(global)– where puppies are raised, often by the hundreds, in appalling, cramped conditions (see photos), get no socialization and little medical care, then sold on the internet and shipped (often when underage) like merchandise to anywhere, often arrive sick from stress, etc.
Who’s fighting it: HSUS, Best Friends, Peta, IDA, ASPCA, Stoppuppymills.org, ALV, WSPA, Noah’s Ark
A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Unlike responsible breeders, who place the utmost importance on producing the healthiest puppies possible, breeding at puppy mills is performed without consideration of genetic quality. This results in generations of dogs with unchecked hereditary defects.
Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. Puppy mill dogs do not get to experience treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. To minimize waste cleanup, dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs——and it is not unusual for cages to be stacked up in columns.
Breeder dogs at mills might spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements——or crammed inside filthy structures where they never get the chance to feel the sun or a gust of fresh air on their faces.
In order to maximize profits, female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no recovery time between litters. When, after a few years, they are physically depleted to the point that they no longer can reproduce, breeding females are often killed. The mom and dad of the puppy in the pet store window are unlikely to make it out of the mill alive——and neither will the many puppies born with overt physical problems that make them of no value to pet stores; while the ones that are sold are often sickly and soon may die in spite of costly medical treatments. Some pet stores, like the Petland chain, have a fixed policy of lying to customers about the origins of their puppies, and often refuse to take responsibility for ones that get sick, even immediately after being sold.
The solution is obvious
Never buy a pet when you can adopt one from a shelter or rescue group; there are groups for every breed and many species of animals. And remember: every one you buy means another one that could have been adopted will die in a shelter.
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