It is not uncommon to hear questions like “But isn’t a puppy mill just a breeder that has a lot of puppies?” or “If they have their license doesn’t that mean they are held to certain standards?”
The short answer to these type of questions is NO. Puppy mills treat their animals cruelly and inhumanely. They are considered a factory farm for dogs. There are regulations put in place by the federal government but it is hard to monitor every breeder.
“There are nearly 6,000 USDA-licensed commercial kennels in the U.S. (and untold numbers of unlicensed.)”
Between the licensed kennels to monitor and the discovery of unlicensed kennels, animal groups like the ASPCA have their hands full. That is why it is important for YOU to spread the word. If the puppy mill owners can’t make a profit it puts an end to their business.
Elizabeth Anderson sums a puppy mill well in this excerpt from her book The Powerful Bond Between People and Pets: Our Boundless Connection to Companion Animals:
“We may not know how many there are, but we know what they do, and Puppy Haven Kennel, which is north of Madison, WI, is typical of their sorry operations. It is a ‘dog compound’ that sells 3,000 puppies a year. Nearly 1,000 dogs at a time are housed in a series of long buildings, cordoned off by chain link fencing. One whelping house has 4,3000 square feet filled with 400 dogs, most of them puppies, in 120 elevated cages. Fourteen employees, some part-time and family members, care for the animals. That means one person to care for around 115 puppies each day, if you only count the puppies.”
The conditions these dogs have to live in are deplorable. They are kept in small kenels, there’s overcrowding, nonexistent veterinary care, poor quality food and water and in some instances none at all. The dogs are not protected from the elements or groomed. The “breeders” inhumanely kill (often shot, left for dead in trash cans or tied to bricks and drowned) dogs that are no longer high producing.
“It’s estimated that 4 million dogs are bred in puppy mills every year.”
If these words don’t paint enough of a picture for you on what happens to these dogs maybe these photos will. They are tame compared to the horrors that go on. If you’re really interested type in “puppy mill dogs” in your google picture search and see what comes up.