A Puppy Mill, sometimes known as a Puppy Farm, is a commercial dog breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis on profits above animal welfare and is often substandard conditions regarding the well being of dogs in their care. We’ve all seen those adorable faces in the window of a pet store, or have simply searched the web for “puppies for sale” when looking to take on a family pet. Be aware, most of the time these puppies come from a Puppy Mill.
The Problem: Puppy Mills Crowded, squalid conditions, abuse, no veterinary care or socialization, poor food, no clean water, lack of adequate exercise and little human touch is the plight of dogs and cats in “Puppy Mills,” and believe it or not, there are even “Kitten Mills,” too. These conditions and practices exist in commercial breeding facilities and many animals die every day due to horrid conditions.
How you can help raise awareness:
- Adopt your next pet – You may have your heart set on a particular breed, but opt to visit your local shelter or rescue group. If you don’t find the breed you’re looking for, contact a breed rescue organization. A quick search on the web will help you discover the closest breed-rescue organization by entering a city or state, the breed name, and word, “rescue.”
- Don’t buy online or from a pet store – Most of the time, these puppies come from a Puppy Mill. Do your homework. Learn about the breeder. Check with your local shelter or veterinary, as they will be most knowledgeable.
- Take action – Speak with the pet store owner and ask them to consider switching to a humane business model, one that promotes adopting instead of selling puppies from these mass breeders. If they choose not to change, hold peaceful rallies to help educate the public and change the store policy.
- Support legislation that regulates and reduces animal breeding – Contact your local government for ideas in your community.
- Do your research – Become an expert on the subject. Share your knowledge with your community.
- Know the laws – Many states have laws existing that regulate breeders and/or retail pet sellers.
- Ask local government to pass stricter laws – Write or call your city, county, state and federal officials and ask them to take the issue seriously. Keep your message brief, respectful and to the point. You can really influence legislators with your voice. And most importantly, elect animal-friendly candidates.
- Report bad puppy stores – If you’ve elected to purchase a pet from an online store and the puppy is sick, report the business to the Better Business Bureau
- Spread the word – Educate your family, friends, and coworkers, especially those looking to obtain a family pet.
- Never give up – Just one person can make a difference. The fight against puppy mills and bad breeders has been going on for decades. While things won’t change overnight, progress is being made and each little change helps.