beware of Backyard breeding & Puppy Mills
First to address the worst of the worst, puppy mills. Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities that mass-produce dogs for sale through pet stores, or directly to consumers through classified ads or the Internet. Roughly 90 percent of puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills.
Animals in puppy mills live in cages their entire lives, for the sole purpose of continuously churning out puppies.
- They are confined to overcrowded cages with minimal shelter from extreme weather and no choice but to sit and sleep in their own feces. Most NEVER leave their cage.
- Animals suffer from malnutrition or starvation due to inadequate or unsanitary food and water.
- Sick or dying animals receive little or no veterinary care. Illness and disease are common in dogs from puppy mills.
- Adult animals are continuously bred until they can no longer produce, then destroyed or discarded.
- Puppies are taken from their mothers at such an early age; many suffer from serious behavior problems.
- 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. They are not treated well at all.
- In order to maximize profits, female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no recovery time between litters. When they no longer can reproduce because they are physically used-up , breeding females are often killed.
- Often these puppies are sold online without any background check or care for where they are going!
It’s crucial you DO NOT support any pet store that sells puppy mill puppies or any other venue. I know you want to save the sad little puppy in the window at the store, but you are only supporting the continuation of this horrific nightmare when you buy that puppy. We have to stop giving into the cute puppies and this will stop. It won’t happen over night, but if the demand decreases, the less they sell for, therefore, the less profit the store makes. Eventually the stores will order fewer puppies the next month. And puppy mills will ultimately produce fewer dogs.You are the only one that can stop this. What else can you do to stop puppy mills?
- Adopt from a shelter or breed-specific rescue group near you – typically 25% of the animals in shelters are purebred.
- Adopt a mill survivor. Puppy mill survivors often need patient, loving adopters who can help them learn to trust people.
- Support laws that protect animals from puppy mill cruelty – tell your elected officials you support laws which cap the number of animals a person can own and breed, and establish care standards for exercise, housing, access to food and water and regular veterinary care.
- Urge your local pet store to support shelters – animals are often used to draw consumers into stores. Encourage pet stores to promote shelter animals for adoption instead of replenishing their supply through questionable sources.
See what stores sell puppies near you. DO NOT shop at the stores in red – do not even buy a toy or leash from them, because if you do, you are supporting their support of puppy mills!
Now, on to backyard breeders. These folks are often looking for “easy money” after seeing how much legitimate breeders charge for pups. Others mistakenly believe that every dog needs to produce at least one litter in their lifetime (there is nothing supporting this has any benefit. Actually allowing your dog to breed increases health issues).
So what is the harm in backyard breeding? Legitimate breeders have years of experience and knowledge in raising their chosen breed. They also have health records of multiple generations of dogs and can carefully screen for the possibility of serious genetic problems such as hip dysplasia.
A backyard breeder, on the other hand, usually only knows the history of their own dog and will make assumptions based on what they know. Genetic health and temperament problems may be waiting to emerge as the pup matures, since this type of breeder isn’t likely to have done the appropriate testing of both parents to make a good genetic pairing – which is only done by legitimate breeders. It’s completely a gamble as to how things will turn out with a puppy you acquire from this type of breeder – and sadly many of them end up in shelters, contributing to the millions euthanized every year. Furthermore, many backyard breeders don’t know how to raise a healthy, socialized litter, or to help the new owner with any problems that might arise.
Responsible breeders have homes lined up for their puppies in advance, where backyard breeders have litters without knowing if there will be a home for them. They also do not sell their puppies online, at flea markets on Craigslist on in newspaper ads!