What is the definition of a puppy mill?
The internet describes a puppy mill as “an establishment that breeds puppies for sale typically on an intensive basis, and in conditions as regarded as inhumane”.
The ASPCA defines a puppy mill as “a large scale commercial breeding facility where profit is the only concern and the health of the puppy has no bearing”.
The highest concentration of puppy mills in the mid West is in Missouri.
However other high concentrations of puppy mills are found in Pennsylvania, Ohio and upstate New York.
Apparently there are between 2,000 and 3,000 puppy mills in the United States that are licensed by the USDA.
There are many more unlicensed puppy mills that are also operating.
I have also seen that the puppy mill owners only hope that their genetically crippled puppies live long enough to be shipped to you or to your pet shop before developing a sever disease and possibly dying.
Please realize that the following list from the ASPCA, describe the conditions and homes that these puppies and their parents are forced to live in:
. Inexpensive (the cheapest) nutrition
. Inadequate water
. Inadequate veterinary care, if any at all.
. No training or socialization
. In adequate cage housing with wire floors that lead to bacterial
infections of their feet and the skin of their underside.
Also please realize that once the female canine can no longer produce offspring, she is usually destroyed.
If you are unfortunate enough to buy a puppy mill puppy, the ASPCA lists the following diseases you might encounter with your puppy mill puppy:
. Heart disease
. Kidney disease
, Musculoskeletal diseases (hip dysplasia, luxating patellas)
. Endocrine disorders (diabetes, hyperthyroidism)
. Blood diseases (anemia, Von Willebrant’s disease, etc.)
. Eye diseases (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy etc.
When the puppy mill puppy arrives at the pet shop, the ASPCA lists the following disease, which may continue to plague a poor, genetically crippled, puppy mill puppy;
. Upper respiratory disease
. Kennel cough
. Mange (demodex or scabies)
. Intestinal problems (including intestinal parasites)
. Chronic diarrhea
How can you avoid buying one of these genetically crippled puppy mill puppy?
. Do not buy online puppies without first visiting the private breeder.
If it turns out to be a large breeding facility you are visiting, pass
on buying one of their puppy; BEWARE!
. Buying from a pet shop may be OK, but even if you are presented with
pedigreed papers, please realize that the papers may be fake.
. Please make sure the pet shop puppy has developed teeth, otherwise
this puppy is probably less than 8 weeks of age and will not be
. I would also be very careful when considering buying a puppy from
Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio or upstate New York, unless you are
dealing with a private breeder, and even doing this, be very careful.
. Please also realize that private breeders usually breed for
conformation, size, color and all the physical characteristics that will
cause a close gene pool to create many of the inherited diseases that
the ASPCA speaks about. You may find yourself dealing with a mini-
puppy mill breeder.
. Most private breeders will first want to interview the prospective
owner because they have concerns and want to make sure that the
new owner will provide a good home for their puppy.
Often a conscientious, private breeder will ask you to keep in touch
with them and provide updates on their puppy.
Over the years, I have tried to be active in helping close down these puppy mills.
Many years ago, I took a puppy mill client with me to New York to do the Geraldo show on Puppy Mills.
I believe you can see the results of the show by going to 2 Hearts Animal Haven website or Google Dr. Plechner and the Geraldo show.
During that time, I helped Senator David Roberti pass legislative laws in the state of California that did two things:
- It stopped the shipping of puppy mill puppies to pet stores that had not yet developed teeth. This helped make sure the shipped puppies were at least 8 weeks old, even if not vaccinated.
- It also made the pet shop owner responsible for paying the medical bills for a puppy mill puppy they sold, that became ill soon after the puppy was taken home.
One final thought for you to think about.
Puppy mills only exist for creating and selling their defective puppies
If no one bought their defective puppies, there would be no market for their genetically, created cripples, and the puppy mills would go out of business.
So what this really means, even with articles from the ASPCA and other organizations indicating all the pitfalls of buying a puppy mill puppy, It really comes down to you and your responsibility NOT to buy these puppies and keep these puppy mills in business.
If this article does nothing more than have you not buy a puppy mill puppy, than I feel this articles has been a success.
Please remember, the success of puppy mills depends on you!
Dr. Al Plechner