Pet Stores and Puppy Mills
And why should you care whether the puppy you buy comes from one?
By the formal definition, a puppy mill is a large-scale breeding operation that produces large numbers of puppies for profit. What the formal definition overlooks is that most puppy mills are inhumane in their treatment of breeding dogs and puppies. Many are filthy, and are run by people who have no idea about or concern for the genetic implications of breeding or about what dogs require in terms of basic health care and socialization. Many are simply hellholes in which the breeding dogs are kept in the most deplorable conditions-dogs confined to small wire cages for their entire lives, fed inadequately, kept in unheated buildings, and denied basic veterinary care. The breeding dogs are sick, wounded, and malnourished. And their lives are miserable. When their breeding usefulness is over, they may be killed or dumped. Large-scale mills do not take their older dogs to shelters as a rule, because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves.
In rescue, we are sometimes fortunate enough to rescue breeding dogs from mills. These dogs always — without exception — have health problems, most of which have been chronic and neglected for years.
So why should you care whether the puppy you buy comes from a place like this? Because the chances that the puppy you buy will have genetic defects that will cause disease are extremely high. Because puppies in mills are so poorly socialized that they often develop severe fearfulness and shyness. And because the money you pay for that cute puppy in the window will go right back to the mill owner, who can use it to buy and mistreat more dogs.
The following videos depict the life of the mothers and fathers of the little puppies that are available in pet stores. These videos are graphic in nature and are not intended for children to watch. The next time you want to purchase a puppy from a pet store please remember these videos.