What’s a Puppy Mill? For PG 4/5 Puppy mills are mass breeding operations producing purebred puppies in large numbers and selling and shipping them to pet stores and brokers across the country. Sometimes these puppies are sold directly to the public through internet and newspapers ads and sales at the mill itself. The conditions these puppies and breeding dogs face in mills across the country are deplorable. Overcrowding, tiny cages, inadequate food, water and medical care and little human contact are common. Female dogs are bred until their bodies are worn out at which time they’re usually killed. Puppy mill dogs spend their lives in cramped cages getting little or no exercise and socialization. The puppies they produce are taken from them at 5-8 weeks old, packed in boxes and shipped to pet stores nationwide. Puppy mill businesses have little regard for the physical and emotional health and wellbeing animals. As such, puppy mill puppies often come with baggage. Many need immediate medical care, have socialization problems, emotional scars or harbor genetic diseases as a result of inbreeding or over breeding their stock. When they become too expensive or too much of a burden, they are abandoned, killed or end up in shelters. Many organizations take a strong stance against puppy mills, but the fact remains that these operations are, in many cases, legal businesses. In every state, breeding kennels can house dozens or even hundreds of dogs in these conditions as long as they provide the basic food, water and shelter. As such, it falls to consumers like us to end the “demand” for what puppy mills “supply.” Simply put, in order to put puppy mills out of business we must stop buying their products. That means choosing to adopt from local shelters or rescue groups or carefully screening a purebred purchase from a breeder. Millions of great dogs and puppies of all shapes, sizes and breeds, including many purebred dogs, are waiting for loving homes in shelters and foster homes across the country. The Truth About Pet Overpopulation Each day 10,000 humans and 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the U.S. For every animal born in the U.S. to have home, every single human would have to own 6 dogs and 9 cats. A family of four—2 adults and 2 children—would have to own 24 dogs and 36 cats. 1 In six years one unsprayed female dog and her offspring can reproduce 67,000 puppies.2 U.S. taxpayers spend an estimated $2 billion each year to round up, house, kill and dispose of homeless animals.3 One unspayed cat and her mate producing two litters per year with a survival rate of 2.8 kittens per litter will result in 66,088 kittens in 6 years. 1 The Ryan Newman Foundation Spay USA 3 USA Today 2 Spay and Neuter Spaying and neutering is the key to managing the pet population. It helps to reduce the number of unwanted animals born and prevents unnecessary suffering. There are other benefits too. Altered animals have less of a desire to roam, a decreased risk of diseases like certain cancers, reduced behavioral issues such as aggressiveness, spraying and marking and, on average, live longer lives than unaltered animals. Community issues like tax spending, threatened wildlife and public nuisance concerns are also reduced. Thanks to a rising number of low-cost spay/neuter initiatives it’s now easier to spay and neuter your own pets and even strays in your neighborhood.