Reason #1 – PUPPY MILLS!
The majority of puppies found in pet shops, and flea markets are products of back yard puppy mills. You don’t care. Puppies have to come from somewhere. You are right! However, they don’t have to come from puppy mills.
The greater part of puppy mills are unsanitary and cruel. Puppies and dogs are kept in such appalling conditions it will make your skin crawl. Considered nothing more than breeding stock, they are suffering victims of indiscriminate breeding. Fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, sisters and brothers! The perfect recipe for expensive genetic nightmares!
As their reproductive capacity wane, the older dogs are killed, often cruelly, and without a second thought. They cannot take up precious space. Puppy mills are purely for profit. No thought is given to the general physical and emotional health of any of the products going out the door. There is NO Quality Control Department. That would eat into the profits. There is no nutritional value in the food, no medications, no inoculations, and no veterinary visits.
Adult dogs spend their entire life, without ever knowing loving human touch or companionship. Merely a commodity, there is no sense investing emotions or one red cent more, into them than is absolutely necessary for their existence. From they day they are born, to the day they die, puppy mill breeding stock are kept in cages or crates, outside no matter what the weather; or stacked like cordwood in unheated and un-air conditioned basements and garages. Most have never felt terra firma. Others, only when they were taken out of their crate, to do the deed. No toys, no beds, no human interaction, no veterinary care and poor nutrition. Who cares…there are plenty more where they came from!
Puppy mill operators usually don’t have a clue what the mixes are in the puppies they sell. Breeding is done so helter-skelter, they don’t remember. There are no records. Everything is done in cash. They market their products with cute little names like: Space Puppies, Doxies, Pugles, LhasaPoos, Jack-Rats, Chorkies, PomaPoos, PugaPoos, Poochons, Peek-a-Poms, or Peek-A-Poos, It really gets interesting when they start breeding PugaPoos with LhasaPoos, or Chorkies with Poochons! You get the picture! Notice, most of them are small dogs…less space, food and care needed!
OK, so what do you have to look forward to when purchasing a puppy mill puppy, besides usually a neurotic, fearfully shy or fearfully aggressive animal? Let’s make of list of documented health conditions common to pet shop puppy mill purchases. Often, the condition is so serious, the animal does not survive.
1. Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
4. Worms…the whole spectrum
5. Eye and ear infections
6. Untreated wounds
8. Kennel cough
10. Respiratory infections
11. Liver disease
12. Kidney disease
13. Hereditary neurological, including epileptic seizures
14. Deafness – Common to inbreeding
15. Blindness – Breed stock parents are often born with no eyes – usually due to inbreeding
16. Congenital hip problems
17. Congenital heart problems
19. Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
21. Prolapsed uterus
23. Gardia – gastrointestinal infection
26. Coprophagia – eating dog poop!
Those are just a few of the more serious known conditions. There are also all kinds of other surprises with temperament, and health issues.
Oh, but you’re not worried. The pet shop owner or flea market puppy mill breeder promised you a one-year guarantee on the puppy’s health. Yeah, right! Wake up and smell the lack of disinfectant! There are NO guarantees. A few days after you get your puppy home, and your veterinarian tells you it will cost X number of dollars to take care of a health issue, just try and take that puppy back where you bought it! Health guarantees are nothing more than marketing ploys. They won’t take the puppy back, so don’t expect a refund! You are stuck! NOTE: Never believe them, when they tell you they have all their inoculations!
BOTTOM LINE: So, if this information fails to convince you NOT to purchase your next puppy from a pet shop, or flea market, you cannot say you were not warned. If you like to live on the edge, rescue an animal from a shelter. There is no guarantee what you will find, but the odds are better than pet stores and flea markets. Shelter statistics are showing, approximately 25% of puppies and dogs in shelters are pedigrees!
If you are not that daring, find a reputable breeder. Ask for references. Ask the references if you can see their animal. Most owners who do it the right way, are more than willing to help you have the same wonderful experience, with a physically and emotionally healthy puppy.
Think before you act. Your decision can help break the back of the puppy mill industry!