There are thousands of puppy mills operating in the US, which include both licensed and unlicensed facilities. When looking for a new puppy, we must be aware of the unlicensed ones and have an ocular inspection on the well-being of the pups.
Did you know that over 2 million puppies are bred in puppy mills each year? That is a lot to consider and a few puppy mills also engage in puppy scams and target prospective puppy buyers.
Here are some of the most shocking facts about puppy mills (as of January 2021):
- There are approximately 10,000 puppy mills scattered around the U.S. (both licensed and unlicensed)
- An estimated 213,978 dogs are kept solely for breeding purposes in USDA licensed facilities.
- Female dogs are kept for breeding an estimated number of 9 puppies
- Approximately 1,307,407 puppies are produced by puppy mills each year
- Over 2.6 million estimated puppies are sold annually originated from puppy mills – USDA licensed and non-USDA licensed.
- Only 25% estimated percentage of dogs in animal shelters are purebred
- Around 1.5 million dogs are euthanized or killed by shelters every year in the U.S.
- The estimated cost of a puppy mill bust was $500,000 involving 250 animals!
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What makes puppy mills dangerous?
Apparently, puppies in puppy mills go through extreme conditions where they lack veterinary attention and socialization. With millions of puppies produced by the high number of breeding parents being stacked in cages, it is inevitable to not get chronic illnesses. So the more aware people are of where puppies in pet stores actually come from, the better.
Here are 8 reasons why,
1. Puppies develop serious health or behavioral issues
Since they are usually taken early from their mothers, they develop serious conditions before they are bred and shipped. This leads to expensive veterinary bills, heartbreak, and stress for their owners.
2. Dogs living in puppy mills receive little to no veterinary care
Puppy mill owners often provide veterinary care without anesthesia or veterinary training. Some breeders don’t even require the puppies to get the necessary vaccinations.
3. Dogs in puppy mills live in unsanitary conditions
One of the most troubling conditions seen at puppy mills is overcrowding. Dogs live in stacked cages, which can lead to sanitation problems, stress, and disease. Puppy mills commonly use stacked cages to house more animals than a given space should reasonably hold.
4. Puppy mills can house hundreds or thousands of dogs
Smaller does not necessarily mean better. The conditions in small facilities can be just as cruel as larger ones. Breeding parents spend their lives in 24-hour confinement in cages. It is common to see wire cages stacked on top of each other. They generally do not have protection from heat, cold, or inclement weather.
5. Puppy mills breed all types of dogs
From Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, and English Bulldogs to teacup Yorkies – you can find nearly every breed. The bad thing here is they get mixed up and cross-breeding may happen which can affect the puppy’s health.
6. Mothers are usually killed when they can no longer produce
Mothers are made profitable when they breed during their heat cycle. Unfortunately, many puppy mill operators see the animals as nothing more than products. So after they have stopped producing, breeders have no reason to keep them.
7. Many puppy mills do not practice humane euthanasia
Dogs are killed in cruel ways, including shooting or drowning. There are also no accurate puppy mill death statistics as they are not required to report them.
8. Puppy mills profit over the health and well-being of the dogs
The sad truth is by buying a new puppy from a pet store, people contribute to this abusive system and the overall tally of innocent animals dying in shelters.
Where are puppy mill puppies sold?
The two primary sales outlets for puppies bred in puppy mills are pet stores and the Internet.
Nearly all puppies sold at pet stores come from puppy mills.
That is why when people are looking to buy a puppy online, scammers tend to give fake medical information to what they are selling. However, puppy scams have been on the rise as well and scammers take advantage of the internet and publish promotions or advertisements of what people are looking for which seems too good to be true!