Puppies’ factory (or mill), which is sometimes called puppy farm, is a commercial structure for dogs breeding, which operates with the emphasis on profit due to the popularity of some dog breeds. Unsatisfactory conditions here are often come as normal. According to estimates in the US, there are over 4,000 puppy factories, producing more than half a million puppies each year.
American Kennel Club and the other Kennel Clubs claim that responsible breeders should raise animals in order to obtain healthy dogs, and to guarantee that all animals will be provided with good living conditions and socialization. But whether it is followed in reality?
In puppy factories, female dogs are often coupled whenever they are capable for reproduction to increase profits. As a result, litter is progressively reduced in size. Puppies in the factory are often weaned from mothers long before they reach the recommended eight - ten weeks.
According to one of the rescuers puppies weaned from their mother at the age of 5 to 6 weeks were sold to brokers who then packed them in boxes for transportation and resale in pet stores across the country. Only half of the pups survived over the exhausting trip to the pet store and through the pre-sale period.
Normally dogs in puppy farms are kept in the overcrowded cells with unsanitary conditions without a proper veterinary care, food, water and socialization.
Puppies in such «nurseries» never get enough attention, physical activity or basic care. To reduce cleaning of feces dogs are often housed in cages with slatted floors, injuring badly their paws. And such cells are usually placed one above the other to build whole cage columns. Bred puppies might spend at farms the rest of their lives in the open air, exposed to atmospheric precipitations or held inside indoor cells. Once when farm dogs have reached 4 years age they are no longer in demand they are just killed. Farm owners often have a contact person cooperating with the rescue services. The rescuers usually receive a phone call about the number of dogs and their type. Then they are able to save breeder dogs from death. Once after accepting such dogs to the family it may require a year or even longer to come to normal and let the people touch again. Puppies from farms are generally sold for higher prices in an effort to pose them as pure breeds.
Nevertheless, due to regular indiscriminate breeding in the puppy farms, the dog may or may not really be a purebred puppy. Vast majority of animals from puppy mills are sold to pet shops by «dealers».
Most of these dealers pass themselves off as genuine breeders.
In the United States some aspects of dog breeding industry are regulated by the Law on Animal Welfare of August 24, 1966.
Over the past years the state legislative bodies passed new laws aimed at eradicating the worst violations of dogs handling at the farms for their breeding. The new laws include limitations on the number of females, requirement for facilities to be subjected to licensing and regular inspections, and requirements that the dogs to be kept with a proper veterinary care. In 2010, the public voted for the Proposition B - «Act for Cruelty Prevention at Puppy Mill» which set minimum standards of humane care and forbade breeders to have more than 50 animals.
How you can help?
To promote the humane treatment of animals, it is important to disseminate the information continuously on the harmful impact of thoughtless dogs breeding and their over breeding. Most people simply do not know anything about the health consequences of purebred dog’s genetic manipulations. It's our job - to help potential dog owners to make more reasonable decision before buying your new best friend.
You are going to get a dog? And you are attracted by a hybrid type of dogs as genetically healthier and living longer? Think carefully about where you are going to purchase your dog. A good idea to adopt a dog from the local animal shelter. This will give a second chance to unclaimed animal and make room in a shelter for the new homeless dogs. Buying from shelters is much less expensive than buying a dog from a breeder and your funds will be used for the animals’ benefit!
Animal shelters are always in need of endowments. It can be anything - voluntary food purchasing, assistance in the form of mats, canned food or dog toys. Perhaps you have an old stuff tucked away in the basement that could help animals in need.
Avoid buying puppies from mills or breeders-enthusiasts.
The fewer people will buy dogs in such places, the more likely they are to stop the forced breeding and subsequent ill-treatment. Educate people of how detrimental may be the effect of breeding in order to obtain specific traits for a win in a local dog show.
The more knowledge we spread the more successful we will be in successive changes of breed standards.
And remember, a dog MUST NEVER be a fashionable accessory that you can swept aside in the next season!