Please!!! Don't Abuse The Animals

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Puppy Mills
  • A place where several breeds of dogs are raised and the breeder always has puppies for sale;

  • A dirty, trashy place where one or several breeds of dogs are kept in deplorable conditions and puppies are always available;

  • A place where a single breed of dog is raised in acceptable conditions and puppies are always available;

  • A place where lots of dogs are raised, where breeding is done solely for financial gain rather than protection of breed integrity, and where puppies are sold to brokers or to pet stores;

  • All of the above.

The answer depends on who you ask. A hobby breeder dedicated to promoting and protecting a particular breed or two might consider all of the above "breeders" to be puppy mills. Animal shelter and rescue workers who deal with abandoned dogs daily might agree. Operators of clean commercial kennels, licensed by the US Department of Agriculture, will strongly disagree, for the very mention of "puppy mill" damages their business and that of the pet stores they deal with.

Pet wholesalers are those who import, buy, sell, or trade pets in wholesale channels, and they must be licensed by USDA to conduct business;

Pet breeders are those who breed for the wholesale trade, whether for selling animals to other breeders or selling to brokers or directly to pet stores or laboratories, and they must also be licensed by USDA to conduct business; and laboratory animal dealers, breeder, and bunchers must also be licensed, as must auction operators and promoters of contests in which animals are given as prizes.

Hobby breeders who sell directly to pet stores are exempt from licensing if they gross less than $500 per year and if they own no more than three breeding females.

Hobby breeder: A breed fancier who usually has only one breed but may have two. These people usually follow a breeding plan in efforts to preserve and protect the breed. They usually produce from one to five litters per year, and breeds only when a litter will enhance the breed and the breeding program. They raise the puppies with plenty of environmental and human contact; and has a contract that protects breeder, dog, and buyer. They also usually run a small, clean kennel; screens breeding stock to eliminate hereditary defects from the breed; works with a breed club or kennel club to promote and protect the breed. These things usually insures that the breeder cares that each and every puppy is placed in the best home possible, but not always. As always, take caution.

Commercial breeder: One who usually has several breeds of dogs with profit as the primary motive for existence. The dogs may be healthy or not, and the kennel may be clean or not. The dogs are probably not screened for genetic diseases, and the breeding stock is probably not selected for resemblance to the breed standard or for good temperament. Most commercial breeders sell their puppies to pet stores or to brokers who sell to pet stores for profit.

Broker: One who buys puppies from commercial kennels and sells to retail outlets. Brokers ship puppies by the crate-load 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 to sell to laboratories or other bunchers or brokers. Bunchers are considered lower on the evolutionary scale than puppy mill operators, because they are under much suspicion for buying stolen pets. They collect pets advertised as "Free to a good home", and adopt unwanted pets from animal shelters for research at veterinary colleges or industrial research laboratories. If they are caught doing so, there is a stiff penalty, but their usually not detected in time and are gone before the authorities can get to them.

Backyard breeder: A dog owner whose pet either gets bred by accident or who breeds on purpose for a variety of reasons. This breeder is usually ignorant of the breed standard, genetics, behavior, and good health practices. A backyard breeder can very easily become a commercial breeder or a puppy mill.

I have found that this statement isn't always true. Reason:   I have a neighbor who raises Labs that would highly disagree with this idea, because they take great care into each and every puppy. They get the puppies their shots before ever selling one, and they give extra care to handle the puppies just so to insure that each puppy has its needs meant. Most of the above statement depends a lot on the people raising the puppies.

I for one, disagree with this statement highly myself. I use to raise little house dogs that were just as nice as any purebred, and I always took great pride in the steps I took to insure a healthy and loving animal. This type of statement can be taken several ways by breeders such as my neighbor or myself for this reason.

I no longer raise puppies because of the expense of doing so, but this type of thing always depends on the people raising the animal, not the so called critics. I will admit that there are those who don't do as they should when raising pets of any type. Throughout my research for this site, I have found statements just like this one that burn me to no end. It gives the average person the misguided idea that all backyard breeders do the same way, and that they don't care about the animal their raising.

Puppy mill: A breeder who produces puppies hand over fist with no breeding program. In most cases, very little attention is given to the care of puppy placement. Also is in many cases, the puppy has poor health and social practices. A puppy mill may or may not be dirty. It is, however, usually overcrowded and the dogs may be neglected or abused because the breeder can't properly handle or care for as many dogs as he/she has. Puppy mill operators often blacken or cut down hobby breeders and their dogs in attempts to make a sale.

It is unfortunate, that some people who are well-known in your local dog scene that could be categorized as operating puppy mills. Prospective buyers should be careful to question anyone they are considering as a source for a puppy or pet of any type.

These same considerations should be kept in mind for kittens or other small animals considered pets. As these same set of rules applies for most any animal you're considering to purchase, whether though private sources or not.

Also, if you're considering an exotic animal, you should research the proper means of caring for; and, the feeding of the that animal. Not every animal is suitable as a pet, especially when it comes to children. And by all means, if you have children, find out beforehand if that animal is suitable around those children before purchasing. This holds true with any animal you want to purchase as a pet for your children. It most likely will save you a lot of grief in the long run. As in most cases, education is the best situation.


[ About Author | Missy's Story | Digby's Story | Joey's Story ]

[ Morkey's Story | Snow Ball's Story | Mid Night's Story | Frosty's Story ]
[ Fluffy's Story | Cuddles Story | Lucky's Story | Pet Memorial ]
[ Types of Abuse | Prevention | Rights & Welfare | Spay & Neuter ]

[ Questionnaire | Puppy Mills | Cat Care | Dog Care | Dog Training ]

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All Material is Written by Anita Eberline
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