America's Dirty Little Secret

"Gloved hands reach in to pull the purebred Yorkie out of a cage barely bigger than her body.  Pieces of hair and skin stick to the cage's rusty-wired bottom.  Her fur is matted - mashed feces and dried blood encrusting nearly every inch.  Her paws and belly are cracked and raw from urine burns.  There is no food or water anywhere to be seen - just rows and rows of cages stacked from ground to ceiling, with dogs just like her inside.  Despite her condition, it is time for her to get pregnant with her seventh litter - and she is only four years old.  This is the life of a puppy mill dog."  (Excerpt from Tails Magazine, May 2012, reproduced with permission.)

Most people don’t want to believe it, but the truth is the cute puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills and the mothers are still there, suffering endlessly, forced to produce yet another litter.  In fact, recent undercover investigations by the HSUS revealed that 99% of puppies for sale in pet stores come from puppy mills. Same goes for websites that sell puppies.  If they’re selling puppies on-line to just anyone and willing to ship that puppy, or refuse to show you where the puppy was born and raised, that’s a puppy mill.  No responsible breeder would do that.  Yet many consumers are hooked by the irresistible photos of adorable puppies and are willing to live in denial, even convincing themselves that at least they “saved” the puppy from the mill.  The truth is your purchase perpetuates the cruelty.

Puppy mills are inhumane, commercial puppy-breeding ‘factories’ that churn out puppies for profit.  They sell their "product" in pet stores, on-line, at flea markets and through classified ads, and they are a multi-billion dollar industry in the US.  The life of adult mill breeding dogs is one of intense suffering - treated like property, not living beings.  Their health and welfare are disregarded to maintain a low overhead and maximize profit.  Investigations of puppy mills by the USDA reveal the gruesome truth – dogs sharing a cramped cage with the decomposing bodies of dead dogs; dogs left untreated with legs severed by the wire flooring of their cage; dogs with rotting jaws from malnutrition and lack of medical care; dogs suffering with ulcerated eyes, covered in feces and urine from dogs in the wire cages above them; no heat, air conditioning, or light - and the list goes on. There are an estimated 800,000 adult breeding dogs suffering on the “production lines” of puppy mills today.

Though cruel and inhumane, the truth is that puppy mills are legal.  They are regulated by the USDA, however the standards set forth are not meant to ensure a good life for dogs; they are only meant to impose bare minimum of care requirements, which most of us would hardly consider humane. The minimum space allowed a breeding dog, by law, is 6 inches longer than the dog on all sides, with no requirement of ever being allowed out of the cage, for life.

The truth is, your purchase is what keeps puppy mills in business. As long as there is consumer demand, puppy mills will keep supplying. In fact, every seven days, an estimated 40,000 puppies will be born in mills across America.  That’s more than 2 million puppies a year - in a nation where over 4 million dogs are euthanized in shelters annually.

The secret’s out.  Right now, hundreds of thousands of adult dogs are suffering on the “production lines” in America’s puppy mills.  When you buy a puppy from a pet store or website you are supporting puppy mills.

You can help end the suffering (click here)

© 2016 National Puppy Mill Project. All rights reserved.