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Join The Fight To Stop Puppy Mills.

Jul 14, 2008
When you buy your puppy in a pet store, probably most of you don't question where the cute little fluffball came from. You might assume that the pet store buys from breeders or maybe a local family had a surprise litter.

To be honest, most of those puppies and kittens you see don't come from reputable breeders, they are bred in puppy or kitty mills. You are probably wondering what a puppy mill is. Well, here is the shocking truth.

Imagine a compound of small cages where dogs are bred intensively; that is a Puppy Mill. Hundreds of thousands of puppies are farmed in this way across North America to satisfy a demand in pet stores. A Puppy Mill dog has a wretched and hopeless start in life.

A Puppy Mill puppy is likely to suffer from ill health, behavioral problems and diseases due to unselective breeding. Add to that a lack of socializing skills, which stems from early separation from the mother, rather like dysfunctional children.

Add to this negative early start poor feeding and possibly inadequate water, coupled with miserable living conditions with no room to move and little contact with humans, before being taken often incredibly long distances to the pet store, during which many die.

Responsible breeders will be aware of any hereditary factors which affect a particular breed, and will screen and selectively breed their dogs, always putting the welfare of their animals, be that breeding stock or pups, first. They will ensure puppies receive the correct medical attention and shots before selling them to a properly screened home.

You can check when buying a pedigree puppy if they come from a respectable breeder, by first visiting the premises, but also they should give you a certificate of bloodline. You should also get a guarantee, check with the breeder about the fine details; but you should not ever have to "exchange" the puppy.

The situation is very different at a puppy mill, where the main aim is profit rather than animal welfare. Their goal is to produce as many puppies as possible to turn over the greatest margin. This means often poor breeding, where animal unscreened for hereditary diseases are used, or possibly even interbreeding which can lead to no end of health and temperament issues.

The mothers may have the worst of it, as they must carry puppies every time they are on heat, and there is no escape from the poor nutrition, lack of medical care, housing or breeding cycles. When the females are no longer useful, death or abandonment generally awaits them.

Although there are laws Puppy mills still flourish. The only way to stop them is to remove the demand by refusing to buy a puppy unless you know its origins, or if it is from an animal shelter.

Don't buy a puppy mill puppy just to save him. You will just create the market for more puppies to be produced. The best thing to do if you see puppies being bred or kept in inappropriate conditions is to inform the appropriate animal protection authorities who will be able to take action.

Puppy mills, tragic and inhumane as they are, are a problem caused by the consumer, so use your spending power wisely and put an end to these hellish establishments.
About the Author
Author Rebecca Foxton can help you give your pet brilliant health with Fortiflora. For an excellent source of health tips for people with dogs and cats, read her dog supplements articles on Dog Buffs.
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