The Truth about
By Sherry Bates
• Began after World War II
• Time of the Great Depression
• When farmers looked for other ways to
• US Department of Agriculture and the US
Government encouraged the raising of
puppies as “crops”.
• This would help poor farmers
supplement their income.
• Lacked knowledge of canine health
• Little money to spend on food and
• Dogs were housed in chicken coops or
• Dogs were provided little socialization
• No Veterinary care
Realized the boom is selling dogs
• Major department stores sold puppies and
birds in 1950’s
• “Mom and Pop” pet stores began selling
• Followed by the larger stores that became
• Most of the puppies were bred in the
• Brokers looking for a way to supply pets
to the Eastern Seaboard
• Home to 22,000 Amish people.
People who live according to God’s word and
• They shun modern day conveniences like
cars and electricity.
• They still rely on the old fashion mule
power to plow their fields
• Besides raising cows and chickens
• Large scale dog breeding
• Known as “puppy mills”
• Dogs are crammed in wire bottom pens
behind barns or trailers
Department of Agriculture
These farmers sell 20,000 puppies a year
For an average of $223 a pup.
• The quaint farmers are becoming rich
while the poor dog suffers.
Conditions the Dog live in:
• Female dogs are bred the first time they
come into heat and every heat cycle after.
• They usually give birth to an estimated
140 pups during their life.
• They are bred until their poor worn out
bodies can’t produce any longer.
• Then they are killed by being bashed in
the head with a rock or they are shot
• Sometimes they are sold to laboratories or
The dogs are kept in small wire cages for
their entire lives.
They are almost never allowed out.
They never touch solid ground or grass
to run and play.
They sit in their feces all day, everyday
• Dogs are covered with matted, filthy hair,
their teeth are rotting and their eyes have
• The dogs Jaws have rotted because of
Many dogs lose feet and legs when they
are caught in the wire floors of the cages
and cut off as the dog struggles to free
Many of the dogs are injured in fights that
occur in the cramped cages from which
there is no escape.
Very often there is no heat or air
conditioning in a puppy mill.
The dogs freeze in the winter and die of
heat stroke in the summer.
Puppies "cook" on the wires of the cages
in the summer.
• Dogs in puppy mills are debarked often by
ramming a steel rod down their throats to
rupture their vocal cords.
• By not spending adequate money on
proper food, housing or veterinary care.
• food that is fed in puppy mills is often
purchased from dog food companies by
the truck load
• It is so devoid of nutritional value that the
dogs' teeth rot at early ages.
• Puppies are often taken from their mother
when they are 5 to 8 weeks old and sold
to brokers who pack them in crates for
resale to pet stores all over the country
• The puppies are shipped by truck or plane
and often without adequate food, water,
ventilation or shelter.
Innocent families buy the puppies only to
find that the puppy is very ill or has
genetic or emotional problems.
Often the puppies die of disease. Many
others have medical problems that cost
thousands of dollars.
And many have emotional problems
because they have not been properly
socialized in the mills.
• The older females and males are shipped
off to the auction block. Where they are
sold for research or to another Mill.
• dogs are bred for quantity, not quality
• unmonitored genetic defects and
personality disorders that are passed on
from generation to generation are
• Results in high veterinary bills for people
• Maladjusted dogs will be disposed of by
• Animal welfare organizations got involved,
investigating conditions at these farms and
eventually were successful in bringing
national attention to the dreadful and
irresponsible conditions at these "puppy
• This led to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
• The AWA is administered by the US
Department of Agriculture
• 6,000 licensed commercial kennels’
• 70 inspectors to cover 8,300 facilities
• Puppy mills are USDA licensed so they
can sell puppies to pet stores.
USDA is the only one who can
shut down a puppy mill!
• The seven states with the most puppy
• 3,500 pet stores in the United States
• They sell approximately 500,000
thousand puppies a year.
• the puppy industry in Missouri is
valued at 40 million dollars a year
• The puppy industry in one county in
Pennsylvania - Lancaster - is valued at
4 million dollars a year.
How to Stop a puppy mill!
Do Not Buy Your Puppy From a Pet
Make Adoption Your First Option
• Know How to Recognize a Responsible
• Remember that responsible breeders
have their dogs’ interests in mind.
• They are not simply interested in
making a sale, but in placing their pups
in good homes.
• See Where Your Puppy Was Born and
• One sign that you are speaking to an
unscrupulous breeder is that they will not
let you see the facility in which your puppy
• Always ask to see the breeding premises
and to meet both parents (or at least the
mother) of the puppy you want to take
• Ask for the names of five people who have
bought puppies from them and then call
• Ask if the puppies are sold on a contract
and then ask to see the contract. Ask if
there is a warranty.
• Ask whether the breeder will take back a
dog regardless of the age if you are
unable to take care of it.
• to see the pedigree and ask how many
champions there are in the lineage
• Listen to whether the breeder asks you any
• If the breeder doesn't care about the home that
the puppy would be going to, then you don't
want to buy from them.
• DO NOT, under any circumstances, buy a dog in
a pet store. Research by the human society
establishes that 98% of the dogs in pet stores
come from what we consider to be puppy mills.
• You are not saving that puppy, you are
sentencing it's parents to lives of misery.
• Internet Buyers, Beware
• Buying a puppy from the Internet is as
risky as buying from a pet store
• When you buy a puppy based on a picture
and a phone call, you have no way of
seeing the puppy’s breeding premises or
meeting his parents.
• Inform your state and federal legislators
that you are disturbed by the inhumane
treatment of dogs in puppy mills, and
would like to see legislation passed that
ensures that all animals bred to be pets
are raised in healthy conditions