If you’re looking to be a new pet owner, you may have heard of puppy mills. Puppy mills are inhumane breeding facilities that produce puppies in large numbers. They are designed to maximize profits and commonly disregard the physical, social, and emotional health of the dogs. The breeding dogs at puppy mills live their entire lives in cages, and the poor conditions can cause puppies to have physical and behavioral problems.
The only way to stop puppy mills is for consumers to stop supporting them. The best way to do that is to adopt your next furry companion from the animal shelter. But if you are shopping for a dog, it’s best to do so responsibly. We urge you not to purchase puppies from a puppy mill. How do you tell if a dog is from a puppy mill? Here are a few telltale signs.
#1 Out of state breeder.
If you’re looking for a new furry companion, it’s best to stay away from pet stores and flea markets especially if you’re worried about pets coming from out of state. Missouri and Illinois are the top two states where puppy mill puppies seem to come from.
#2 Meet the parents.
If a breeder doesn’t let you meet the puppy’s parents, you need to walk away. For all you know, this person didn’t even breed the puppy but is selling it second hand for some reason.
#3 “Let’s meet somewhere.”
If you ask to see the kennel where the puppies are being kept, and the breeder says, “Let’s meet somewhere” it’s definitely a puppy mill puppy. Usually they will try to get you to meet in a store parking lot. Unless there are extreme circumstances, there is no reason for you not to see where the puppy was born. If you can’t there’s something fishy going on.
#4 Multiple breeds.
A reputable breeder will focus on one maybe two breeds MAX. If a breeder is offering five or more breeds, it’s definitely a puppy mill.
#5 Multiple litters
When you call the breeder and ask if they have puppies, do they respond with “I have three litters on the ground and two more on the way”? If they have more than 30 puppies, it’s a puppy mill.
Puppy mills don’t like to spend money. It deters from profits. Therefore, any puppy you receive from a puppy mill may have been neglected when it comes to veterinary care. The parents may not be vaccinated nor the puppies. You should really ask if they are. Conversely, if there are so many puppies, they may have lost track and your puppy may have been vaccinated twice.
#7 Extreme promises
Breeders know there’s never any guarantee to know exactly how what a puppy’s personality will be or how big they will grow. Puppy mills will guarantee you a certain size, temperament, and other characteristics. You may sign up for a pup that was promised not to be more than 7 lbs and end up with a 42 lb adult dog.
Look at the dogs, the kennel, and the breeder’s home. Are they clean? Do they have a funny smell? Most puppies that come from puppy mills smell like a dirty kennel and have a poor fur quality.
#9 A contract
Your breeder should care enough about what happens to the puppy that they have a contract that protects both the breeder and you. Reputable breeders have spay/neuter agreements, a health contract, and a request that you return the dog if things don’t workout instead of bringing a dog to the shelter.
#10 Too Young
Puppies should be 8 weeks old before they leave their mothers. Often puppy mills will cut their costs by selling puppies that are too young to leave their mothers. If a puppy hasn’t been weaned, they don’t have to spend money for food. If they sell really young puppies, they also don’t have to spend money on vaccinations. If a breeder is trying to sell you puppies younger than 8 weeks, it’s a puppy mill.
Of course, if you’re in the market for a new furry companion, we have plenty of lovable cats and dogs at our shelter who need a good home just like yours. Please come into the shelter to meet our available animals and to adopt. The dog/puppy adoption fee is $50.00 to $150.00. The cat/kitten fee is $45.00 to $75.00
The adoption includes: Spay/neuter surgery, 1st shots, micro-chipping (with free registration) and up to 30 days of Pet Care Insurance. (You must provide email address at the time of adoption to receive the insurance.) The rabies tag and a free first vet visit (local vet clinics in Tupelo/Saltillo area only) are also included. (Estimated total value of over $200.00 in services.)