Beware of Puppy Mills!
Puppy Mills have received a great deal of press in recent years, and some of that press may have misled the public. In the media, the worst of all possible situations in puppy mills has been shown. The filth, stacked cages of dogs and puppies, the mass production of sick and dying puppies, and the rural settings (far from the eyes of the governmental agencies) are surely a part of what makes up a puppy mill. But to look only to the extreme, can lead one to mistakenly buy a puppy from one of these suppliers of dogs. Not every puppy mill is as horrible as some that have been seen in recent media. Some are lesser versions of the disgusting conditions noted above, but none-the-less, are puppy mills all the same.
A puppy mill can take many forms. Basically, a puppy mill can be found anywhere … city or rural area. Generally, they are less than clean, have many different breeds of dogs, have many litters at one time, often with several litters in a pen together. The adult animals are less than social or “out of control”. You are not permitted to view the general living conditions of the dogs, they do not encourage the spay or neuter of your pet, and in fact may encourage you to go into business for yourself…. and they’ll supply the mate. They are the worst form of breeder with only one thing in mind… how much cash is in your pocket. They are good salesmen, and talk a good story. Some may even claim to have Hip and/or eye clearances preformed on Sire and Dam, only to make excuses about not being able to produce the actual documents when questioned.
In reality, they may have lied about who the sire of your puppy is, or they may actually not know who he is, as they allow “free breeding” to insure the most litters they can have. Females are bred from their first season on, and you can expect that a five year old bitch has had anywhere from five to ten litters.
Buying from a pet store does not permit the buyer to view the living conditions in which the puppy was raised. It prevents the buyer from seeing related dogs, to determine the temperament. It puts your puppy at much higher risk for illness, as puppies from different litters (and breeds) are shipped together, and any virus one may have, is now spread to the rest. Pet stores only get their puppies from two sources, a puppy mill or from a back yard breeder. NO reputable breeder sells any puppy to or through a pet store. In fact, many breed clubs have by-laws that provide for the expulsion of anyone who knowingly sells puppies to a pet store. There are many reasons not to buy from a pet store. These are just a few reasons.
There are Several ‘puppy mills’ in Southern California. You should be extremely cautious of any breeder who boasts a large number of litters each year, has several different types of dogs, gives any number of EXCUSES or rationale for not doing genetic clearances (to include articles or books that back up their theories), boasts that they do their OWN Veterinary work (practicing medicine without a license), encourages you or insists that you breed your dog, or is reluctant to allow you to view the living conditions of their dogs – inside and outside.
There is NO excuse for filth.
You should never feel that you are being pushed into buying a puppy. Rather, you should get the feeling that you’re being interviewed by the breeder to determine your readiness for a puppy from their kennel. If you buy out of feeling sorry for a puppy, your purchase has just guaranteed that another litter will be bred by that person.
What is the difference between a puppy mill and a responsible breeder?
Puppy mills exist for only one purpose – to make money. In a puppy mill, there may be as many as 30 different breeds and up to 800 or more breeding dogs. Every female is pregnant with every heat, including their first heat at 6 – 10 months old when they themselves are still a puppy. The puppies receive little to no medical attention, are not socialized with people, are almost always taken from their mothers too young, and often start their lives out in the world sick and scared. There is absolutely no regard to the health and well-being of the breeding dogs and when they can no longer produce puppies, the majority of them are killed.
Most often, a reputable breeder has great interest in one or perhaps two breeds. The purpose of their breeding program is to continually strive to bring their bloodlines closest to the breed standard. A reputable breeder spends a great deal of time, effort and money showing their dogs, socializing their dogs, having their breeding dogs tested for genetic defects, and being very careful to place their puppies in permanent, loving homes. A reputable breeder will at any time for any reason, take any of the puppies they’ve bred back into their care for the lifetime of the dog, taking full responsibility for the dogs that they have produced.
A reputable breeder wants to know about you and develop a relationship with you. They enjoy updates and photographs of their puppies as they grow and are always available to help with any questions or concerns about their puppies. One of the most important things to know is that a reputable breeder has nothing to hide. They want you to meet the parents of the puppies and see the environment the puppies are raised in. Visit the breeder, meet the parents of the puppies, inspect the environment the puppies were raised in, ask lots of questions and if it feels like they’re hiding something, they probably are and you’d be best served to move on.
Info Sources: www.hdlrc.com/?page_id=102