Beware of Puppy Mills: Responsible Pet Ownership Begins with Adoption

Beware of Puppy Mills: Responsible Pet Ownership Begins with Adoption

As a responsible pet owner, the first choice you should make is to ensure you acquire your new puppy responsibly. Puppy mills are exactly what they sound like — large, for-profit facilities designed to produce as many puppies as possible. Puppy mills produce with a focus on profits, without much regard for the quality of life of their puppies and breeding dogs and view the wellbeing and health of these animals through a lens of profitability.

Some puppy mill dogs spend their entire lives inside cages, which are cleaned infrequently. As a result, they live their entire lives inside a facility, never getting to run in the grass or feel the bond of human affection. They receive minimal veterinary care, and the breeding animals are made to reproduce without regard to how repeated and frequent births will affect their health.

How Can Puppy Mills Still Be in Business?

The separation between these facilities and future dog owners keeps puppy mills in business. The puppies are typically sold online and in classified ads but puppy mills also act as mass-breeding centers, providing a steady supply of puppies to pet stores. As a result, many caring dog-owners never actually see the conditions in which their family’s new furry friend originated.

According to this The New York Times article, California, Maryland, and about 250 cities across the United States have banned the sale of puppies and kittens sourced from puppy mills and kitten factories. Since this article was published, additional municipalities have put through similar bans and New York State currently has a bill “In Committee” which would make it the 3rd state to prohibit such sales in pet stores. In spite of these curtailment laws and federal attempts to limit animal cruelty through the revision of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, there’s still an estimated 10,000 active puppy mills in the United States.

Puppy Mill “Take Homes”

Puppy mill puppies deserve to be rescued and given good homes, but purchasing dogs from these facilities generates profits, which perpetuates the animal abuse. Each year, puppy mills sell about 2 million puppies, when between 6 and 8 million pets enter animal shelters and about 1.5 million are euthanized.

Where to Get Your Next Puppy

Stop and think about where that “puppy in the window” came from before visiting that pet store.

Adopting from a local animal shelter will save a pet’s life and take a burden off the community. You can also turn to breed-specific rescue groups. Purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder is another option. It is best to visit the breeder to make sure the breeder has a humane facility and prioritizes the health and wellbeing of their dogs. A good breeder will let you see where the dogs are housed and meet your puppy’s parents. They won’t separate puppies from their mothers earlier than six weeks of age, and they’ll give you their veterinarian as a reference.

For more information about responsible pet ownership and adoption, we welcome you to contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital