Why Are Puppy Mills Problematic, and How Can You Avoid Them?
We love dogs and puppies at HugglePets, especially when the sociable ones come to visit us at our retail store in Wolverhampton. And we’re keen to care for as many as possible – but we want to make sure that those who may buy from us in the future are bringing home their pets from good places.
Puppy mills are large-scale, commercial dog breeding operations that prioritise profit over the welfare of dogs in their care. These dogs are often kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions and receive little to no veterinary care. They may also be bred too young or too often, which can lead to a variety of health problems.
These mills are, simply, cruel and inhumane. The dogs who live in them often suffer from physical and psychological problems; they could also be carriers of contagious diseases. Additionally, they constantly contribute to the overpopulation of dogs, which inevitably leads to more dogs being euthanized in shelters.
Still not convinced? Here are some worrying facts about puppy mills that we think you need to hear:
- Reports of unlawful puppy breeding in England alone have increased almost five-fold in the last decade.
- During their journey to the United Kingdom, puppies and dogs can often go 12 hours or longer without food or water.
- Most puppies that are sold in pet stores come from puppy mills – if you find that your local store does, avoid them like the plague.
- There’s a lot of money to be made (illegally) from this practice, with the Scottish puppy breeding market estimated to be worth roughly £13 million every year.
- Approximately 87% of sales of puppies from these mills is done purely online.
But there’s also – thankfully – a few ways in which you can avoid puppy mills if you plan to bring home an adorable new member of the family:
- Do. Your. Research. When you find out the name of the person offering to sell you a puppy, do a bit of Google sleuthing or Facebook stalking to find out about their practices as a breeder, their breeding license and any relevant reviews from the general public or friends. Potential red flags will include:
- Puppies are sold only online or out of their own home.
- You are not allowed to see the mother dog.
- The vaccinations of the puppies are not updated.
- The price of the puppies seems low or too good to be true.
- Adopt only from a shelter or rescue. There are many wonderful dogs out there just waiting to be adopted by their forever family, and you can be sure that they haven’t come from a puppy mill.
- Support reputable breeders that belong to official organisations – The Kennel Club, for example, offer a list of breeders who have met all relevant requirements and safety checks.
Think you’ve found an unlawful puppy mill in your area? Call the local authority, and if there’s a concern for the welfare of the puppies, then contact the RSPCA.
Many of us are taken by the thrall of a puppy’s adorableness and want to rush out and get one of our own. But you must take the utmost care to ensure that you’re not supporting illegal puppy mills, and only patronising legitimate breeders with the right qualifications.
DISCLAIMER: We do not sell puppies or dogs at our retail store or online – only dog products, accessories, food and health supplements.