Why avoid puppy mills?

Every third Saturday in September is Puppy Mill Awareness Day. Now, if you’ve followed our blog for any time, you’ve likely figured out that are big proponent of adopting dogs (and cats!) from shelters, adoption agencies, foster programs, or other similar organizations instead of buying from “puppy mills” or from pet stores that get their animals from such. But why is it such a big deal where you get your new pet from so long as they find a loving home?

The sad fact is, puppy mills are called that because they focus on churning out dogs for sale merely to get as much profit as they can. Many such mills don’t care much, if at all, for the conditions the animals live in before they’re sold. In fact, some cut as many corners as possible to decrease overhead and increase profits.

Female dogs are often kept on a constant breeding cycle with almost no recovery time, which can deplete their health entirely in a few years. Sanitation is often a serious issue at these mills, with kennels filthy with waste matter, contaminated food and water, and plenty of insects. Dogs are usually kept in tiny cages and given minimal personal attention, and may not ever be let outside. There’s also rarely veterinary care or climate control, exposing the dogs to the heat and cold.

On the other hand, adoption agencies and shelters do their best to care for their animals, even when they’re often overworked, under-funded, and tend to have too few volunteers. They want the dogs to find a good home and aren’t in it for personal profit. Many foster programs are made up entirely of volunteers who do what they do out of love for their dogs, never seeing a penny in return for all they give.

You can help by spreading the word about the truth of puppy mills and encouraging your friends and family to adopt if they’re considering getting a pet. And if your family is thinking of a new puppy, steer clear of the profiteers and get connected with your local shelter to find out about adoption options!

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