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Puppy Mills: What The Breeders Don’t Tell You

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CAU chapter.

TRIGGER WARNING: This article includes images/content might include graphic references to topic of animal abuse or neglect and can take the form of an image, video clip, audio clip, or piece of text. 


Let’s say you and your family want a new puppy. So you decide to pull out the big bucks and head to a puppy mill. These dogs normally range anywhere from $400- $2,000. You pay your money and get your puppy, but who really pays the price in the long run? Some puppies will have a lifetime of affliction from the severe mark of mental distress that the puppy mills inflicted on them. I am here to give you a few facts about puppy mills that you may not have known and maybe you might change your mind about buying your puppy online or spending a hefty price for dogs that are being abused.


A puppy mill is defined as a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. These dogs are usually kept in cramped places and sold over the internet or pet stores. They should be banned due to the fact that that the owners exude poor behavior upon their dogs, They are separated from their families, and the puppies can end up with health problems and disorders due to lack of proper welfare. These puppies live under constant fear and stress due to lack of human interaction. It might result in pacing throughout their cage, barking very heavily for long periods of time, or they might even recoil and shut down altogether. The breeders provide little to no emotional or physical care due to the fact that their only goal is to sell the puppies.


It is cheaper for pet stores to buy from puppy mills, but they know the cruel torment inflicted upon these dogs will drive customers away from purchasing them. With that being said, pet stores do not inform the customers where they purchase these puppies from. Another problem is that female dogs are bred at every given opportunity and are killed when they cannot breed anymore because they are seen at no value. The goal of the breeder is to get as many puppies as possible as quickly as they can. Annually, as in every year, 3,000,000 dogs are killed to allow more puppies to be bred. Let that sink in.


Puppies are often separated from their families at extremely young ages. The first months of puppies’ lives are a critical socialization period. Spending that time with their mother and littermates, along with slow weaning, helps prevent problems like extreme shyness, aggression, fear, and anxiety. Being removed abruptly littermates and mothers at early ages can cause underdevelopment and long-lasting emotional and behavior problems. Dogs are already very social animals so to separate them from their others on top of not providing them with any other source of love and care can really affect them.


Puppies can end up with health problems and disorders due to lack of proper welfare. Puppies aren’t screened for inheritable disorders. These potential disorders can also harm her puppies. Their lack of food and water can cause malnutrition. When they are fed the food is occasionally contaminated and some if it has bugs lingering in the food. It is as if when they are born into a living situation such as this one they are being set up for failure. Just like humans, there are psychological and physical factors that can be passed down genetically. Stress inflicted on a mother such as being bred constantly and getting no rest in between along with lack of nutrition and care can affect the wellbeing of the puppies she produces.


Some breeders believe that they have been allotted the right to free enterprise granting them permission to sell whatever they want. The selling of the puppies isn’t the issue it is the treatment that takes place in between the sales that is cruel and unusual. These individuals allow dogs to live in feces and urine, they tie their collars so tight a mark is embedded in their necks, there is no veterinary care or climate control either. According to dosomething.org, their feet are left bleeding, they become dehydrated, they often suffer from tooth decay, ear infections, and lesions that can lead to blindness.


In order to end these mills, a change is imperative. Encourage those throughout your neighborhood to purchase dogs from shelters. If you aren’t buying from a shelter at least do your research and find a trustworthy breeder. If you are going to purchase a purebred animal, try to stay local and always do your research as mentioned before. Get informed about your states dog breeding laws as well as dog selling laws. When you learn these laws make sure they are being enforced. Notify your community about the dangers involved in puppy mills. Write to legislators and express your feelings of disgust regarding the corrupt wrongdoings of these mills. Report these unethical occurrences as you hear about them. When you hear about a puppy being abused let someone know because you could get that mill shut down in its entirety



Banning puppy mills only makes sense. They should be illegal in all countries due to the fact that they exude poor treatments and unhealthy conditions upon their dogs, along with separating them from their loved ones, as well as being exposed to horrible infections and diseases. Imagine if you were born and someone locked you in a cage. What if they never let you play and never gave you food, water, or love. It is times like these where we must put ourselves in these puppies shoes and speak up for the sake of their well-being.


Greetings, my name is Kayla Martinez. I am a freshman at Clark Atlanta University, and I'm a speech communications major. I moved to Atlanta Georgia after graduating high school in Auburn New York. I am excited for this journey and it is a pleasure to be able to say I'm apart of HerCampus CAU.