By Mallory Daniels
What are they?
Puppy mills are breeding facilities that prioritize their profits over the dogs’ needs. These farms can have up to 1,000 dogs under a single roof. The dogs often are housed in small, wire crates. Wire crates easily damage dogs’ paws and legs. Because they stay in such a small enclosed area, they are forced to live in their own urine and feces, causing matted fur and attracting parasites. Adult dogs that have been bred until they can’t produce any more puppies are killed. Dogs from puppy mills suffer from many behavioral struggles because they are separated from their mothers too early and kept in a crate for their whole lives.
How can I help?
The first priority is to spay or neuter a dog as soon as you get them. It is important that any dog does not have babies. There are enough stray dogs in the world, and as much as I love dogs, we do not need any more. There are very few reasons to not get a dog fixed. And even then, most of the reasons are myths. Second, an easy, and free, way to help out is to spread awareness on the topic, as many people do not know about the horrid conditions in puppy mills. Educating yourself and others will help to prevent people from buying from puppy mills. If you are able to, you can also donate to rescues that help rescue dogs from puppy mills.
How can I tell if I am buying from a puppy mill?
It is typically very difficult to tell if you are buying from a puppy mill since the owners do a good job of hiding it; however, there are a few red flags that you might want to look out for. If the breeder refuses to show you the dog’s kennel, they may be hiding the fact that they have more than just one litter of puppies. Also, any reputable breeder should be aware of the importance of keeping a puppy with its mother until at least three weeks old. So, make sure to not buy a puppy if it is too young. Responsible breeders should have references. They should know which dogs they sold to whom. Lastly, if you are going to buy a dog from a breeder, be sure to have full trust in the breeder you choose.
Hopefully by reading this article you have learned more about puppy mills. Also, you should note that kitten mills also exist; I just chose to focus on puppy mills for this article.