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Animal Rights: Puppy Mills

Updated on July 10, 2015

Puppy Mills

Since Puppy Mills are more interested in turning a profit than the actual health and well-being of the dogs, most of the dogs bred suffer from major health problems. There is no consideration for the many possible hereditary defects that could happen as a result of poor genetic mixing. The dogs who manage to survive birth and make it to about eight weeks of age are either sold to pet shops or directly to the public through multiple outlets including the internet and flea markets.


Possible health problems of Puppy Mill Dogs

Puppy Mills usually don't provide the basic care needed to the puppies. Not even a check-up at the Vet. The owners of these mills provide minimal food and water to them, just enough to keep them alive. Most of these puppies will be prone to and acquire congenital and/or hereditary conditions. These horrible defects and diseases can include:

- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Deafness
- Epilepsy
- Eye Problems
- Blood Disorders
- Respiratory Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders


Possible sicknesses they bring home

These diseases, sicknesses, and defects are not the only things the puppies would be prone to. As a result of the minimal care and lack of proper vaccinations and treatments the puppies are likely to bring the following into their new homes:

- Distemper
- Mange
- Ticks
- Kennel cough
- Fleas
- Heart worm
- Chronic diarrhea
- Pneumonia
- Intestinal parasites

While some of these may seem like "every day" pet problems (i.e. fleas and ticks) and can be treated with some over the counter or "OTC" medications, others (i.e. heart worm) are very expensive to treat and have little to no guarantee of a cure. In the case if Heart worms; if caught early enough and with a strong immune system the puppy would have a greater chance. However, puppy mill dogs usually have a weakened immune system and would therefore have a harder time winning the heart worm battle.

Stop to take the poll!

What would you do to join the fight against Puppy Mill Operations?

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Most Common States with Puppy Mills

It is hard to determine how many Puppy Mills are operating in the United States because many are not licensed or registered. 2,000 to 3,000 Puppy Mills or USDA-licensed breeders are operating in the U.S. However, many more are operating illegally. There could be as many as 10,000 Puppy Mills in the U.S.

While Missouri is leading the pack, these operations are also most common in the Midwest; Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Upstate New York. Many are found in Amish communities throughout the country (i.e. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin)

Cold, Cruel...Reality. Help those in need, don't ignore their cries.

Current Laws to protect our furry friends

Animal Welfare Act (AWA):
- Passed in 1966
- Regulates the care of certain animals including cat and dog breeding
- Internet Puppy Mills are subject to inspections as of November 18, 2013
- As of August 15, 2014 there are new regulations for imported puppies into the U.S. This is to make sure that the puppies coming into the states to be sold are certified in good health (i.e. Vet visits and vaccinations) and are at least six months of age.

State Laws:

Each state has the power to enforce higher standards for Puppy Mills. About 21 states have already decided to do so. Leading the pack is Pennsylvania. Their standards include:
- Requiring them to provide twice the USDA regulated cage space
- constant access to outdoor socialization
- Vet exams annually
- *No use of wire flooring
- *No stacking of cages on top of one another
*Both of which are Federally acceptable*

The Point...

I am quite sure that most (if not all of you) who have taken the time to read this article are disgusted by the reality. I know I am. I can only hope that the information I have provided here will inspire someone, even one person, to fight against animal cruelty of any kind. These animals are put through horrendous living situations and often times have trust issues. Anyone who has ever had a pet knows just how loyal and loving they can be and for those unconditional qualities to be lost due to abuse is unjust. The federal and state laws that were created to protect animals are still not as strong and effective as they should be. It's still far too difficult to "crack down" on illegal operations and/or animal abuse of any kind. With enough support, our furry friends can live healthy, happy lives as intended by Mother Nature.

References and How you can make a difference

Please take the pledge at agreeing that you won't "shop" for your puppy at a pet store or over the internet. Visiting the home of the breeder is the best way to know the true conditions the puppies were bred in.

Please join the Advocacy Brigade (also at and agree to receive alerts that make it easy to fight for better animal rights laws.

Adopt a "Mill Survivor" dog and show them patience, love, and teach them to trust again.

More information on Puppy Mills:

© 2015 Bailey DeWitt


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