What does the RSPCA say?
Hundreds of thousands of dogs are euthanased, dumped or surrendered every single year, because they are unwanted.
Puppy mills or puppy farms or factories are intensive dog breeding facilities that operate under conditions that fail to meet the dogs needs in so many ways for socialising, exercising and general well being. They are often, but not always large-scale operations. They exist in every country in the developed world.
Do not support puppy mills!
So what does this mean for you?
Every time you buy a puppy from a pet shop you are not ‘rescuing‘ the poor puppy, you are encouraging the pet store to buy more puppies from a puppy mill, and encouraging the puppy mill to breed another litter!
Pet shops rely on cute puppies in small cages with adorable eyes and sad expressions to trigger impulse buying from the unsuspecting but well meaning person.
Some dog facts
Female dogs come in to season roughly every 6 months. Some breeds of dogs have their first season before the end of their first year of life. Dog registration bodies have limitations for registered breeders in many countries, such as:
- the mother must be a certain age (eg 2 years)
- they cannot produce litters from consecutive seasons (so you must rest your dog between her litters).
In other words, your female dog is not simply a breeding machine expected to sit in a cage producing endless puppies to sell.
In nearly all cases, dogs living in puppy mills never leave their cages, or at best are let out into small ‘runs’ for ‘exercise’. They are only handled in order to keep them clean ‘enough’, and for other housekeeping tasks.
This is very different to a dog that receives patting and attention for the value they bring into their owners life, and exercise with play activities and the chance to be a part of a family.
Likewise the puppies are not handled apart from housekeeping duties, and are shipped to the pet shops at as young an age as the ‘breeder’ can get away with. Responsible breeders will not usually let their puppies leave until 8 weeks of age. The puppies are often then sent to the pet shops with misinformation as to the date of the puppies birth and are then passed off as being 7 or 8 weeks old. Some pet shops take in puppies at only 5 weeks of age, a time when they should only be in the weaning process, not stuck in a cage with nothing but a bowl of dry food.
Whilst there has been a lot of media attention given to puppy mills and pet shop practices, unfortunately the practice is still technically legal unless the RSPCA can receive the details of the puppy mill and do a spot inspection proving the mistreatment or extremely poor conditions.
You are very unlikely to have any pet shop give you any details of where your puppy was bred, and so they protect the puppy mills that are supplying them with an income.
When you factor the huge number of dogs that are euthenased each year either because they are unwanted to have serious health issues, the number that dumped in the country or surrendered to the RSPCA it is frightening to think of how many puppies are being churned out by puppy mills every year to sell to unsuspecting buyers.
If you are considering getting a puppy, visit this excellent resource site to help you make good choices on what could be a 15 year or even more investment!