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WHAT ARE PUPPY MILLS?

Puppy Mills are large commercial dog breeding businesses where PROFIT is the main motive. Dogs are often kept in small cages and bred to produce puppies for sale. In the worst of these operations cages are stacked on top of each other with the waste falling through to the animals below. Food and water may not be reliably provided and veterinary care may be minimal or non existent. Some other operations go to great lengths to provide cleaner conditions, regular veterinary care and even the opportunity for the dogs to run about outside and visit with people. Even though these sorts of places give a better impression, they are still puppy mills producing dogs for profit, with little regard for the quality of dog or for the long term welfare of the puppies produced. Puppy mill puppies can be sold at Pet Stores, or over the internet, or even through "puppy brokers".

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-breeds/considerations-before-buying-puppy-10013/

Puppy brokers are in business to buy puppies "in bulk" and sell them for profit. They may buy and sell entire litters. No reputable breeder would find homes for their puppies this way. Puppy brokers can buy puppies from puppy mills or even import whole litters from overseas, with the ultimate goal of making a lot of money marking up the price of the puppies in the transaction. Sometime puppy brokers can be very deceptive about the dogs they sell, claiming they are from "champion bloodlines." Be very suspicious if you cannot meet the puppy's mother and always ask for references. For more information on Puppy Brokers go here:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Puppy-Broker:-A-Puppy-Mill-Reseller&id=327789



WHAT PROBLEMS DO PUPPY MILL PUPPIES COME WITH?


Meanwhile, the well meaning buyer takes home a puppy that is likely to have a myriad of problems. First off, the puppy has had a very rough start in life, a mother who was not well cared for, living in a dirty cage at the puppy mill, shipped for hundreds or thousands of miles to a pet store. Deprived of the normal vaccines and routine worming treatment that a reputable breeder would provide, weak and stressed from his journey and poor nutrition, this puppy is very likely to come down with an illness, most often having a number of genetic health problems that could have been prevented through responsible breeding - Leaving the well meaning buyer with large vet bills from the start.


To add to all this, the puppies usually do not come from quality breeding stock. Puppy Mills are all about making a profit, so they start with the cheapest dogs they can find, don't bother with the important health checks that should be done such as x-rays for hip dysplasia, and other genetic problems that could be prevented through these health checks. The puppies may be registered as a certain breed, but that may mean little since registration in itself does not indicate quality breeding stock. Fake registrations are also somewhat common.


WHAT ARE BACK YARD BREEDERS (BYB) ?



“BYB’s” are a little harder to define than Puppy Mills because there is more of a range of types of BYB’s. BYB's are often people who think they should breed their dog because it is a good/nice dog, or who want their dog to have one litter before they spay/neuter him/her, or who want their kids to see "the miracle of life"...etc... Basically they are ordinary people who just might or might not be aware that what they are doing is bad, and is creating such a big problem. Intentions aside, they are still adding to the problems of too many, poorly bred dogs, flooding shelters. These people could be your neighbor down the street who decides his labrador retriever is a wonderful dog and decides to have a litter or two of puppies. This person may or may not be thinking this will bring in a bit of income. Perhaps the puppies are being given away for free to a good home, or the family is only charging a little bit to cover their own costs. However what is lacking here are the health checks to make sure the sire and dam don’t pass on hereditary diseases. Also, these sorts of folks don’t usually have the broad experience with the breed to truly evaluate if their dog is indeed an excellent example of the breed, or if their particular dog actually has physical or temperamental faults that will, in the long run prove detrimental to the breed. Many breeds have suffered great declines in health and temperament due to this sort of careless breeding practice. Examples include the great increase in hip displaysia, now found in most medium and large breeds, and increases in temperament problems found in many breeds such as german shepherds, cocker spaniels, English Springer spaniels and so forth. So, getting a puppy from this sort of BYB may still leave you with health and temperament problems later on. "Because we all know at least one BYB" http://www.nopuppymillscanada.ca/byb.htm


Then again, there are some that are simply a scaled down version of a Puppy Mill and who's primary motivation is pure profit and dogs are kept in small, sometimes filthy cages, bred repeatedly with the puppies sold to whomever will pay, and some will even say things like "home delivered"- clearly not wanting to show their breeding facilities. These puppies are often advertised and sold over the internet, and payment made via pay-pal. Both puppy mills and Back Yard Breeders sometimes create "designer breeds" such as Cockapoos, Puggles, or Labradoodles...etc to attract buyers. Another trick used to tempt buyers are to create “mini” breeds or “teacup” varieties. Sometimes the way this is accomplished is to introduce a dwarf breed into the line, such as crossing a dachshund with a Terrier to produce a “mini-terrier.” Buyers can be duped into thinking they are getting something special or rare.
 

