Puppy Mill Dogs
Puppy mills are places where purebred or "designer" dogs are bred solely for the money they can bring in, with no regard for the dogs' welfare. The puppies are housed in overcrowded, unsanitary cages. Puppies are taken away from their mothers too early and are not socialized with either dogs or humans. They receive minimal, if any, veterinary care, and inbreeding is common. Disease, genetic disorders, and heartworm are the norm. The breeding females produce one litter after another in cramped cages with no concern for their health.
Puppy mill dogs are sold to pet stores and advertised on the internet and in newspapers. If you are told that a breeding facility is "USDA-licensed" or "USDA-inspected", that only means that minimal standards of food, water, and shelter have been met. It says nothing about meeting the needs or securing the welfare of the breeder's dogs. AKC registration papers also tell you nothing about the condition of the dog or how it was raised.
Reputable breeders want you to visit their facility. They ask a lot of questions in order to assess whether or not you will be a suitable and responsible parent for their puppies. Responsible breeders also don't churn out puppies as if from a factory. They generally have a waiting list because they have a limited number of litters born each year.
Those of you who have rescued puppy mill dogs know the difficulties these dogs can face. In addition to health issues, most have never been housetrained; have never walked on a solid surface or with a leash; have never lived in a home with vacuum cleaners, blenders and other appliances; have never climbed stairs; have never interacted normally with other dogs or people.
If you decide to adopt a puppy mill dog, the DVD, “Adopting a Puppy Mill Dog (everything you need to succeed)” can be ordered from www.missiondog.com. In this DVD, two certified dog trainers guide new adopters through the essential steps that will help transition your puppy mill dog or puppy to life in a home. You should also read “Rehabilitating Your Puppy Mill Dog”, an excellent article that walks you through the issues you are likely to face.
There is a local meet-up group for puppy mill dog adopters in the Washington, DC area. To join, go to http://www.meetup.com/Puppymill-rescue-dogs. Two national Yahoo groups also offer advice and support: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/PMRehabilitation/?yguid=3733202 and http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Puppymillrescue/?yguid=3733202
Let's try to give our pets a better start in life! !Please use the ASPCA and HSUS links below to learn more about how we can shut down puppy mills: