Currently, there are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States. Over two million puppies are bred in puppy mills each year (The Puppy Mill Project). Even though people are beginning to see puppy mills may be harmful, they are still a significant industry in the United States. Not all breeders are irresponsible, but there are also many, too many, that neglect and abuse the animals.
A Dog’s story…
My name is 109. Just 109. I have lived in a puppy mill for 6.5 years of my life. During these years I’ve had 11 litters of puppies, making my owner over $30,000. To show his gratitude, he has never bathed or brushed me. He has never placed a kind hand on me. I have never seen a vet or felt grass under my feet. The only time I am allowed out of my 2x3 crate is when I am bred by force. I get a little more food and a cleaner pen when I have my babies. I am happy for a while but within four weeks they take my pups away. They are sold online and in pet stores and I am alone again, back in my small crate. The wire floor in there has given me permanent deep, painful groves in the pads of my paws. My nails are so long that I can’t walk on a hard surface.
Today, I was rescued. I am so scared but I already experienced something I have never heard before – a soft, gentle voice.
- Maya Ronnaijne
This horrific story is what millions of dogs in puppy mills experience every day. A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding facility that may focus only on profit, not the wellbeing of the animals.
- The puppy mill’s primary goal is to make money, so they breed as many puppies as possible, leading to overcrowding, meaning the puppies may not have enough room to spread out or run around.
- Dogs in puppy mills often live in cramped and poor conditions. They aren’t getting the attention they need and are often living in their filth. There are so many puppies, and they aren’t able to be overseen and nurtured like young puppies should be.
- Poor nutrition and living conditions often lead to many medical problems for animals. The puppies may not receive proper nutrition, often leading to health problems later in life. The mother dogs are often treated poorly as well and overbred to increase profits.
- Puppy mills can contribute to the over-population of dogs. Instead of adopting puppies from a shelter, people will pay for purebred dogs.
Puppy mills may lead to a lot of problems for the animals bred there; however, many people aren’t aware of these issues. That’s why Puppy Mill Awareness Day, created by a group called Puppy Mill Awareness in 2003, helps spread awareness about the potential problems caused by irresponsible puppy mills. Puppy Mill Awareness takes place on the third Saturday in September. This year it falls on Sept. 19.
Here are three ways to participate in Puppy Mill Awareness Day:
- Raise awareness on social media. Share information about the potential dangers of irresponsible puppy mills with your family and friends. Many people are unaware of how harmful puppy mills can be. Awareness and education are essential.
- Next time you adopt, make sure to go to a shelter instead of a puppy mill. You can find purebred dogs at shelters, as well as many lovable mixed breed dogs looking for a home.
- Donate to GG’s Foundation, Puppy Mill Awareness, or another non-profit that is working to stop puppy mills and help rescue dogs.
Together, we can put a stop to irresponsible puppy mills, ensuring all dogs are cared for properly and reduce the over-population of dogs who end up in shelters. Let’s be part of the solution together.