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Puppy Mills Exposed A Short Clip of 10 Facts Figures and Commercial Statistics ASPCA Dogs 101
Puppy Mill Definition – A puppy mill, sometimes known as a puppy farm, is a commercial dog breeding facility.
“A dog is not a thing. A thing is replaceable. A dog is not. A thing is disposable. A dog is not. A thing doesn’t have a heart. A dog’s heart is bigger than any “thing” you can ever own.” – Elizabeth Parker, Paw Prints in the Sand
Welcome to Animal Facts. While we usually produce feel good videos, there are some things that can not be overlooked. Since we have a growing collection of dog facts videos, we feel that we should be good citizens and discuss the commercial manufacture of dogs for mass retail sale. So, without pause, let’s get started.
10. A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Because so many of these breeders are operating without oversight, it is impossible to accurately track them or to know how many there truly are. The ASPCA estimates that there could be as many as 10,000 puppy mills in the United States.
9. Because puppy mills focus on profit, dogs are often bred with little regard for genetic quality. Puppy mill puppies are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions including heart disease and blood and respiratory disorders. In addition, puppy mill puppies often arrive in pet stores and in their new homes with diseases or infirmities ranging from parasites to pneumonia. Because puppies are removed from their littermates and mothers at a young age, they also often suffer from fear, anxiety and other behavioral problems.
8. There is no legal definition of a “puppy mill,” so don’t be fooled by pet store owners who show you “papers” or licenses to prove that their dogs are from humane sources. The fact is, responsible breeders would never sell a puppy through a pet store because they want to screen potential buyers to ensure their puppies are going to a good home. The ASPCA encourages everyone to make adoption their first option.
7. Right now, hundreds of thousands of adult dogs, used as breeding stock, are suffering on the “production lines” in puppy mills. Best estimates place that number around 800,000! They are treated like products, not living beings, and their health and welfare are disregarded to maintain a low overhead and maximize profit. Mills range in size, some have as few as 10 breeding dogs and others have more than a thousand breeding dogs packed into deplorable spaces.
6. Puppy mills contribute to pet overpopulation. An estimated 25% of all dogs entering shelters are purebred dogs that originate from puppy mills, which puts a strain on community resources and contributes to the tragic 4 million+ homeless pets euthanized annually.
5. It’s common to find dogs in puppy mills with collars that have been fastened so tightly that they have become embedded in a dog’s neck and must be carefully cut out.
4. Female dogs kept in puppy mills their entire lives are called “brood bitches.” They are typically undernourished and receive little veterinary care, in spite of being kept perpetually pregnant. Their puppies are frequently taken from them before being weaned. As a result, some puppies do not know how to eat and thus die of starvation. At approximately six or seven years of age, when they can no longer breed more puppies, “brood bitches” are killed.
3. At four to eight weeks of age, puppies are taken from their mothers and sold to brokers (or retail businesses). The brokers then pack them in crates and transport them for sale at various pet shops. Frequently, the puppies are not provided with adequate food, water, ventilation, or shelter during transport; consequently, many die en route. Those that are not sold will be killed, brought back to the mill to breed, or sold to laboratories for research.
2. Puppy mills are everywhere, though there is a large concentration in the Midwest. Missouri has the largest number of puppy mills in the United States. Amish and Mennonite communities (particularly in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania) also have large concentrations of puppy mills.
1. In most states, puppy mills are legal. Although the federal government regulates most breeders who sell puppies online and to pet stores, the minimal standards imposed on breeders don’t promote responsible breeding or ensure healthy puppies. For example, it’s legal for licensed breeders to own 1,000 or more dogs, keep them in very small cages for their entire lives and breed them as often as possible. The standards set by the government aren’t meant to ensure that the dogs have the good lives they deserve; they only require the bare minimum of care. Plus, there are only a few inspectors in each state for hundreds – sometimes thousands – of licensed breeding facilities.
Well, there you have it. While Animal Facts discusses histories and traits of different breeds, we highly suggest choosing your dog based on his or her personality, not just by breed. And dog pounds and rescue shelters are a great place to find your next furry friend. If you have your heart set on a particular breed a simple Google search for example “Dachshund Rescue” will return a plethora of results. And as always, catch ya next time.