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HOW DO PUPPY MILLS AND BYB’S CREATE MASSIVE ANIMAL SUFFERING?



Not only do the breeding stock of Puppy Mills and some BYB’s suffer from terrible living conditions, and sad lives, but their puppies are at risk too. These are the puppies and dogs that eventually fill up animal shelters, millions of them sentenced to death, for want of a home. HSUS Pet Overpopulation Estimates : The Humane Society of the United States , Reverend Beet's Rants: Companion Animal Overpopulation Statistics , How Many Dogs and Cats Are There In The World? - Petcaptain.com

How does this happen?
A reputable breeder carefully screens potential homes for all the puppies to make sure the family is ready and able to take good care of the puppy for a lifetime. The new owners usually must sign a contract stating that in the unexpected event they cannot take care of the dog, it will be returned to the breeder, where a new home can be found. Even the best screened homes don’t always work out. Perhaps someone in the house discovers they are allergic, or the family encounters financial difficulties and must move to an apartment that does not allow dogs. These things happen, but puppies from good breeders have a sort of “life insurance policy” in the form of this contract that will send them back to the breeder, rather than to the shelter, possibly to be euthanized.



Puppies from Puppy Mills and BYB’s have no such “life insurance policy.” In the United States and other countries across the globe there are millions of companion animals are brought into shelters each year, and more than half of them are destroyed because there are not enough homes for adoption. ASPCA | Pet Statistics

Sometimes dogs and puppies are not even “lucky” enough to be given a humane ending, and are instead cast out to fend for themselves, adding to the millions of homeless dogs starving and diseased on the streets. Dogs Trust - SHOCKING STRAY DOG FIGURES FORCE LEGISLATION RETHINK


WHAT IF YOUR PUPPY CAME FROM A PUPPY MILL OR BYB?

Now after reading all this you might realize that your puppy may have come from a Puppy Mill (perhaps through a pet store) or a BYB. You may feel bad that you did not know about this whole problem before, and that by purchasing this puppy, you played a small part in keeping this system going. What are you to do? Clearly you cannot give your puppy back or abandon him! He needs you, and he is no less deserving of a good home than a puppy from a reputable breeder. Next time you will know better and will find a dog from a shelter or a reputable breeder!


WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP PUPPY MILLS AND BACK YARD BREEDERS?!

What you CAN do is to help us to spread the word about the animal suffering that results from the continued existence of Puppy Mills and Back Yard Breeders! It really is a very solvable problem! If every dog lover was as informed as you now are, then no one would buy puppies from these places, and they would all be out of business tomorrow! So please, help out by teaching others what you now know!

Spread the word by facebook, twitter, and with your friends. You could also organize protests against pet shops that sell puppies. There are many instances where community action has forced pet shops to stop selling puppies. You can support legislation designed to eliminate puppy mills. Write to your congress critters about your concerns. Remember…

"Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead



Other refrences:

No Puppy Mills Canada
ASPCA | Puppy Mills
PetShopPuppies.org
Puppymills - Information about puppy mills and how to shut them down.
Puppymills - information on puppymills and what you can do to stop them.

NCPPSP - The Shelter Statistics Survey

ASPCA | Puppy Scams & Cons



Pet store protest to stop puppy mills - San Diego Animal Advocacy | Examiner.com

Wisconsin Citizens Against Puppy Mills | Facebook

How to Organize a Puppy Mill Pet Store Protest | eHow.com

Pet Love Beverly Center - Pet shop moving out after puppy mill protests - Los Angeles Times
 
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