Puppy Mills and Dog Auctions: The Hidden Truth
How much for that puppy in the window? Pet stores and internet websites in the business of selling puppies are notorious for purchasing their puppies through brokers who purchase their puppies directly through Puppy Mills.
What Is a Puppy Mill?
A Puppy Mill is a commercial dog breeding facility. Sadly, these breeding facilities only care about one thing, their financial profit. They care little for the dogs that comprise their "stock."
The dogs are exposed to very little, if any, medical care, shelter, food, and water. Worse, they spend their entire life in extremely small crates or kennels fastened on top of one another until they are no longer needed or can produce a litter of puppies. They do not get to learn what it is to be held gently by a human or know what love is. They don't get to experience the soft touch of grass on their paws, instead they are forced to stand on wire crates that cut into their pads.
The horrific conditions and forced breeding (which occurs every time the female goes into heat) inflicted on them is part of the breeding facility's way to save and make money. These dogs have no value to them except a profit margin, which is all that Puppy Mills are concerned with at the end of the day.
What happens when a dog is no longer wanted at the puppy mill facility?
Sadly, many are disposed of in a cruel and detestable way. Others are sent to an auction so the puppy mill can make their final dollar on these stocks.
In a large barn, off of a well-traveled interstate, the auctions are held. Stacked in rows upon rows, crates are piled on each other showcasing dogs wearing a chain around their neck, only identified by a number I.D. Welcome to the world of dog auctions.
These auctions are where puppy mill owners take some of their breeding stock, and new puppies, to auction them off to other sellers and buyers. Many of these dogs auctioned off are in poor health, deaf, blind, have open sores, may be missing a limb, and other horrendous issues. But, as long as they have the capability to breed, they are bought and bred over and over again.
What is being done to stop Puppy Mills and Dog Auctions?
Coalitions and legislation's are constantly at work trying to ban or inflict tougher laws on these breeding facilities and auctions. It is an ongoing battle that must not stop until there is no need for Puppy Mills or Dog Auctions.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is tasked with overseeing and enforcing regulations in regards to these Puppy Mills and Dog Auctions. However, short staffed and lacking proper training, many USDA inspectors do not have the capability, or time, to help combat these unscrupulous dealers.
I feel bad for the puppy in the pet store. Am I helping by purchasing this puppy?
Using your wallet at the pet store to fight this battle against Puppy Mills is only putting your money back into the pockets of these Puppy Mills. Although we may feel we are rescuing that adorable puppy behind the plexi-glass, we are only forcing that puppy's parents to endure the continued torture of producing litter after litter until they no longer can.
In other words, they will replace the puppy that is bought with another puppy from the Puppy Mill.
How do I know if a website, that will ship my puppy to me or meet me at a local parking lot, is a reputable breeder?
First, reputable breeders don't hide behind a website! Meaning, they want to get to know the person purchasing their puppy. They want you to come visit their home so you can see where their puppies are being raised. They love and care for their dogs and want the best for them and their puppies. They interview and scrutinize the family that wants to purchase their puppy. They will not, under any circumstances, meet you in a parking lot somewhere to sell you a puppy.
Websites on the internet can easily hide and disguise the truth about the puppies they are selling. Without physically visiting the location where the puppy is being bred, it is easy to convince ourselves that the people selling these puppies on a website are reputable.
Simply put, they are not. Puppies that are being sold on the internet comprise a million dollar business, annually. All these puppies are from Puppy Mills.
To disguise a motive and hide behind a computer is very easy. These breeding facilities will put on the bells and whistles to make it look like their puppies are coming from a home full of love and care. When instead, they are being pulled from their mother at the young age of 5-6 weeks old, bathed, administered their first set of vaccinations (a majority of the time by the owner of the facility who will falsify the documents), stuff the puppy in a crate, and fly it to your home.
These websites are adorned with adorable photos of puppies, children holding puppies, the whelping area (typically shown in a home that is clean), and a loving family showcasing that they are reputable breeders. This is all fake and a way to cash in on individuals that are being taken advantage of.
What can I do instead?
It is best to walk away, and look for a reputable breeder to work with. Read my blog on “Tips for Selecting a Good Dog Breeder,for more information. Or, better yet, consider adopting. Check with rescue organizations first. Every year, there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store or from an internet website selling puppies. And on a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!