Puppy mills should be closed down

Jenna Jaffray, Staff Writer

Puppy mills – large-scale commercial breeders that put profit over the well-being of dogs – need to be banned.

Every year, over 2 million puppies are bred in puppy mills that have facilities known for their horrendous conditions.

Of the estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S., less than 30 percent are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a requirement for any puppy mills that sell to pet stores or sight unseen.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) lays out the minimum standards for animals bred for commercial resale. But even the basic conditions would be considered inhumane.

Even with the minimum standards low under the AWA, the conditions puppy mills are often rarely comply with even the most basic of requirements.

Adult dogs and puppies alike are kept in wire cages, one on top of the other, that can cause tears in their paws. These injuries are normally left untreated because the owner doesn’t want to spend money on the vet bill to get it fixed.

Social disorders and health conditions often develop in puppies in puppy mills because the substandard and overcrowded facilities makes adult dogs prone to inbreeding.

Although USDA approved puppy mills must be inspected, there are many loopholes in the system. Inspection records obtained by the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) show that many of these licensed facilities have violated the AWA and are rarely fined and licenses are rarely suspended.

Some organizations, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), argue that breeders are doing a public service because of the high demand of dogs. They also claim that breeders aren’t inhumane as regular inspections are required in order to be AKC registered.

However these assurances don’t hold up against the substantial evidence piled in favor of eliminating puppy mills.

Every year, over one million dogs are euthanized in shelters. By abolishing puppy mills, it opens up more opportunities for these dogs to get a second chance at life by being adopted.

Furthermore, while the AKC claims to conduct inspections of AKC-registered breeders, this accounts for only a small portion of puppy mills.

The AKC’s opposition of bills supporting the regulation of puppy mills can be traced back to the money. A large portion of AKC funds come from puppy mills registering their dogs.

But the awful conditions don’t just apply to the puppies born in puppy mills. The adult female dogs are forced to have litters over and over, until they can no longer reproduce. Then they are put down in cruel ways because the owners aren’t making money from them.

The emphasis that puppy mills place on profit over the well-being of adult breeding dogs and puppies alike needs to be stopped. Basic needs such as veterinary care, cleanliness, exercise are consistently neglected.

To stop puppy mills, raise awareness in your community by speaking out. Have fundraisers, report bad puppy stores, support legislation that regulates breeders, consider adopting your next dog from a shelter and encourage others to do the same.


To join the fight against puppy mills by donating to ASPCA, click here.