It is well known that puppy farms - or puppy mills as they are also called - are only interested in profit. They are not interested in animal welfare, as this would cut in to their profits.
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The majority of pet shops that sell puppies are supplied by puppy mills, as these unethical pet shops are also motivated solely by profit and are fully aware of how puppy mills operate.
Below: Dogs that have suffered and died in filth at puppy
farms due to receiving no veterinary intervention. The other dogs
continue to be kept around this disease and death.
Puppy mills hold breeder dogs captive in filthy conditions and abuse
them all their lives. They destroy their health by making them breed
continuously from the moment they are physically able.
They receive no treatment from a vet and are often starving and ill, suffering terribly. The breeding dogs die painful, prolonged deaths from infection and illness because of this abuse and neglect.
Treatment from a qualified vet is considered too expensive and the dog not worth it. This is because the dog, which is simply considered a commodity like any other, can easily be replaced.
Below: The typical condition of female puppy-farm dogs used for constant breeding. The dog on the right is almost unrecognisable as a Yorkshire Terrier and neither dogs have received any veterinary treatment or grooming that they are obviously in need of. (Credit: dcr.net)
No health checks are done to see if they are suitable to be breeding
dogs, so terrible conditions are constantly passed down to their
When the dog can no longer make money by being bred because of physical problems due to being bred too often and neglect, it is usually killed inhumanely.
People who buy from anywhere supplied by puppy farms inadvertently fund all this suffering.
Below: The condition dogs were found in at puppy farms. The
coat of the dog on the left is matted with mud and faeces. The dog on
the right has a chain around it's neck which has embedded itself so
deeply in to it's neck, it has begun to decapitate the dog.
Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne adopted a puppy farm breeder dog which was rescued by Many Tears Animal Rescue and shown on the TV programme 'The Dog Whisperer' with Cesar Milan.
When she was rescued, she was a mess. At the puppy mill, she had been forced to have 6 litters in around two years. As a result, she had to undergo extensive surgery after being rescued, before being nursed back to health.
Below: Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne adopted Pomeranian 'Little Bit' after she had been rescued from a puppy mill where she had sadly been a breeding dog. Sadly, many other dogs are still suffering what she did in her former life
Veterinary treatment is also withheld from the puppies at puppy mills
because of it cutting in to profits. This means that many of the puppies
also die painful, prolonged deaths.
A lot of inbreeding goes on in puppy farms as the breeding dogs are not health tested. As a result, the puppies are often riddled with painful physical and behavioural problems throughout life.
These problems are very distressing, painful and expensive to correct, if they can be corrected at all. Sadly, Sometimes the only humane option for owners is to put the dog to sleep.
The puppy farms and the sellers they supply know about all these problems, but do not care. When each dog is taken in to the care of a US rescue from a puppy mill, it often needs between $700 and $1000 worth of veterinary treatment.
The puppies are taken too young from their mothers, leaving them weak and vulnerable to illness. They then have to be transported from the puppy farms many miles to the destinations of the retailers. Many die on the journey and further puppies die in the back of pet stores and with other sellers.
Many puppies at puppy mills are born deformed. These are usually killed inhumanely and callously when they are babies, because they are seen as nothing more than defective goods.
Below: A Basset Hound and two of her dead puppies.
The number of deformed puppies being born is particularly high in Japan, although it is a regular occurrence everywhere due to irresponsible breeding.
Breeding needs to be done very carefully. Unfortunately, puppy
farms and back yard breeders breed carelessly and a lot of inbreeding
The main victims are the badly bred dogs who are born deformed and then killed or left to suffer to death, dogs who suffer physical and behavioural problems their whole lives, and of course the abandoned shelter dogs that are put to death because people fund the cruel puppy farm and back yard breeder industries instead of adopting dogs.
Pet shops that sell puppies don't want the public to know they are unethical, so will rarely admit that their puppies are from puppy mills.
The act of selling puppies from cruel puppy mills - especially while
millions of innocent shelter dogs are being put to death every year due
to there not being enough homes - shows how unethical these pet shops
People who purchase these puppies may think they are 'saving' them, but they are actually funding this cruel industry, encouraging it and enabling it to continue.
Around four million puppy mill puppies are bought each year, encouraging this cruel industry to breed more. If four million dogs had been adopted INSTEAD of bought from pet shops, the puppy mill industry would see there was no demand for them and cease to exist.
There would also be a whole lot fewer innocent, re-homable dogs being put through the terror of being put to death due to there not being enough homes.
Below: Conditions on puppy farms. On the right is evident neglect with a dog's claws extremely over-grown
Puppy mills do not just supply pet shops. Other unethical sellers can
buy the puppies cheaply from puppy mills and sell them for a huge profit
to customers. They are sold online, advertised in newspapers,
magazines, pet shops, shop windows and notice boards, etc.
