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Puppy Mills


First, it is important to define Puppy Mill.  According to Wikipedia, a puppy mill is "a commercial dog breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare and is often in substandard conditions regarding the well-being of dogs in their care. Similar types of operations exist for other animals commonly kept as pets or used as feed for other animals. The term can be applied to operations involving other animals commercially bred for profit, e.g. "kitty mills."There are an estimated 4,000 puppy mills in the U.S. that produce more than half a million puppies a year. Commercial kennels may be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which may inspect the kennels routinely."

To say that the USDA "may inspect the kennels routinely" is laughable, except it isn't even close to funny.  The USDA does oversee puppy mills, but they do not routinely inspect most puppy mills and they certainly don't have standards that any animal lover would consider humane.  Dogs are being mass produced as if they are tennis shoes or t-shirts, the only problem is these are living, feeling, sensitive creatures that feel pain, heartbreak and suffering when not treated with love and respect and given a home to be nurtured in, unlike an inanimate object.  If you buy a dog from a pet store, you are buying a puppy mill dog. Period. End of story.  Regardless of what the pet store wants you to believe, they are getting their dogs from companies and breeders who are breeding and selling dogs purely for profit and who don't put the animals' needs first and foremost.  You are not "saving" that dog from the pet store, you are putting money back in to an industry that exploits animals for cash. 

The great news is, you can help by doing (and not doing) some simple things:

  1. never buy a puppy from a pet store, online or from the newspaper.
  2. adopt your pets from legitimate rescue groups that spay/neuter the pet before adoption.
  3. tell your friends and family about puppy mills and ask them to do the same.

 To learn more about the fight against puppy mills, visit Best Friends' website and check out their Puppies Aren't Products campaign.