How can we stop puppy mills? Essential Tips


Don’t believe everything you see online or in the classifieds—a world of cruelty might be lurking behind that cute little puppy picture. If you think you’ve found the perfect breeder on a website showcasing adorable photos, claims of how they cherish their “furry babies,” and promises that they sell exclusively to “qualified homes,” be on alert—such websites are among the newer scams that puppy mills are running. There’s no way to know whether you’re dealing with a puppy mill by simply looking at a website or talking to someone over the phone.

Selling online and through classified ads allows puppy mill operators to “cut out the middleman” and sell directly to consumers. It’s more profitable, and it is completely unregulated. Remember that puppy mills house their dogs in deplorable conditions and churn out puppies for quick sale and shipment. Don’t support this cruelty; always visit the breeder’s home and facilities and meet both parents of the puppy before you buy. But better yet, opt to adopt from a local shelter or rescue group.

Shelters and breed rescue groups have many wonderful dogs available for adoption every day. Whether you want a puppy or a more mature dog, a purebred, hybrid or one-of-a-kind mixed breed dog, your shelter has the best selection of animals anywhere. And by opting to adopt, you will be saving a life.

Here are seven ways you can take action to make a difference for dogs suffering in puppy mills:

They may seem to know what they’re doing, but behind the friendly façade of pet stores often lies the ugly reality of these puppy mills. There’s only one sure way to combat the tragedy of mass breeding operations—don’t support them. No matter how cute the puppy in the pet store is, please don’t buy her. You may feel like you’re “rescuing” her, but in reality you’re freeing up space for another puppy mill “product” while supporting and encouraging an industry based on abuse.

Unless you personally visit the place where your puppy was born and raised—and where the puppy’s parents live—there’s no way to know that your puppy didn’t come from a puppy mill, no matter what a sales clerk tells you.

The definition of a puppy mill

A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding facility that breeds puppies on an industrial scale. They only have one objective in mind – to make as much money as possible, by breeding and selling as many puppies as possible. Puppy mill pups live in deplorable conditions, usually imprisoned for their entire lives and disposed of once they can no longer breed.

Covering everything that is wrong with a puppy mill would take forever. Consider, for example, the fact that female dogs are bred repeatedly without regard for proper care or responsible breeding, or think about the little veterinary or general care pups receive.

Puppy Mills: What They Are & How to Stop Them