Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Puppy Mill Awareness

The following article is from

Puppy mills are nothing new. These mass dog-breeding operations have been around for decades. They continue to thrive because they prey on unwitting consumers who are smitten by too-cute-for-words puppies in pet store windows and on fancy websites.

But behind the friendly facade of the local pet shop, the pastoral scenes on a "breeder's" website, or the neighborhood newspaper ad, there often lies a puppy mill. These canine breeding facilities house dogs in shockingly poor conditions.

Life is particularly bad for "breeding stock," dogs who live their entire lives in cages and are continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a family. These dogs receive little or no veterinary care and never see a bed, a treat or a toy. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems.

Several hundred thousand puppies are shipped cross-country to be sold in pet shops, but many are sold via newspaper classifieds or Internet sites and are often accompanied by false claims such as, "We'd never sell puppies from a puppy mill" or promises that the puppies are "home raised," farm raised," or "raised with kids/grandkids." The ploys of the puppy mill are designed to dupe a well-intentioned family into buying a puppy and keeping the engine of cruelty working overtime. Learn how to avoid buying a puppy mill puppy at the Puppy Buying Tips page »

Laws and Order

Because a puppy mill is a business, the facility is designed purely for profit, not for the well-being of dogs. Laws are on the books to provide minimum-care standards for puppy-mill animals, but enforcement has historically been spotty at best. The U.S. Department of Agriculture licenses and inspects "commercial breeding facilities for violations of the Animal Welfare Act; likewise, a handful of states have laws that provide oversight of some breeding operations as well. But puppy mills can successfully navigate around these laws, either by selling directly to consumers (thereby avoiding USDA licensing requirements) or by simply avoiding the reach of law enforcement (with so few USDA inspectors and minor fines, it's easy to stay in business). Read more about the cruelty documented at puppy mills at the USDA Hall of Shame page »

Read more about the laws regulating puppy mills at the Frequently Asked Questions page »

We Need Your Help
The Humane Society of the United States has been investigating puppy mills for decades, exposing the cruel realities of the commercial dog-breeding industry. We've lobbied for the current laws as well as for additional money to enforce those laws. We've also educated millions of consumers on the many reasons they should avoid puppy-mill puppies.

But our work is far from over. There are still thousands of puppy mills that need to be shut down for good. We need your help to do exactly that: Stop puppy mills. Help The HSUS stop puppy mills by spreading the word about puppy mills, making a donation to our Puppy Mill Education Fund or telling a friend about the Stop Puppy Mills website.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. - Mahatma Gandhi


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