Puppy Mills

Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are a real blight in the breeder world. While not directly having to do with lemon law, it's one of the most common reasons for a puppy lemon law to be needed so I wanted to touch on the subject. The next time you're in the market for a puppy (or kitten for that matter), avoid the stores and find a registered breeder in your area. Even better, visit your local pound.

So what's the deal with puppy mills? As opposed to established breeders who care about the quality and health of the breed, a puppy mill turns out puppies for one thing and one thing only.. financial gain. The dogs are bred over and over again until they can no longer breed at all. Their health is of secondary importance, as is the quality of the puppies born.

As a consumer, you may not even be aware that you’re purchasing a puppy from one of the countless mills in operation across the United States. Unfortunately, that cute little purebred puppy you picked up in the pet shop may not be healthy, and it may not even be a purebred.

If you’ve ever seen the photos of a mill, the images will never leave your mind. The dogs are kept in cramped quarters for most of their lives. Their cages are filthy, crawling with parasites and the dogs suffer constantly from infections. It really doesn’t matter if the mills are located indoors or out, the cages are usually kept dark, with no natural light or fresh air.

Owners of these mills don’t care about dogs. They don’t care about the dogs they have as breeding stock and they don’t care about the puppies that come out of their mills. They just care about the money they will make from another litter.

Puppy mills are illegal. Once they are discovered they are shut down. More often than not, the owner pays a small fine and moves on, opening more mills elsewhere, either in another town or another state.

A Look At Life in Puppy Mills

The dogs being bred usually aren't fed enough food and they often are seriously underweight. The water isn’t changed as often as it needs to be, leaving the dog hungry, thirsty and stuck in poor conditions all around.

The dogs rarely if ever receive ordinary veterinary care. They're often covered in sores and scabs and aren’t bathed or brushed, as they need to be. They suffer from severe malnutrition. As such, the puppies that come from mills are not healthy from the start because their mother was so poorly mistreated during their pregnancy.

As everyone knows, a sickly mommy creates sickly offspring and the dogs in puppy mills are no exception. Sadly, the pups are often pulled away from the mothers quickly so they mothers can become pregnant again. The males aren’t treated any better in mills. They are forced to breed and are kept in their malnourished state until they can no longer produce offspring. Then they are either killed or set free. Others end up in shelters.

Every breed of dog can come from these illegal mills. Just because you think you’re purchasing a refined breed doesn’t mean that the puppies didn’t come from a mill. In fact, the higher the cost of the puppy at retail, the more likely it is that someone is breeding them in puppy mills because there is more money to be made for the same amount of work (or lack of it, in the case of a mill).

The problem is compounded by pet shops that don’t screen the breeders and really don’t want to know too much about where the puppies came from. It’s far easier for a small pet store to accept a litter of puppies and not question whether they were bred in mills. It’s good for business. So even if you ask the pet storeowner if the puppies came from puppy mills, they may say “not they I know of” and be answering truthfully.

How Do We Shut The Puppy Mills Down?

The biggest challenge is finding the mills to start with. The owners know it’s illegal and are good at hiding their tracks. If you know of a mill or possible mill, let the authorities know.

If you are shopping for a pet, use the Internet to find reputable local breeders through sites run by fanciers of the breed you’re interested in. Ask around. Whatever you do, don’t just walk into the closest pet store and plunk down hundreds on a puppy. Chances are very, very high that these pups have come from local puppy mill.

If you do purchase one of these puppies, know that you could be in for a great disappointment. While some states have puppy lemon laws, finding out whom you can prosecute can be tough since the owners of the mills are almost impossible to track down. Once they drop the pups off to the local pet store and get their cut, they’re off in the night, setting up new mills somewhere else to stay one step ahead of the law.

It’s sad that this occurs in today’s world, but you can help by knowing exactly who you're really buying your pet from. After all, it's in your best interest as well as the puppy's!.

NOTE:The information here is not legal advice and is only presented to you so you can know your options if you purchased a lemon. As with any legal issue, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.




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