You may find yourself heading towards a pet store and excitedly checking out the cute puppies. But are you aware that these animals come from puppy mills? For those familiar with the term, you may already know that it is often associated as a form of animal abuse. In reality, the conditions that these dogs live in are far worse.
Puppy mills are known to contribute to pet overpopulation, and may force several dogs into living in uncomfortable wire cages. Animal rights groups such as PETA, North Shore Animal League of America, and Helping Animals have sought out different ways to expose the horrifying truth behind puppy mills. But sadly, even their joint efforts have failed to stop the many puppy mills operating around the country.
Scroll down for videos
Animals that are born in puppy mills are prone to health problems due to the poor conditions they are living in. They are not given proper veterinarian care in the first place, and are later transported to pet stores where they are once again confined in tight spaces waiting to be either purchased or put to sleep. Puppies that are raised in a cramped environment have poor socialization skills, and need a lot of coaxing before they can adjust to humans. All these factors can contribute to high level of animal stress, and many tragic cases have lead to death.
Surviving dogs are not known to be healthy as well. Dogs raised in puppy mills are prone to developing respiratory ailments, heartworms, mange, and hereditary defects since they are regularly exposed to dirt and disease-causing bacteria. Additionally, not all these dogs from puppy mills are actually pure breeds. But they are still sold in prices that are set to compete with authentic breeders.
Sadly, it is the female dogs that suffer the most. A puppy mill starts with hundreds of female dogs that serve their lives in the establishment. They are used over and over again until they are unable to reproduce. When this eventually happens, the female dogs are euthanized as they are no longer needed.
Puppy mills began after World War 2, where puppies were sought after by farmers and most households. It eventually developed to commercial puppy businesses. There are an estimated 10,000 licensed and unlicensed puppy mills currently operating around the country. Together, they produce more than 2 million puppies each year.
This alarming statistics result to many dogs ending up homeless. Approximately 2 million dogs are killed because there are no more families that adopt them. What makes things even worse is that puppy mill breeders care less about the actual welfare of these families, and focus more on breeding for profit.
The highest concentration of puppy mills in the United States are in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Pennsylvania. Missouri has even gone on to be labeled as the “Puppy Mill Capital of the U.S.”, and have been the focus of many animal welfare groups.
In reality, these businesses can go on as many states have no legislative acts against these inhumane practices. Many individuals are now considering these dogs as nothing but livestock, bred and raised without the compassion or respect they truly deserve.
What you can do to stop puppy mills
- Adopt, don’t shop. As long as there is a demand in pet shops, the puppy mill industry will always go on. There are so many options for you when it comes to getting a pet. Visit your local shelter and you’ll come across rescued pure breeds and dogs that come in all sizes, you are bound to find the perfect dog for you.
- Do not buy pets online. Pets sold online are just as worse as those sold in pet shops. They practically come from the same industry that are funding puppy mills.
- Speak out in your community. While fueling a good cause starts with yourself, it is also important to get the word out to others. Research on anti-puppy mill groups in your area or start your own. Remember, it does matter if you start small, as long as you are shedding light towards a serious issue then you are already taking a step towards the right direction.
- Do your homework. There are many legit sources online that help you determine if your dog is from an authentic breeder or a puppy mill. Reach out to animal forums and online networks to help catch illegal puppy breeders.
Tracking System Opinion
Puppy mill raids have been happening around the United States in an attempt to address this form of animal abuse. Perpetrators are commonly charged with multiple acts of animal cruelty. One example is the case of Beatriz Perez and Alexei Fernandez, who were arrested in a raid back in 2015. Authorities found that a total of 116 dogs were living in untidy pens with limited access to food and water.
To better track down these puppy mill breeders, police can always turn to GPS tracking devices. Attaching a tracking device like Trackimo to your own pets can narrow down the location of these puppy mills in order to totally shut down these operations for good.