We have all walked into a pet store before and raved about the adorable puppies for sale. However, there is a sad truth behind pet shop puppies, they often come from puppy mills. A puppy mill is defined on dictionary.com as “an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions that are regarded as inhumane”.
In these breeding operation, female dogs are bred repeatedly with little to no recovery time between pregnancies. After a few years, they are typically killed. Dogs spend their time in tiny cages made of wire where they have no opportunity to exercise or play. Dogs often get injured in these crates and develop infections in their paws, ears, eyes, or teeth.
Such infections can become lethal due to the lack of veterinary care provided to the animals. The main goal of puppy mills is to minimize costs as much as possible and therefore, dogs are usually fed contaminated food and water that has been known to be infested with bugs. The horrendous conditions of puppy mills cause dogs to develop mental disorders and a lack of social skills.
The worst part about all of this? Puppy mills are legal in most states and the USDA regulates them extremely loosely. Here in the U.S. alone there is an estimated 10,000 puppy mills, only 3,000 of which are regulated. Pet shops are not the only ones that seek to cut costs by purchasing from puppy mills, often times breeders obtain puppies the same way. It is estimated that 2.11 million of the dog’s people own in the U.S. were supplied by the puppy mill industry.
By purchasing a puppy mill dog, you are condemning the parents of your animal. The only way to end this horrible industry is by cutting off the demand. I urge you to consider adopting a puppy or dog from a local shelter. Last year, 3 million puppy mill dogs were euthanized due to insufficient room in shelters.
There is a massive surplus of dogs in this country and humans are failing these loving, incredible creatures. If you are set on a specific dog breed, and do not fall in love at the shelter, find a reputable breeder. This entails researching the source of a breeder’s puppies and making sure they actually come from a humane place.
Everyone will tell you they get their dogs from a reputable breeder, it is up to you to verify this. Whatever you do, please do not purchase your dog from a pet store. As a society, we hold the power to put a stop to this industry.
End the pain, suffering, and torture that dogs are enduring for no good reason. Tell everyone you can about puppy mills and make the decision to adopt not shop!