The sad truth is that we live in a world where numerous facilities exist that directly or indirectly contribute to perpetuating animal abuse. Puppy mills are a perfect example. It is here that dogs are literally mass produced so that the breeders can rake in as much profit from the offspring as possible. Right now there are anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 USDA-licensed breeders operating in the United States. Some of these operations can be so large that they contain 1,000 breeding dogs at the same time. What’s not included in that figure is the number of unlicensed puppy mills that exist; the ones the USDA has not approved and does not know about.
Conditions in Puppy Mills
- Puppy mills may contain between 50 to over 1,000 dogs.
- Dogs live in wire cages stacked on top of each other. Urine and feces fall through the cage floors onto animals below.
- Puppies and breeding dogs in mills are given little water and food and no veterinary care.
- Puppy mills do not have adequate temperature controls.
- Only two or three people care for 500 or more dogs.
- Inbreeding abounds and causes congenital and hereditary conditions.
- “USDA-inspected” breeders may still be puppy mills. The USDA enforces the only federal animal welfare law pertaining to dog breeding, The Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Care standards mandated by AWA are weak and seldom enforced.
- Puppy Mill Puppies
- Puppy mills may produce purebreds or “designer breeds” such as puggles and maltipoos.
- Puppies and breeder dogs are raised in the absence of enrichment with no human interaction.
- Many puppies are fed kibble laced with antibiotics to keep bacterial infection at bay. Meanwhile, they are not vaccinated against diseases like parvo virus or distemper.
- Breeder dogs are forced to produce litter after litter until they die; they do not leave the puppy mill. Puppies may become breeders or are sold wholesale to pet stores.
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