pup·py mill noun derogatory
plural noun: puppy mills
- an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane.
Life in a Puppy Mill
What is life in a puppy mill? It’s a life in a cage, forced to continually procreate in order to satisfy the need for pure-bred puppies for sale at pet stores and online for profit. Even so, there is no consideration for genetic abnormalities, conditions or health of the pups or the parents. In fact, most puppy mill dogs have a false lineage and unknown health concerns that show up after the pup is sold for a large amount of money, profit being the number one goal for mill breeders.
Female puppy mill dogs are bred continually until they can no longer have pups. Then, 9 out of 10 times, they are put to death, no longer having a purpose for their owner. On top of it, these dogs have no human connection. They live in a cage 24/7 with several other dogs used for the same purpose. They urinate and defecate in the cages, on each other and are left unwashed and barely cared for. Food and water are given only enough to survive. Furthermore, no medical care is given to these mommas and the cycle is endless.
Backyard Puppy Mill
While wire cages are most often homes for these precious babies, is what has become to be life in a puppy mill. The wire often injures their paws, which receive no medical care. It’s not unusual for these cages to be stacked up high with multiple rows of breeding bitches. What’s more, the males are no better kept. A barn or shed could be used to “house” these cages, but some don’t even have that luxury and are continually exposed to the elements. For these breeders, it is a business, not a family member. I can’t even imagine my baby not being able to run free in the backyard, let alone caged constantly with several others, not being able to move about freely.
As per the ASPCA website, puppy mill dogs often arrive at pet stores and new homes with the following problems:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Musculoskeletal disorders (hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, etc.)
- Endocrine disorders (diabetes, hyperthyroidism)
- Blood disorders (anemia, Von Willebrand disease)
- Eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, etc.)
- Respiratory disorders
On top of that, puppies often arrive in pet stores and their new homes with diseases or infirmities, including:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Kennel cough
- Intestinal parasites
- Chronic diarrhea
Puppy mill pups are separated from their mothers and siblings as early as 6 weeks of age and may have behavioral issues. Moreover, a responsible breeder would never sell a puppy to just anyone. They want to check out who they’re selling to and ensure they are a good fit.
How do we stop this practice? By not purchasing from pet stores, online and backyard breeders who indiscriminately sell to “just anyone”. With awareness, we can stop puppies for profit. We can stop illnesses and hereditary diseases from continually being passed on to the next generation.
Adopt. Don’t shop!
This is the first article discussing life in a puppy mill out of a series of articles being brought to you for informational purposes.