September 18th was Puppy Mill Awareness Day. This yearly event aims to educate the general public about the problems associated with puppy mills, as well as the actions that can be taken to address these issues.
A puppy mill or a puppy farm is a facility that breeds puppies in large quantities. Some of the most common problems that can be found in puppy mills include overbreeding, inbreeding, overcrowding, unclean facilities, and lack of human interaction. And because the puppies are not fed well and do not always receive proper veterinary care, diseases are also prevalent, and many unwanted animals are killed.
Puppy mills are illegal but have been around for decades. People are strongly discouraged from buying dogs from such places as the animals suffer from horrible living conditions.
Aside from the mill itself, puppy farm dogs are sold through other avenues such as flea markets, newspaper ads, or online. Sometimes, they are sold to agents and pet shops. So how do you avoid puppy mills? Here are some tips to make sure that your next pet does not come from one:
1. Do not purchase from flea markets, pet shops, or online.
2. Look at how the pups are being kept. Do they live in small cages? Can they move around? Are their surroundings clean?
3. Observe the dogs’ attitude when they meet strangers. Are they happy to interact with people or are they hesitant?
4. See if you can meet the parents of your potential pet to find out if the dog breeder takes proper care of his animals. Check if they are healthy and friendly.
5. Different breeds of dogs have different needs. If a breeder offers various breeds, ask questions to see how much he knows about them.
6. Ask for client references. A reputable breeder should have no problem providing these.
7. Ask for the puppy’s vaccination and health history.
8. Most dog breeders provide after sales support. A responsible breeder will be available to answer any questions you might have after you’ve taken your puppy home.
9. Be wary of pushy dog breeders. Professional breeders give their clients time to think things over before making a decision.
10. Trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling about a certain breeder, you’re most likely right.
11. Another option is to adopt from shelters or rescue groups. Since these organizations are non-profit, you can rest assured that their top priority is the dog’s well-being.
Always keep in mind that puppy mill breeders are only interested in earning money and do not care about the welfare of the animals. Help put an end to this cruel trade by not buying from puppy mills and telling other people about it.