Puppy Mills: Description Of Conditions
The truly shocking conditions that exist in puppy mills are not generally well known. A puppy mill raises litter after litter in an old barn, shed or chicken coop (or worse), in rarely cleaned, feces-covered cages stacked upon each other. Several dogs are often crowded into each small cage. They suffer scorching heat in the summer and bitter cold in the winter. The female dogs in a puppy mill are breeding stock. They are forced to have their first litters when they go into their first heat and have a litter with every subsequent heat cycle, in two litters a year until they are too weak and sick to reproduce any more puppies, usually around the age of five or six years.
Veterinary care is usually out of the question for these dogs, because that expense would cut into the profits. Typically, the dogs in puppy mills are often underfed and malnourished. Investigators have found food infested with maggots and water green with algae. As a result, many of the dogs will suffer from starvation and dehydration. Because of these horrific conditions, many are found dying, or already dead and decomposing in their cages. The "lucky" dogs that somehow survive often never see the light of day, never feel grass under their feet, are never petted or have any socialization with humans. They are never comforted or medicated when they are in pain. When they can no longer reproduce, they are killed – usually shot or inhumanely bludgeoned to death. This is not a pretty picture and certainly not one any pet store would like you to know.
The pups are removed from their mother when they are just barely weaned, and taken by the truckloads to pet stores. Some pups cannot survive the trip in the trucks and die along the way. Any survivors are then put on display in pet stores and offered for sale to anyone who has the money to purchase them, regardless of whether that person would be a suitable owner.
This sequence continues each time a puppy is purchased from a pet store, usually at a highy inflated price. The puppy mill sells its purebred puppies cheaply, often for as little as $35.00 each, so it is easy to understand why little or no money is spent for good basic care like food and shelter, or for veterinary care. The customer at a pet store then buys the same puppy for several hundreds of dollars. As with many crimes, it’s all about the profit.
Next: Negative Health Effects Of Puppy Mills
Above: This puppy mill photo was taken with a hidden camera.
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