Puppy Mills

Puppies for sale in pet shops and in front of grocery stores, in newspaper ads or on the internet are most likely from puppy mills or "backyard breeders" wanting to make a few dollars at your and the animal's expense.

What is a puppy mill?

A puppy mill is a substandard breeding facility for dogs.  These dogs are kept in the same small wire cage their entire lives, and many never touch foot on grass or solid ground.
A female is bred on her first heat cycle and bred constantly after until she can no longer reproduce, at which point she is killed by being shot, drowned, hit in the head with a heavy object, or starved to death.
These facilities rarely have heat or air conditioning so dogs freeze to death in the winter or die of heat stroke in the summer.  Puppies can literally cook to death on the hot wire cage floor.
Frequently, cages are stacked so the puppies and dogs below are urinated and defecated on by the dogs above. That is, if the cage floor has not yet solidified with waste from years of not being cleaned.Puppies are taken from their mothers at too young an age only to be crammed into a semi and shipped to pet stores across the country. Though pet stores typically cannot sell puppies until they are 8 weeks old, this does not mean they are this old when their long journey on the road begins.

What is a responsible breeder?

These mills are damaging the image of good traditional dog breeders where dogs are well cared for, healthy, properly socialized, and raised in the home as the family pets they are meant to be.

To find a responsible breeder, be sure to visit the home from which your puppy is coming from. If a breeder offers to ship the puppy to you, likely it is a puppy mill. If the breeder is not critiquing YOU, walk away. Likely, this breeder is only in it for the money and you may end up with a very sick puppy.

Responsible breeders ask potential buyers to sign a contract, agreeing that they must bring the dog back at any time they find they can no longer keep it.

Once you visit the home your puppy is coming from, be sure to ask to see the parents and litter mates of the puppy. Look at their living situation and their sociability. Take a good look around the property and listen carefully. Sometimes hundreds of dogs are tucked away in a barn, hidden from potential buyers.

A great way to ensure you are buying from a responsible breeder is to get your vet to refer you to a breeder they are familiar with. Responsible breeders also have no problem sharing with you the contact information of people who have purchased from them in the past. Be sure to contact others to find out their experience with the breeder and their puppy.

If I want a purebred dog, why would I consider a shelter?

Did you know that over 25% of the dogs brought into shelters are purebred? Be sure to check out your local shelter. You may be surprised at the gems you find! Petfinder is also a great resource to search by breed, age, location and more.

Did you know that for every human born there are 45 dogs and cats born? Or that only 1 out of 10 puppies born get a home? Only 1 out of 8 kittens born get a home? Did you also know that 800 dogs and cats are put to sleep every HOUR?

By adopting from a rescue or shelter, you truly are saving a life.

Don't forget to check out petfinder.com to find the exact breed you are looking for!

But if I buy that doggy in the window, aren’t I rescuing him? As tempting as it is to buy that cute puppy in the window, knowing his past has probably been one of pure misery, you are not doing a good deed by purchasing him. Even your one purchase is supporting the puppy mill industry by creating demand.

When you buy a puppy (or anything else) from a pet store that sells puppies, you will only be consigning its parents--and future generations--to more misery, abuse, and despair in the puppy mills. (Remember: Pet store puppy buyers are the sole reason puppy mills exist.)

Purchasing that one puppy may also end up being the most expensive purchase you'll make. Many puppies purchased from pet stores become sick shortly after being taken home. It is then that the many, many ailments this puppy is suffering from such a hard beginning become clear.

Right in your own back yard…

Many people in Ohio do not realize that we are one of the top ranking states in the number of puppy mills. Until we can educate the public about the reality of where dogs in pet stores, on the internet, and in newspaper ads come from, the problem will continue.

Puppies for sale in pet shops and in front of grocery stores, in newspaper ads or on the internet are most likely from puppy mills or "backyard breeders" wanting to make a few dollars at your and the animal's expense.

What can I do to help?

The most important thing you can do to help stop puppy mills is to never purchase a puppy from a pet store or irresponsible breeder.
Join us on our protests. The more people that join us the more our voice will be heard.
Volunteer! By joining our family of volunteers, you will be making a huge difference to so many lives. Click here for more information.
Send a donation. Unfortunately, producing educational pieces, advertising, and rescuing puppy mill puppies is not cheap. Your donation is greatly appreciated.
Contact your State Representative and Senator and ask them to support legislation enforcing stricter rules pertaining to the treatment of these dogs. Tell them how important this is for the current and future well being of thousands and thousands of dogs and puppies.
If you have information involving a possible crime involving puppy mills or have insider knowledge of a puppy mill, please click here for more information: HSUS Launches First National ‘Puppy Mill’ Tip Line or call 1-877-MILL-TIP.

What about the law?

Unfortunately, laws in Ohio are very loose when it comes to the humane treatment of animals. You can help by contacting your State Representative and Senator and asking them help in our fight against puppy mills.

No photos are to be downloaded, copied or used for any purpose without
written permission from Marilyn's Voice.