Here’s a quick game for you. Take this True or False Test, then check your answers to see if you know the correct information about Puppy Mills.
T or F – In a puppy mill, the dog’s health and genetics are most important to the breeder.
T or F – A reputable breeder has never had anything go wrong with their dogs or puppies.
T or F – Teacup Puppies are just like any other puppy.
T or F – If the puppy looks healthy when you buy it, then it is not at risk for Parvo or other illnesses.
T or F – Dogs in pet stores are healthy and people should go there rather then find a reputable breeder.
T or F – There are no laws to regulate puppy mills.
T or F – Puppies in mills are regularly socialized with humans and other dogs.
T or F – Dogs in puppy mills are always purebred.
T or F – Puppies are always sold when they are older then 8 weeks.
T or F – Female dogs are breed at every opportunity.
T or F – The greatest victims in the puppy mill problem are the breeding parents.
T or F – All breeds of dogs are at risk of being bred in a puppy mill; even larger ones like Saint Bernards.
What is a Puppy Mill?
A puppy mill is very similar to a puppy factory. Dogs are breed at a rapid pace with disregard for there health or genetics. Definition: A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well being of the dogs.
How can I help fight puppy mills?
- Don’t buy puppies from pet stores – Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills. In these facilities, dogs are caged in unsanitary conditions and bred as often as possible. They give birth to puppies who may present medical problems later in life. Instead, make pet adoption your first option.
- Take the Puppy Mill Pledge – The ASPCA has a pledge to prove your promise to not buy a pet or any pet supplies from retail stores that sell puppies. Visit: http://www.nopetstorepuppies.com/take-the-pledge
- Share Your Story! – If you suspect that your dog is from a puppy mill, tell the ASPCA your story. The more we spread the word, the more we can build support to help ban puppy mills! Tell your story at: http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/puppy-mills/puppy-mills-your-stories.aspx
- Tell your friends – If someone you know is planning to buy a puppy, please direct them to the puppy information page on the ASPCA website. This page tells you where to get perfectly healthy dogs of all breeds and sizes, waiting to be adopted. http://www.nopetstorepuppies.com/map-goodstores
T or F – In a puppy mill, the dog’s health and genetics are most important to the breeder. FALSE – The owners of puppy mills are interested in making profit, meaning they don’t breed the dogs to eliminate genetic problems, but to produce the most dogs in the smallest period of time and for the smallest amount of money.
T or F – A reputable breeder has never had anything go wrong with their dogs or puppies. FALSE – All breeders, good and bad, will have different problems with the animals they are raising. It is not an exact science. How the breeder handles these problems is what sets good and bad breeders apart. For example, if a breeder finds that a dog is producing puppies with bad teeth, then he would take that dog out of the breeding program, and place it in a loving home after being spayed or neutered. Puppy mills would continue to breed this dog, without caring if it’s teeth are good or bad.
T or F – Teacup Puppies are just like any other puppy. FALSE – Teacup puppies are often runts. The term “Teacup” was created by puppy mills, and it is very deceiving. Most of the puppies advertised as “Teacups” will grow to be average in size for that breed. They do this to make sales faster and to get more money per puppy.
T or F – If the puppy looks healthy when you buy it, then it is not at risk for Parvo or other illnesses. FALSE – Because puppy mill operators fail to apply proper husbandry practices that would remove sick dogs from their breeding pools, puppies from puppy mills are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions. These can include: Epilepsy, Heart disease, Kidney disease, Musculoskeletal disorders (hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, etc.), Endocrine disorders (diabetes, hyperthyroidism), Blood disorders (anemia, Von Willebrand disease), Deafness, Eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, etc.), Respiratory disorders, Giardia, Parvovirus, Distemper, Upper respiratory infections, Kennel cough, Pneumonia, Mange, Fleas, Ticks, Intestinal parasites, Heartworm and Chronic diarrhea.
T or F – Dogs in pet stores are healthy and people should go there rather then find a reputable breeder. FALSE – Dogs in pet stores often come from mills. This means that they often have health issues due to the unsafe breeding conditions.
T or F – There are no laws to regulate puppy mills. BOTH TRUE AND FALSE – In 1966 Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act, which outlines specific minimum standards of care for dogs, cats, and some other kinds of animals bred for commercial resale. But puppy mills that sell dogs directly to the public, including through Internet sales, are not regulated by federal law. Certain large commercial breeders have to be regulated, but there are many loopholes. Many breeders that violate have small consequences, and even if their licence is suspended, they can reapply and receive new licences again and again.
T or F – Puppies in mills are regularly socialized with humans and other dogs FALSE – Puppies are often kept in small cages without getting any interaction with humans or exercise with other puppies.
T or F – Dogs in puppy mills are always purebred. FALSE – Puppy mill owners often lie about dogs lineage and genetics of their dogs because their only goal is to make money. This means you could be paying the price of a purebred dog for a mutt.
T or F – Puppies are always sold when they are older then 8 weeks. FALSE – In order to sell as many puppies as quickly as they can, many mill puppies are sold when they are six weeks, two weeks earlier then the legal age. Though this may not seem that long, these two weeks are crucial for the puppie’s’ development.
T or F – Female dogs are breed at every opportunity. TRUE – In the mills the female dogs are in stuck in an endless cycle. They get pregnant, have puppies, and then get pregnant once again with little to no break in between pregnancies. When they are no longer able to reproduce they are usually killed to make room for new mothers.
T or F – The greatest victims in the puppy mill problem are the breeding parents. TRUE – Though the lives of the puppies in the mill are terrible, they usually leave fairly quickly and have the opportunity to be adopted into a loving home. The parents never get this chance, they are stuck in small cages constantly giving birth to puppies they will never see again.
T or F – All breeds of dogs are at risk of being bred in a puppy mill; even larger ones like Saint Barnards. TRUE – Pet shops are interested in selling dogs of all breeds for peoples convenience. To meet this demand the mills produce almost ever breed. Even dogs as large as Great Danes and Saint Barnards.