The Horror of Puppy Mills
Let me tell you what happens in a puppy mill. Most of the dogs are pure breeds. My group rescues toy and small dogs. A Pekingese or Havanese or Bichon Frise puppy can bring over a thousand dollars. Tea Cup Poodles have been sold for much more. For this reason, the puppy mills are only interested in producing as many puppies as frequently and cheaply as possible. To them a puppy is a commodity, much like selling a chair or lawnmower. I apologize if any ads on my page lead to animals produced by puppy mills, I have requested that two be removed.
Puppy Mills have to be one of the most vile, cruel and evil businesses on the planet when it comes to dogs. When I volunteered to become a rescue foster mom for a group that rescues small dogs, I had no idea what I was getting into, but I'm glad I'm doing it.
Most puppies that are purchased at pet stores come from puppy mills. They count on the cuteness of the tiny creatures to get people to buy them on impulse. A pet should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision, ever.
The conditions are deplorable. Often, crates filled with females and pups are stacked three or four high. These are open wire cages, so the urine in feces drop from the top cages to the lower ones. Being ‘top dog' in a puppy mill can be a matter of life or death. The puppies will pile up on top of each other because the wire cages hurt their feet. This causes much suffering and even death as the bottom puppies are cut or suffocated. The puppsies nurse from their mother, who is often not given the best food and water may be haphazardly dispensed. In such cramped and uncomforatble cages, a water dish is probable lapped dry immediately or knocked over and remains empty until the next day.
The cages are kept in unheated barns, no heat or air conditioning. The dogs swelter in the heat and literally freeze in winter. One of the women who works with my rescue group made arrangements to purchase (and rescue) a littler of puppies. She was told there were eight puppies, but when she got there the breeder offered only one. When she asked where the other seven were the man shrugged and said, "Oh, they all froze last night." It didn't seem to phase him in the slightest, other than he lost money.
You may wonder where the ASPCA or Humane Society is in all of this. They do what they can, but they are under funded and short on staff. Many of us have seen "Animal Cops" on TV, and they do an amazing job, but they can't be everywhere and puppy mills are often run in secrecy, so unless someone reports them there is no way for the rescue agencies to know about them. Also, puppy mills are sometimes run by religious communities that are not followed by law enforcement. These communities do not use electricity or other forms of energy and this is why there is no heat or cooling in the breeding barns.
A female dog is bred to death, literally. They are forced to crank out litter after litter until they are too worn out or sick, and then are dumped or worse. This also affects the puppies as in such conditions they are not able to develop the normal social skills taught by their mother or siblings. In such dire living conditions there is no place or time for such important stages of puppy-hood. When we get pups from a mill they are not used to humans, or have experienced them in a harmful negative way and are frigtened. We must gently teach them that people wre good (well most of them) and they can trust us to care for them and not hurt them.
When we first rescue a puppy (or we try to keep two for their companionshihp for each other and comfort) we simple sit and read near them and let them 'explore' us. Gradually, we starte to talk to them in soothing tones. We make no sudden movements or getstures. Consider how big we are compared to a wee frightened pup. Many mill puppies have never been outside their crate, so grass, snow, breezes, birds, insects and all things nature are foreign to them and may frighten them. We must acclimate them to the world before they can successfully be adopted by a family.
Please, if you are considering adopting a dog, be very sure you get your puppy from a legitimate breeder that focus on one breed of dog and are more concerned about keeping that particular breed strong and healthy and available for future generations, not to make money. You can also often find the breed you are interested in through a rescue group. Never, ever purchase a puppy from a store, chances are the pup will not be in the greatest of shape, have genetic defects and will bring you only heartbreak after a few years, when these problems begin to reveal themselves.
Also, you will be contributing to the continuation of a brutal business that causes great suffering.