Puppy mills are large commercial breeding facilities that treat the animals poorly. Think of it like a factory for animals: dogs are a product made for profit. They are kept in small cages their entire lives in unsanitary conditions without attention, let alone love, and are bred as often as possible. Not surprisingly, this can lead to tons of health problems.
Don’t buy from a pet store! Most pet stores get their animals from mills, not local breeders. If you’re unsure, ask the shop owners and find out their source. Ask for written proof.
Make adoption your first option. Check your local shelters for a potential pet. There are many dogs waiting in shelters for good homes – and 25% of them are purebred! Or, look for a dog with a breed rescue group. Scan the internet for breed-specific rescue organizations.
Know how to recognize a responsible breeder. If you are choosing to buy from a breeder, make sure you are buying from one who cares about his or her dogs.
See where your puppy was bred and born. Ask the breeder to look at the home where the puppy was born and ask to meet the parents (or at least the mother). Also, ask for an adoption contract that explains the breeder’s responsibilities, health guarantees, and return policy.
Internet buyers beware! If you buy a puppy based on a picture and a phone call, you have no way to see the puppy’s home or meet her parents. Also, those who sell animals on the internet are not held to the Animal Welfare Act regulations – and are not inspected by the USDA.
Share your puppy mill story with the us! If you have – or think you have – purchased a puppy-mill puppy, share your story. Every bit of evidence can help to get laws passed banning puppy mills.
Speak out. Write to your local and state legislators. Encourage him or her to support laws that protect animals.
Tell your friends. If your friend is planning to buy a puppy mill puppy, spread the word and inform them of the cruelty of these facilities. Tell them about the wonderful dogs in animal shelters.
Think globally. Use the internet (Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc.) to speak out about puppy mills!
Act locally. When people are looking to buy or adopt a pet, they will often ask the advice of their veterinarian, groomer or pet supply store. Ask the owners if you can leave flyers with them.