When a puppy is bought from a pet store, probably most people don’t question where the cute little fluff ball came from.
You might assume that the pet store buys from breeders or maybe a local family had a surprise litter.
In a relatively small number of cases that might be true, but the fact remains that puppy mills supply huge numbers of puppies every year to pet stores, internet sales and even apparently reputable dog breeders’ sites.
What is a puppy mill you ask? We at www.DogBuffs.com want you to know. The answer may shock you.
Puppy mills are canine intensive breeding plants, where literally thousands of puppies are bred to supply the pet industry. It’s a sad life for a puppy mill puppy, from the very start.
Puppy mills pups tend to suffer from poor health, temperament issues and hereditary conditions. At the mill, they are taken away from their mother before the recommended weaning time of 10 weeks, therefore not receiving the right socialization and benefits of being fed by their mother.
Their substandard living conditions, where they are housed in cages, sometimes with many others also lead to health and temperament issues, as they receive little chance to bond with humans before being shipped to the pet store.
Responsible breeders will be aware of any hereditary factors which affect a particular breed, and will screen and selectively breed their dogs, always putting the welfare of their animals, be that breeding stock or pups, first. They will ensure puppies receive the correct medical attention and shots before selling them to a properly screened home.
They should be able to provide a breeding line for the dogs, papers and any other information necessary for looking after the puppy. In addition, pedigree dogs should come with a guarantee, each breeder will differ on this, so check your small print, but the guarantee should not require you to give back the puppy if he falls ill.
The situation is very different at a puppy mill, where the main aim is profit rather than animal welfare. Their goal is to produce as many puppies as possible to turn over the greatest margin. This means often poor breeding, where animal unscreened for hereditary diseases are used, or possibly even interbreeding which can lead to no end of health and temperament issues.
Many puppies die of preventable disease, overcrowding and during the long transportation from the mill to the pet store. The survivors often don’t have it much better, with a tendency towards respiratory ailments, hereditary factors such as hip dysplasia and temperament issues.
Breeding dogs are kept in miserable conditions, without proper attention to their diet, health or exercise regime, and forced to breed every time they are in season, physically exhausting the dog, and leading to weaker puppies. At the end of their breeding life, the dogs are often killed or abandoned.
There is legislation in place, but puppy mills still exist. Consumers can help stamp out these intensive dog breeding plants buy only buying puppies from reputable breeders (visit the premises, get recommendations), consider adopting (this is the most humane way to stop the industry and to help rescue a dog who has been abandoned), refuse to buy from pet stores (many of them do not know, or mislead their customers as to the origin of the puppies).
Don’t buy a puppy mill puppy just to save him. You will just create the market for more puppies to be produced. The best thing to do if you see puppies being bred or kept in inappropriate conditions is to inform the appropriate animal protection authorities who will be able to take action.
Puppy mills only exist because of the end consumer, so we recommend that you buy puppies responsibly and ask some tough questions the next time you see puppies for sale.
Tags: puppy mills