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The ugly truth about puppy mills

Updated on November 2, 2016

So what is a puppy mill anyway?

Lets first explain the basics of what exactly a puppy mill is. A puppy mill is a facility where puppies are mass-produced,with the intent to sell. They are usually sold to pet shops. It is estimated that nearly 99% of the puppies in a pet shop have come from puppy mills. There are around 15,000 puppy mills in The United States alone. It is likely that the actual number is much higher, as this is only an estimate. Many times,the animals living in these facilities are treated poorly,and sometimes it is downright gruesome. The breeders are focused on one thing only,and that is money. The more dogs they have,the more dogs they can breed. The more dogs they breed,the more puppies they will have to sell to the pet stores. To them,this means pay day. For the puppies,this means trouble.

The doggie in the window has a story to tell

When you are walking past a pet store, you probably don't think of where the puppy came from. The puppy looks happy, sitting there wagging his tail,and sporting a little puppy smile on his furry face. But sadly, his life in the pet store is probably the only bit of happiness he has known in his short life.

He was born into this world as an innocent victim to animal cruelty. He was given only the very basics of needs. Before he came to be at this pet store, he is given food once in the morning, and again in the evening. He spends his time in a cramped cage, with a wire floor. The floor hurts his paws, and he just can't seem to get comfortable. Yet as uncomfortable as he is, he sleeps. He sleeps because this is all that he can do. His cage is his prison, keeping him locked away from the rest of the world. He can see it, and smell it, but cannot touch it. He aches to get out and do puppy things, such as running, and playing. Chasing his tail, and barking at squirrels. He has no contact with humans, other than the food and water being shoved in his cage each day. Time is money, and there are others that need fed. He has never felt a human touch, or the love of a little child's hug.

In the many cages surrounding him, there are other puppies living in the same sort of prison. They long to become acquainted with one another, but are not given the freedom to do so. The stench coming up from underneath the cages would be enough to make a human gag, but he is not given the option to get away from it. Flies bite at his ears as he tries to rest, but it is a never ending battle. One that this little puppy can't win.

His mother was taken away when he was barely weaned, so that she could be bred once again. There is no rest for the weary, and his mother will be put through this until she is either too old to breed, or too sick and weak to continue. At this point she will probably be inhumanely euthanized, or just left to die on her own. And the cycle will repeat itself over and over, with hundreds of other dogs.

So what can I do?

There are a few different things that you can do to help. If you, or somebody you know, are thinking about buying a new puppy, consider buying from a reputable breeder. Do some research online about breeders in your area. You want to make sure that they are in the business because they love whatever type of dog they breed, not for selfish reasons. They should be able to give you a detailed explanation of the specific dog you are interested in, including any possible behavior or health issues associated with such a breed. Ask the breeder for references, and ask to see the dog at their home to make sure that the dogs are living in good conditions.

Another great option (and one that I highly recommend), would be to go to your local animal shelter. These dogs are really in need of a loving home,and you just might be saving its life. Most animal shelters have only so much space available to house the animals that they take in,and many of them will be humanely euthanized if they aren't adopted soon enough. Animal shelter dogs really make wonderful pets, and usually mixed breeds have less health issues as compared to purebred dogs.

You can also contact your state and federal representatives. Let them know how deeply you are saddened by the abuse these poor animals go through each day. If enough people show concern over this, maybe they will crack down on these irresponsible breeders. Do your part to help put an end to the puppy mill industry.


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    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the eye opener. I hope it helps their plight some. I get my dogs from the animal shelter. You are right. They make great pets, and they do have less health issues. I have had one pure bred in my life time, and he was the dumbest dog I've ever had.

    • profile image

      Lisa Thomas 3 years ago

      You really need to get your facts straight. Most puppies are left on the mother for very long periods, usually to 8-9 weeks. The moms and pups are not on wire they are in whelping boxes and when the mothers are taken away from the pups the moms are not bred again till they come in heat again usually 6-8 months after they give birth. Dogs usually do not come in heat twice a year it is more like once a year and they cannot be bred unless they are in heat.

    • Laurie Pallante profile image

      Laurie 3 years ago from NJ

      Thank you, so much for all of this information, we must stop this craziness. I bought a sick puppy from a bad breeder who gets dogs from puppy mills...she was actually convicted of animal cruelty for selling my dog and other with contagious/infectious diseases..they were so sick, but, all doing well now. The problem is she only got a fine and is still selling puppies, I won't stop until she is stopped, it's ridiculous, we need laws changed.

    • magnoliazz profile image

      magnoliazz 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Being an animal lover, this hub brought me to tears. I think these puppy mill owners should spend time in at least 20 years.

