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What to Know About Puppy Mills

Dogs that grow up in puppy mills often encounter health problems due to the poor living conditions where they came from.

What to Know

  • Dogs bred from a puppy mill often bring premature health problems.
  • Research a breeder to make sure they are not be operating a puppy mill.
  • Look at alternatives for purchasing a dog from a breeder or pet store such as adopting from a shelter or rescue group.

Adopting a furry friend can be an exciting time for a family or someone looking to add a companion to their home. What many people do not know is the source of where they purchase a dog may be more costly down the road.

There are plenty of options for adopting a dog, such as an animal shelter, rescue group, pet store, or from breeders. Although there are a number of sources for finding a four-legged companion, buyers should be aware of the dangers from buying from a commercial or backyard breeders that may be operating a puppy mill.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), puppy mills are defined as a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.

Puppy mills provide harmful and poor living conditions to dogs such as:

  • Placing a large number of dogs to be bred in small, confined areas that may not allow a dog to stand up and may force a dog to remain in a slouched position for long periods of time;
  • Most dogs do not get enough exercise and some remain in their cage the entirety of their lives;
  • Forcing dogs to produce litter after litter to ensure maximum profit from each dogs;
  • Placing dogs in open wire-tap kennels stacked on top and next to one another, which is uncomfortable for dogs to stand on;
  • Lack of sanitizing kennels on a regular basis;
  • Open kennels stacked on one another allow for feces to fall through into kennels of other dogs and carry bacteria and other illnesses;
  • Dirty water;
  • Expired food that brings unwelcome insects and bacteria to the facilities;
  • Future health problems in dogs that are sold.

Other problems commonly found in puppy mills can be found here.

Many consumers are unaware that pet stores purchase a number of their dogs from puppy mills, that may result in future health problems, including premature death as a result of the poor living conditions they may have been exposed to listed above.

California and Maryland are currently the only two states to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores, with other states looking to follow in their footsteps.

There are steps consumers can take in order to ensure they are purchasing a healthy dog from a trusted source. Some of those steps include:

  • Visiting the home of the person selling the dog and making sure they are providing safe and healthy living conditions for their dogs;
  • Research the person you are buying from;
  • Avoid buying from a pet store;
  • Consider adopting a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group.

For more information and tips on purchasing a dog from a trusted source, click here.

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