Monday, July 28, 2008

Puppy Mills-Serious Topic

Let's get serious this morning and read about Puppy Mills! And yes, they do exist in PEI, NB and NS. And unsuspecting or uneducated buyers need to know how to spot them.

Just what is a puppy mill?

There are many different definitions of the term “puppy mill,” but a good definition is any person who breeds dogs for commercial sale—that is, in order to make a profit. A puppy miller is a person who breeds to make money. It is that person’s main reason for having dogs. Puppy mills can be poorly maintained, filthy places, or they can be fairly clean and well-organized, but the common thread is both types breed dogs for strictly for greed.

How can you tell the difference between a puppy mill and a good breeder?

In order to make money, a puppy mill operates differently than a responsible breeder. The list below describes characteristics that indicate that a breeder is operating as a commercial enterprise instead of breeding as a hobby:

Common signs of a puppy mill:

• Puppy mills usually have several breeds of dogs for sale at the same time
• Puppy mills often offer to ship dogs to new owners
• Puppy millers usually will not allow customers to view their property or kennel (although some will allow you to see the "parents"-but not the rest of the property)
• Puppy millers do not require an application or references from people buying a puppy
• Puppy millers do not ask buyers to return or contact them if at any point in the dog’s life if the owners cannot keep the dog.
• Puppy mills keep a lot of dogs and a lot of puppies to make a profit
• Puppy mills breed females every time they come into heat, so they are pregnant or nursing at all times.
• Some puppy mills (a dachshund "mill" in NS in particular) are often licensed so they can sell puppies. A license is a red flag that breeders are in the business to make money.
• Puppy mills do supply pet stores with puppies - no matter how many times they deny it!

What’s wrong with a breeder having a lot of dogs or making money from breeding, as long as they take care of the dogs?

Even if a commercial breeder keeps dogs clean and relatively healthy, they still breed females every time they come into heat. The dogs still live in cages or kennels 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have little or no human contact or love. Their purpose in life is to sit in a cage or kennel, constantly producing new puppies to make a profit for the owner. Life for a dog in even the “best” puppy mill is one that no creature should have to endure.

Even in the “best” puppy mill, dogs will live in a cage or until they are sold to another breeder or until their bodies give out and they can no longer produce puppies anymore. I have seen dachshunds as old as 13 bred soley for the purpose of selling puppies!!!

How can people be sure they’re not getting a dog from a puppy mill?

The best way is to adopt a dog or puppy from a shelter or rescue group instead of buying one. Never buy from a pet store, in a parking lot or online. In fact with millions of animals, including purebred dogs and puppies, dying in shelters every year, there is no reason to breed or buy them at all. There are hundreds of pets available for adoption through reputable rescues and shelters in the Maritimes. Some are listed on my Blog. Every pet adopted is a life saved!

What about purchasing a dog or puppy online or in a pet store?
Never buy a dog unless you see where it was raised. Pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills or back yard breeders because of cost & convenience. They buy dogs wholesale from breeders who raise and sell them commercially. It’s all business. No registered, reputable breeder would ever sell to a pet store! Keep that in mind!

No matter what the store says, it is always safer to adopt a dog or through a reputable hobby breeder where you can see where the dogs are raised. Purchasing dogs online is even more dangerous than buying one from a pet store. "Millers" or backyard breeders need no license to sell dogs directly to the public. They are never checked out by inspectors and they often are only selling through the internet in order to avoid inspection.

Don’t be fooled by registration papers, claims that dogs are from “local breeders,” guarantees or free vet visits. If a dog is registered or “has papers,” does that mean it is high-quality or healthy?

Registration papers or a pedigree is worth is worth no more than a blank piece of paper.
Anyone can register a dog by filling out a form and paying a fee. Registration means that the dog’s name and existence has been duly recorded with the registry, but papers are no guaranteethe dog is purebred or healthy.

So, please do your homework when acquiring your new companion! Feel free to contact me if you are thinking of adding a dachshund to your family. Dachshund Rescue of North America is a wonderful organization with dedicated volunteers in Canada and the U.S. - we rehome dachshund and dachshund mixes in need of new homes! Potential adopters are fully screened and must undergo a mandatory home visit and supply no less than three references. Our website is

Of if you need to rehome your dachshund, for whatever reason or know of one in need, pls. contact me or leave me a message on my blog!

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