      If I find out about a puppy mill in my area, I do everything I can to get it shut down. I also visit local pet shops and ask a lot of questions about where they get their animals. If they start to get nervous about these questions, you are probably talking to someone who gets their puppies from a puppy mill.

      These people are heartless, all they care about is the money, and in the mean time, these innocent puppies suffer. Animal lovers have to take a stand and do all they can to get these mills shut down for good.

      if you do get a puppy from a mill, you will know it, because you will end up at the vet all the time due to your puppies bad health. Always ask before you buy what kind of policy the pet shop has regarding excessive vet bills in the first and second year of the puppies life.

      We can get rid of puppy mills by standing up and doing the right thing.

      Thansk for another great hub! Voting you up!

    • profile image

      rachel 7 years ago

      but wouldnt u want to got to pet stores to adopt these puppies that have been stuck in a cage for all of their lives so you could put them in a loving home and take care of them n give them the perfect home like all dogs are meant to have. because more than likely if you dont adopt them from the pet store n nobody adopts them they will probably be eauthanized in the end. but i can see where you wouldnt adopt them cause the less people adopt them the less need for puppy mills but i just cant help thinking about how sad their lives must be...

    • profile image

      buckjoseph 7 years ago

      Great job! I wrote an article on the same thing, except for it deals with any pet in-general. Although I must say, I couldn't have said it better myself; you really wrote so passionately, and your article sheds a new light on animal cruelty.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • dashingclaire profile image

      dashingclaire 7 years ago from United States

      Nice job! I got my dog from the ASPCA. She was from a mixed breed litter the owners didn't want. She is just the sweetest thing.

    • profile image

      Loggersite 8 years ago

      puppy mills are becoming all too frequent these days. I have seen many new articles about them and they are in the news much more often that they used to be.

    • nick071438 profile image

      nick071438 8 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      lisaluv9784- you've brought to the fore one of the thorniest path dogs are raised. Thanks for sharing.

    • kinghostile profile image

      Rodney Ray 8 years ago from Deepest Darkest, Georgia

      We recently had a place like that stopped here in my hometown. These people should be punished far more than they are.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I had no idea about these puppy mills. Our beautiful Sassie was bought from a pet store and I'm horrified! Next time I buy a pet I will go to our local shelter. Thanks for sharing and congrats on hubnugget nomination.

    • Katelyn Weel profile image

      Katelyn Weel 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Very nice hub, it is important that people realize where those cute puppies are coming from, and I think we also need to point out that buying the puppies from the store to "rescue" them won't help a bit, it just encourages the industry to continue!

    • lisaluv9784 profile image

      Lisa 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Wordscribe - That's wonderful hearing that you saved a dog from a puppy mill. I'm sure your dog is very grateful,and certainly much better off. It's nice to know that your dog will go on to live a happy life because of your kindness :) Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      wordscribe41 8 years ago

      Fabulous hub... One that's very near and dear to my heart. I have a dog I rescued from a puppy mill now. This is a very important topic, thanks for writing about it. Congrats on the HubNugget nomination!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      it is indeed an ugly truth, puppy mills, Maita

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 8 years ago from Texas

      Oooh, it amazes me how some people can mistreat other living things. Congratulations on being selected a HubNugget Wannabe!

    • lisaluv9784 profile image

      Lisa 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you both so much :) And ripplemaker,I couldn't believe I was nominated! It was a very pleasant surprise,that's for sure. Thanks to all who have read and enjoyed my hub.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      OOohhh so sad...I hope your hub will touch the hearts of many people so we can all do something wherever we happen to live.

      On a happier note, your hub got nominated for this weeks HUBNUGGETS! Yaaay! Congratulations!

      Be sure to vote and promote okay?

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      A great hub. The pictures of the puppies broke my heart. You gave some great advice in a well written manner.

    • lisaluv9784 profile image

      Lisa 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Sage,thank you very much. It is difficult to read through. These puppies deserve so much better than that,and I hope people will open up their eyes to the problems that puppy mills cause.

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 8 years ago

      Ohhh Lisaluv, You've pulled at my heart strings with this one. A very well written and informative hub. A difficult read for anyone who loves animals as much as I do.

      Thanks so much for educating people on the ugly truth about puppy mills. Your title is perfect. Mostly, thank you for speaking out on behalf of all the puppies that are born into this world in a puppy mill. It is so cruel and needs to be stopped.

      Congratulations on you HubNugget nomination!

      Good Luck!


    • lisaluv9784 profile image

      Lisa 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you,im glad you liked it! I love animals,and can't stand the thought of puppies being brought into the world in such a way.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Wow. What a wonderful hub detailing the atrocities associated with puppy mills and puppy stores. You did a great job empathizing with them. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.