What You Can Do To Stop Puppy Mills

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What can you do to stop puppy mills?
 
Most of the general public claims to be against puppy mills, and yet they continue to indirectly support them buy purchasing puppies from pet stores or over the internet and continue to buy supplies from pet stores that sell puppies.
 
Many people do not realize the horror show that a puppy mill involves. They are large scale commercial breeding facilities that put profit above the health and well being of the dogs that are housed there. Breeder dogs may never leave their cage their entire lives. There is a general lack of appropriate – not to mention necessary – veterinary care. Inbreeding, filth, lack of socialization with humans – these are just a few of the issues involved.
 
Puppies may not exhibit signs of the damage done to them in puppy mills for a long time. It can manifest itself through genetic issues (usually due to inbreeding or just the general lack of screening for genetic abnormalities) or behavioral issues. Some of the physical problems that occur long term for puppies born in mills can include epilepsy, skeletal disorders (hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, etc.), heart disease, kidney disease – just to name a few. Behavioral issues can run much deeper. These puppies have a horrible start to life. They are born in cages, shipped in cages and then sit in a cage in a pet store – you are kidding yourself to think it hasn’t affected them. Some dogs may luck out and never show any sign of the poor start to life they’ve experienced. Many are not so lucky. They may have issues with anxiety, aggression, fearfulness, and they miss out on critical social skills because they are usually taken from their mothers and littermates way too young. Not to mention the fact that they have little to no human interaction prior to starting their life with their new family.
 
The biggest thing you can do to help put an end to puppy mills is not to give them your money. Educate as many people as you can about what goes on in puppy mills and why they should consider rescue or find a reputable breeder rather than purchase a puppy from a pet store. Most people “know” that they shouldn’t buy a puppy from a pet store but do it anyway, either making excuses (the pet store only buys from “breeders”, or the puppies are all AKC registered) not realizing how empty both of those statements are. No responsible breeder would ever allow any of the dogs from their lines to end up in pet stores. Any puppy that has landed there is either from a puppy mill or from a breeder that has unscrupulous breeding practices. Most breed clubs will not endorse any breeder who sells their dogs to pet stores. If you do not support puppy mills, do not support stores that sell their dogs. When there is no demand, there will be no need for the mills. It is the only way this will stop.
 
If you are truly passionate about the cause, you can seek out your local chapter of the ASPCA or Humane Society and get involved in their campaigns to pass legislature regarding puppy mills.

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