The highest concentration of puppy mills is in the Midwest, with Missouri being the leading puppy mill state. There are also high concentrations of puppy mills in Pennsylvania, Ohio and upstate New York, and parts of Wisconsin. "Commercial dog breeding is very prevalent among Amish and Mennonite farmers."
What Is a Puppy Mill
Some puppy mill puppies are sold to pet shops and their lineage records are often falsified. Others are sold directly to the public "over the Internet (many puppies sold online come from puppy mills), through newspaper ads, and at swap meets and flea markets." Because breeding at puppy mills is done with no consideration of genetic quality, generations of dogs are born with hereditary defects which the unsuspecting public "inherits" when they purchase a new puppy through those means mentioned above. A responsible breeders, on the other hand, "places the utmost importance on producing the healthiest puppies possible."
When a pet store owner tells you they get their puppies from "licensed USDA breeders" or "local breeders," it means they get their puppies from puppy mills. A breeder must be licensed by the USDA in order to sell puppies to pet stores, and pet stores often use this licensing to provide a false sense of security to their customers. Responsible breeders want to screen potential buyers to ensure that their puppies will go to good homes, so they would never sell a puppy through a pet store.
Conditions Are Deplorable in Puppy Mills
Having Papers Means Nothing!
What You Can Do?
Better yet, adopt a puppy mill survivor. "Puppy mill survivors often need patient, loving adopters who can help them learn to trust people."
Above all, refuse to shop at any store that sells puppies, even if you are only buying food or toys. This is the best way to put puppy mills out of business.
Posted by Dawn Kairns, author of MAGGIE the Dog Who Changed My Life