These sellers may claim to be private breeders, because nobody wants to admit to selling puppies that come from puppy farms. This is because they know puppy farms are cruel, that the practice is unethical, and they know they are ripping people off.
They also know they are saddling owners with a dog that is likely to have a lot of expensive and heart breaking medical problems.
Below: 87 puppies were found by the RSPCA, stuffed in to plastic buckets at a puppy farm run from a Manchester home in the UK. A man banned from keeping animals was arrested along with a woman. Two puppies were found dead and about to be disposed of, and four more were very ill. The puppies were taken off their mothers very early, kept in buckets, then sold online to strangers for big profits. RSPCA Chief Inspector Ian Briggs said: 'There are thousands of dogs in [UK] rescue centres desperately looking for new homes, but many people continue to fuel the trade in puppies by buying from sellers who simply see the animals as money makers.'
Back yard breeders are irresponsible people who mistakenly think
breeding dogs is a way to make money. They are unscrupulous people who
do not do vital thorough health checks on the breeding parent dogs, or
look in to their family history health.
This results in defective genes being passed down and the puppies suffering a variety of painful and debilitating conditions throughout their lives. Apart from being distressing and very often painful for the dogs, these conditions are very expensive for owners to treat.
These breeders will advertise their puppies on pet shop noticeboards, in newspapers, on the web and other places. They need to do this because they are disreputable and irresponsible and did not make sure they had homes secured for the puppies before they were conceived.
Many even breed the types of dogs that animal shelters are already overflowing with - the breeds that are put to death in their millions every year, simply due to lack of homes. Sadly, many of these newly bred puppies later end up in shelters and meet the same fate.
Below: The squalid conditions in which dog breeder Melanie
King, 56 years old, kept dogs and puppies at Whents Farm, Lower Road in
Teynham, whilst withholding necessary veterinary treatment and nutrition
from them. Ms King had received advice and warnings from the RSPCA but
The suffering she caused included a dog being effectively blinded due to neglect and sadly having to be put to sleep after being rescued, and another who had been suffering from a painful abscess and had to have numerous teeth removed.
Ms King, now of Station Road, Appledore, near Ashford, Kent, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering but was only given a suspended sentence, community service and a £250 fine.
It is not only puppy mills that put puppies to death if a condition,
such as deformity or deafness, is detectable before they are sold.
Breeders will often put the puppies to death if they are 'sub-standard'.
This is despite it not being the fault of the puppy, but of the irresponsible breeder for not doing the vital health checks on the breeding parents.
The health checks would have revealed whether the
parent dogs were suitable to breed from and check whether they would
pass on defective genes and conditions.
Irresponsible breeders main concern is making money. They do not want to cut in to their profits by doing health checks, etc. They could not care less about passing down defective genes.
They do not care about the
painful conditions their actions cause dogs to suffer throughout their
lives, or about the heartbreak and expense the dogs' suffering causes
the owners they sell to (see Bad Breeders).
They certainly do not care about increasing the number of innocent, healthy, abandoned pets that are put to death, because of them adding to the already huge dog overpopulation.
When the puppies from irresponsibly bred litters are bred from again, (by other irresponsible people attempting to make money), the defective genes are again passed on and the cycle continues.
Please do not fund this selfish greed and cruelty. Always adopt, never buy.
Below: Puppy Farms puppies and back yard breeders' animals ending up in landfill. (Credit: dcr.net)
It is common for unscrupulous breeders to provide false 'official
papers' with puppies that they claim are kennel club registered pedigree
dogs, so they can justify charging the money they do.
There are plenty of instances where the puppies have grown up in to cross breed dogs bearing no resemblance to the breed that the pedigree papers claimed they were!
To learn the dangers of falling victim to a bad breeder, and to find out what you should expect from a good breeder, open up this page: Bad Breeders
Of course, with millions of loving, re-homable dogs being put to death
every year due to the lack of people adopting them, it is unthinkable to
encourage dog breeding by buying a puppy instead of saving the life of
one of those innocent dogs.
Did You Know? The healthiest dog to get is a crossbreed - the more of a mixture, the better! These dogs have the least health problems in life as they are least in-bred.
Below: Abandoned pets put to death and stuffed in to bins.
If you are interested in helping one of the millions of abandoned dogs
by adopting, fostering or sponsoring one, please have a look at the Adopting Rescue Pets page.
If you would like to adopt a pet, or foster or sponsor an animal, this site gives you access to animals available at animal shelters and rescues all over the U.K. and US. Just see our Find A Pet page.
If you would like to see how you can help to stop the cruelty of puppy farms, or help stop animal cruelty in general, please see the Help Stop Animal Cruelty section of the site.