You Help the Kill, When Buying From Puppy Mills

You Help the Kill, When Buying From Puppy Mills

Mandy Yang, Staff Writer

Did you know that during this pandemic, the sales of dogs and adoption have skyrocketed? Many people have so much extra time on their hands, and what better way to use up that extra time by taking care of a new fur baby! However, with so much excitement of getting a new addition to your family, please do be mindful as to where your new friend may be coming from. Obviously, many people would vouch for families who are looking for pets to adopt the poor dogs and cats in animal shelters instead of buying from breeders. Now why is that you may ask? Well, the biggest factor is not only that there are pets in the shelter waiting for a family, but the breeders may have a puppy mill business.

The first thing you may think of is, “What even is a puppy mill?” A puppy mill is the mass production of kittens and puppies solely for the breeder to gain profit. Most of the animals being bred are unhealthy, sick, and may suffer from malnutrition and starvation, states the non-profit organization PAWS. The health of the actual pups and kits are not the only thing that isn’t acceptable, but the condition of how they are being kept. Four, five, six, or even more puppies are crammed into small cages and given no attention, making it hard for them to understand socialization. 194,000 dogs are kept only for the purpose of breeding. Once they can no longer reproduce, they are discarded or even worse, killed. Unfortunately, this is also the fate for some puppies who are too old and less likely to be sold. The breeders, who only care about the profit they will make, do not care about the abuse they are constantly doing.

There are two million puppies that are sold yearly are from puppy mills. Luckily for us, here are some red flags to look out for if your new pooch may originate from a puppy mill.

  1. Breeders will sell puppies if they are six weeks old or younger (Puppies should not be separated from their mother until over 12 weeks of age)
  2. They don’t ask questions to the buyers (ex: your lifestyle? why you want a pet? Etc.)
  3.  Does not show you where the puppy grew up, their parents, vet info
  4. No guarantees if they will take back the puppy -no matter the reason
  5.  Chooses profit over animal welfare
  6. Puppy may seem healthy at first, but health issues will slowly appear

Although there are still 10,000 active puppy mills in the U.S., shutting them down overnight won’t happen, here are the steps YOU can take to stop the suffering of these poor animals.

  1. Be responsible, look for the puppy mill red flags if you’re buying from a breeder
  2. A responsible breeder won’t have puppies yearly, there is most likely a waiting list for people
  3.  Adopt from shelters
  4. Support laws against puppy mills
  5. Donate to local shelters!


When there are puppy mill rescues, dozens of the new puppies and kittens will have to take the place of other animals who haven’t been adopted yet. Sadly, many shelters would have to euthanize their senior dogs and cats to clear up more space inside the shelters. Therefore, it is important to know that, “If you don’t buy, they don’t breed.” However, let’s say that you happened to adopt a puppy mill rescue from an animal shelter. Although they look like every other dog, they have gone through a very traumatic experience and it is imperative that you adapt and rehabilitate them into your life smoothly.

  1. Designate a small, quiet place for your new family member. Place their crate, food, water, and bedding there as well.
  2. Establish a routine for your pet, such as feeding time, exercise, sleep 
  3. Use positive reinforcement.
  4. Once living with you for a few weeks and they are a bit more comfortable, allow them to explore the rest of your home, but only if they’re comfortable
  5.  Develop a relationship and trust between you and your pet
  6. It is good for your dog to gain confidence, a good way to do that is through basic obedience training. If you think they’re ready, sign them up!

“With a lot of patience, persistence, compassion, and love, having adopted a puppy mill rescue dog will be an enriching and rewarding experience for the adopter.”