The Puppy Mill Reality
The thought of obtaining a dog at a puppy mill is far from the thoughts of any dog buyer, yet a purchase from a pet store is just that. These stores, the brokers from whom they purchase and the mills that produce these animals have led to an overpopulation of unwanted animals.
When asked: why did you buy your puppy at a pet store, do you not realize that supports the puppy mill industry, many people claim they were unaware. Let us stop that comment with some vivid facts.
Editors Note: Sadly, in searching for appropriate content for this website over 500 videos were discovered on UTube concerning the operation of mills. We live in a time of electronic socialization. It is hard to believe that people are unaware.
Wisconsin Puppy Mill Rescue
Little Tag 19 - The Mariah Hope Story
National Mill Dog Rescue
There are two videos below from this very special rescue group. We here at DRBC know how they feel, we have been here too.
Please watch 'Lily's Story'
Life In A Puppy Mill
Support DRBC Mill Efforts
Did you know that Pennsylvania is the number one ranked state for puppy mills? How embarrassing and appalling. Recent legislation has begun to address this problem right here in our region. It helps, but we are still on the front lines saving these poor little ones.
You can help through the DRBC "Sponsor a Mill Dog" for a contribution of $75. We will send you a picture of the animal who received your gift, as well as his or her rescue story and current adoption status.
Your contribution can be given in your name, in memory of a loved one, or as a gift. Just let us know.
Click on the DONATE NOW icon below and select Fight Mills to help DRBC rescue these animals.
Thank you for helping us to help them.
Responsible breeders answer buyers' questions, keep puppies they cannot place, allow bitches to recover sufficiently from one breeding before doing another, and take back any puppy that does not work out. They breed dogs because they admire their breed and want to contribute to its betterment. They guarantee their pups free of genetic diseases common in their breed and replace the pup if the disease should crop up. They consider the puppies they produce to be their responsibility for the life of that puppy, so they follow-up frequently to see what's going on.
They evaluate their puppies as show and breeding quality or pet quality and sell pet puppies with a spay-neuter contract. Pet quality puppies are not deficient - they just may not meet the breed standard for size, color, coat type, bone structure, head type, etc. Many responsible breeders sell pet puppies at a lower price than show puppies.
Area kennel clubs are excellent sources of information about local breeders. Obedience training clubs in your area also offer promising leads. Veterinarians, groomers, boarding kennel operators, and pet supply outlets may also be good sources.
Using newspaper classified ads to locate a breeder is a gamble. Few responsible breeders advertise in local classified ads because they have no trouble placing their dogs, sometimes years in advance. Therefore most breeders who advertise in these sections are amateurs who know little about their breeds. If you must enter the classified sweepstakes at least learn the terminology of classified ads.
The first interview with a breeder should be done without seeing the puppies so judgement doesn't get clouded by adorable, furry bundles. Ask to see sire and dam of the litter, if possible, and assess their temperament. If either is overprotective or very fearful, head for the door.
Ask about the genetic diseases that affect the breed -- you should have a good idea of what they are from your reading. If the breed is a medium-to-large one, hip dysplasia is likely to be a problem, so don't accept excuses for failure to x-ray and certify the dog free of the condition.
Ask about the contract and the guarantee and for names of previous puppy buyers as references. Ask if dogs from this breeder are active in dog sports even if you never intend to participate. Dogs that earn obedience, tracking, hunting, herding, water, or conformation titles; work as sled dogs, therapy dogs, assistance dogs, or search and rescue dogs; or participate in sports such as agility, Frisbee, or schutzhund are definitely trainable. The more complex the sport, the more there's a need for intelligence.
Ask to see the pedigrees of sire and dam. If there are lots of champions or titled dogs in the pedigree, the puppies are most likely good physical examples of the breed. Ask for the OFA ratings on the sire and dam, not only the OFA number. Ratings can be fair, good, or excellent. Chances of good hips in the offspring are higher with parents rated good than with those rated fair, and are even better with parents rated excellent.
Expect the breeder to ask you some questions as well. After all, a responsible breeder wants to know what kind of a home and family his puppies are getting as well as the color of your money.
It's deceptively easy to say that John Jones or Mary Smith runs a puppy mill or that pet store puppies come from puppy mills, but the label is tossed about so frequently and with so little regard for accuracy that each prospective dog owner should ascertain for himself whether or not he wishes to buy a dog from John Jones, Mary Smith, a pet store, or a hobby breeder. Here are our Dog Owner's Guide definitions to help you decide:
Hobby breeder: A breed fancier who has a breed or two (or even three); follows a breeding plan to preserve and protect each breed; produces a limited number of litters each year; breeds only when a litter will enhance the breed and the breeding program; raises the puppies with plenty of environmental stimulation and human contact; has a contract that protects breeder, puppy, and buyer; raises dog in the house or runs a small, clean kennel; screens breeding stock to eliminate hereditary defects; works with a breed club or kennel club to promote and protect the breed; and cares that each and every puppy is placed in the best home possible.
Commercial breeder: One who usually has several breeds of dogs with profit as the primary motive for existence. Commercial breeders that are inspected by USDA, state agencies, or the American Kennel Club should have adequate conditions. Commercial breeders that sell directly to the public fall through the regulatory cracks unless they do business in a state that licenses commercial kennels. Dogs in these kennels may be healthy or not and their conditions may be acceptable or not. The dogs are probably not screened for genetic diseases, and the breeding stock may or may not be selected for resemblance to the breed standard or for good temperament.
Broker: One who buys puppies from commercial kennels and sells to retail outlets or other kennels. Brokers ship puppies on airlines or by truckload throughout the country. Brokers must be licensed by USDA and must abide by the shipping regulations in the Animal Welfare Act.
Buncher: One who collects dogs of unknown origin for sale to laboratories or other bunchers or brokers. Bunchers are considered lower on the evolutionary scale than puppy mill operators, for there is much suspicion that they buy stolen pets, collect pets advertised as "Free to a good home," and adopt unwanted pets from animal shelters for sale to research laboratories. USDA licenses and inspects bunchers to make sure that they abide by the AWA.
Amateur breeder: A dog owner whose pet either gets bred by accident or who breeds on purpose for a variety of reasons. This breeder may be ignorant of the breed standard, genetics, behavior, and good health practices. An amateur breeder can very easily become a hobby breeder or a commercial breeder, depending on his level of interest or need for income.
A real puppy mill: A breeder who produces puppies with no breeding program, little attention to puppy placement, and poor health and socialization practices. Conditions in puppy mills are generally substandard and may be deplorable, and puppies and adult dogs may be malnourished, sickly, and of poor temperament.
Prospective buyers should keep these definitions in mind when seeking a puppy to add to their lives. The picture shown to the left was not taken at a puppy mill. Have no illusions.