The Big Problem of the Puppy Mill

“How much is that doggy in the window?” The price may be higher than you ever could possibly imagine, and that price does not come in the form of dollars. There is a very dark world that goes on in order to get those cuddly little puppies to the pet store window and it is not you that pays a high price when you buy from such a shop. Instead, it is the dogs themselves that pay: the breeding mothers, the fathers, and the puppies. Do you know how those puppies made it to the pet store? They got there through something called a “puppy mill.” There is a big problem with these mills and understanding that problem will redirect you from the pet stores and to a reputable breeder.

What is a Puppy Mill?

Many people have never heard this term or they have and they do not know what it means. A puppy mill is pretty much just as it sounds. It is a mill. Instead of churning out grains, it churns out puppies. The whole process of the puppy mill has nothing to do with the comfort, health, or mental well-being of the breeding parents or the puppies themselves. Here are some things that people do not know about puppy mills.

  • The breeding females are kept in small cages where they can hardly stand or move around.
  • The cages are usually stacked one on top of another so that feces and urine falls on the dogs regularly.
  • Little or no human contact is provided to the dogs or the puppies.
  • The breeding adults are not cared for medically and may suffer from painful and detrimental conditions for months or even years.
  • When the breeding adults are deemed no longer usable, they are killed.
  • Animals rescued from puppy mills often have lifelong mental and physical damage. They may not even know how to stand up or walk.

Right now, you are probably feeling pretty appalled by this. That puppy may look cute in the pet store window, but you have no idea of whether or not it is healthy. You most certainly will know that the puppies were not properly socialized during their stay at the puppy mill.

Don’t Be Sympathetic

You may now be thinking how sorry you feel for those puppies at the pet store. You probably think that you should actually go and buy one of them to give it a kind and loving home. However, this is exactly the opposite of what you should do. When you buy that puppy, you are not doing something good. You are actually condoning the behavior of the pet store and the puppy mill.

It can be easy to get soft hearted and you may feel that draw, but do not. Instead, choose a reputable breeder from which to buy. Make sure you have chosen someone who is professional and who truly takes care of the dogs they breed. You will be doing something so much better for your pets and the world of pet selling when you do this.

Do Not Believe the Pet Store

It is common practice for a pet store to tell you “oh we only buy from reputable breeders” but this is almost never the case. You can tell a pet store representative is not being honest by asking just one thing: can you tell me the name of the breeder. Because pet stores use third party brokers to get the puppies, they will likely have no idea who the actual breeder is.

There is a big problem with that doggy in the window. That problem is the puppy mill. It is a problem that we should all work to eliminate too by choosing to only work with professional and ethical dog breeders.


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What Others Have Said:

  1. Jennifer Boehme says:

    I have a puppy-mil survivor Pug (3 months now) and can’t believe how those people take care of their dogs! My baby is adjusting well to me and my 55lb mix. But it’s a work in progress. She is 6, but looks 10. She is scared of people, fly swatters, loud noises, yelling, dogs barking, anxiety is so bad with her, anything out of ordinary sends her hiding in back room and wet tears down her face, sometimes shaking so bad. Her nightmares are down to 1 a day now, they were so bad!! She had learned to cut her own toenails with her teeth, she still does it even though the vet does it. She had tapeworm so bad the worms broke off were crawling out her rear everywhere. She is learning how to play, and what toys are by watching my other dog play. She pushes toys 3 inches with her nose now across the floor. She sits while other dogs are playing, so sad to see so we work with her. She is barking at me now, she had not barked for 2 months, but only barks when I leave the house or she hears me come back home, like don’t leave me again! I wish I could shut down all puppy mils as they don’t care about the animals, just the money they are making. My baby still has setbacks once in a while, but it’s patience she needs. She is learning we won’t hurt her here, and this month I even seen her wag her tail one day, and prancing when she walked like a real Pug. Please don’t buy, adopt and save these babies from the Hell I can only imagine my furkid went through!

  2. Michelle Spayde says:

    Thank you very much for this post and spreading awareness of some of the horrors of puppy mills. I am, however, just a bit confused about the inclusion of this last paragraph: “Bowen Gines is the owner of Learn how to become a home-based breeder with his 7 Lessons to Building a Successful Breeding Dog Business. Read more:“. Puppies for profit??? Included in a post about puppy mills???

    I am also “Mom” to one of the breeding females that was lucky enough to make it out of the mill (alive) after years of neglect and abuse. She is irreparably damaged both physically and emotionally. She was born at the mill (kept as breeding stock), and growing up with only wire to stand on caused her legs to bow. She also has numerous other health and emotional issues.

    It’s been two and half years since I adopted her, and she still only trusts me. The transition to a life in a home was heart wrenching to go through with her. She will never be normal, her fears will never go away, but at least now she will always be loved, cherished, and be spoiled rotten on her terms.

    • This was offered by a guest blogger. I do understand and kind of agree, but I would rather people go into the field of breeding with an understanding of what makes for a good breeder and healthy puppies. KWIM?