What Is A Puppy Mill?

Throughout one’s lifetime, it’s likely that we’ve stepped inside a puppy store and admired the irresistible pups that resided within. It’s also feasible that some of our most loved and cherished dogs were purchased from that same store without us thinking about the parents of that puppy.  All we knew was that we wanted to bring that charming furry friend home to join our own families.

What we didn’t know was that same puppy’s mother was living in unimaginable conditions lacking ample space, exercise, medical care, grooming, nutrients, love and sadly, a name.  If we met her, chances are that we wouldn’t recognize the breed suffering under a coat of matted fur, scarred paws and countless injuries they’ve sustained in a cage that is barely big enough to turn around.

This is the so-called life they live at a puppy mill or backyard breeder where they are forced to breed before it’s medically safe for them to do so, often resulting in many health issues for both them and their litter.

While some puppy stores do use licensed breeders, many others get their “inventory” from these dreadful mills.  And sadly, many of these puppies are born with serious illnesses. A shop owner may boast that if the pup is sick, they can be exchanged for another.  And at that moment, the fate of the sick pup is sealed and euthanasia often follows.  After all, a sick pup is an expensive pup and these stores are in it for the money.

So, why do people buy from puppy stores? Some may not realize where these puppies were born.  Let’s face it, it’s easy to fall in love with an innocent puppy and chances are that the shop doesn’t advertise the living conditions of the mother. Alternatively, some believe that dogs from a rescue group aren’t as good, however nothing is further from truth.

Every dog deserves a chance and rescued dogs from shelters or rescue groups aren’t any different.  They are trainable, lovable and just as loyal (if not more so).  For those who prefer purebreds, breed specific rescue groups are happy to place their purebred dogs with loving families.

Keep this in mind.  There’s never a shortage of dogs and we certainly don’t need to rely on puppy mills to supply more of them. By donating to and/or adopting from your local rescue group, you’ll help save lives and hopefully one day, these unfortunate dogs that live in puppy mills will find a good home and won’t be forced to produce more “inventory.”  For every dog you adopt from a shelter or rescue group, you’ll not only save its life but you’ll make room for another to be rescued.   It’s a win-win for everyone.

Taken from my book about puppy mills, Paw Prints in the Sand, this sums it up: “A dog is not a thing.  A thing is replaceable.  A dog is not.  A thing is disposable.  A dog is not.  A thing doesn’t have a heart.  A dogs heart is bigger than any “thing” you can ever own.”

Elizabeth Parker – Author of Finally Home, Final Journey, My Dog Does That!, Bark Out Loud!, Paw Prints in the Sand,Paw Prints in the Sand: Mission Accomplished, Unwanted Dreams, Phobia, Evil’s Door and Faces of Deception.  Available on Amazon.com!