or pneumonia and some even have genetic diseases that show up years later.
- Breeding dogs suffer continuously, imprisoned in small cramped cages, often soiled with their own excrement, breeding litter after litter till they can no longer reproduce.
- No states have laws against a breeding kennel legally keeping dozens of dogs in cages for their entire lives, if food, water, and shelter are provided.
- Thousands of puppy mills aren’t even regulated or inspected by the USDA, since many of them sell directly to the public.
- The average puppy mill has between 65 and 75 animals housed in hutch-style cages with wire floors. The waste drops to the ground below and accumulates beneath the cage where flies and other gross things fester.
- Dogs at puppy mills are often not actually purebred, and the breeders sometimes lie about lineage records.
- Dogs housed in indoor facilities deal with equally terrible conditions, with ammonia vapors and odors permeating badly aired buildings.
- Solid surfaces aim to protect the legs of puppies, but as they mature and scout out their surroundings, feet and legs often fall through wire floors designed to allow excrement to fall through. The resulting injuries compound their misery.
- Unlicensed puppy mills often sell puppies at six weeks of age even though federal laws prohibit licensed mills from selling puppies less than eight weeks of age.
In rural areas, where puppy mills are a cottage industry, puppies are farmed as “livestock” and considered a cash-crop. Remember, as with any business, the focus of puppy mills is to make money while keeping expenses down. The way they keep their expenses down is by not taking proper care of the parents of the puppy you are about to purchase.