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Puppy Mills: Buyer Beware

Elvis Elvis

Most of us would never consider buying puppies from puppy mills. However, prospective dog owners that buy through a pet store probably will be doing just that. Most pet stores get their puppies from these deplorable places.

A puppy mill is a place that puts out the maximum number of puppies in the shortest amount of time in order to turn a profit. Unfortunately they are not a good recipe for raising a healthy well adjusted dog.

The pups have very little time to socialize with their litter mates before they are shipped off to the pet stores. The time spent with their litter mates is not quality time either. Their surroundings can be harsh, dirty and unsafe. Typically a puppy from a puppy mill will have fear issues which could translate into aggression in later life.

The problem is puppy mills are only concerned with keeping profits high. They don’t care about the individual puppies as impressionable young animals but simply as a means to make money.

The puppies are neglected and given very little socialization with people or other puppies. Their experiences with people are usually negative, involving abuse, abandonment and separation from their mother and litter mates.

When the unwitting, soon to be pet owner enters the pet store, they see cute puppies yapping or sleeping in their cages. They fall in love with a cute fur ball and pay top dollar to take him home. However, many times the pet owner will run into early trouble with aggression or excessive timidness with the puppy. It’s no wonder; the puppies’ life has been full of torment up to this point. You can’t expect him to forget all he has ever known and become a perfect, happy puppy.

Puppy Mills: Buyer Beware

Not only behavior problems may arise but health problems too. Since these puppies are bred in mass production style there isn’t a lot of veterinary care given to them. Unhealthy puppies can go unnoticed amongst the throng of fur.

There are also problems with inbreeding, poor nutrition and poor living conditions. Genetic problems among inbred purebred dogs won’t present themselves right away. It was estimated by a 1994 issue of Time magazine that 25% of all purebred dogs are afflicted with genetic disorders.

When the puppy mill puppy becomes a dog and the desperate pet owner can’t control him or the dog is sickly, they call the pet store and inquire about returning the dog. Here’s where the heartbreak starts: most pet stores that deal with puppy mills will not take a dog back once they have left the premises. If they did they would undoubtedly go out of business for all the returns. The puppy mill dog will probably end up being euthanized by animal control, hopefully before anyone or anything was hurt.

Obviously this isn’t good for the dog, but it also puts the pet owner through terrible anguish. Being responsible for a dogs’ death is not easy to take. It will also put a bad taste in the owner’s mouth about future pet purchases and they may miss out on a lifetime of love from a well trained and adjusted dog.