Puppy mill

From Academic Kids

Puppy millpuppy farm in the United Kingdom and Australia—is a term used to describe what may be considered the irresponsible and inhumane practices of some dog breeders when breeding on a large scale. Small-scale puppy farming is usually called backyard breeding.

On one hand, there are breeders raising dogs in humane conditions, providing good socialization and formal training to their charges. These individuals make careful genetic and behavioral considerations when selecting a breeding program, with the goal of improving the breed. Generally, potential owners must be screened and spend time with the dogs before being matched.

Some breeders, however, are motivated by profit rather than a commitment to the breed standard or any empathy for the animals in their care. These breeders are commonly referred to as "puppy farmers", alluding to the assembly-line production in their kennels and emphasis on quantity and profitability over humane treatment and genetic quality. It must be pointed out, however, that some excellent breeders run profitable large-scale operations with knowledgeable staff and superlative veterinary care, so size and motive alone are not indicative of the quality of the breeding program.

Puppy mill dogs are born and live in overcrowded, inhumane conditions, are poorly socialized, receive no training and often suffer from medical afflictions that are not disclosed to potential buyers. It is not uncommon for these breeders to misrepresent the breed of dog being sold, and the vast majority of these animals are sold to pet stores.

Purchasing dogs from a pet store is therefore strongly discouraged by reputable breeders and animal shelter employees alike; it is assumed that many animal shelter dogs are pet store dogs who were purchased on impulse and abandoned when the owner lost interest. While many pet stores claim to purchase dogs from "local breeders" instead of puppy mills, this is often untrue or is a difference in name only, as reputable breeders generally do not sell animals to pet stores.

The concepts of the reputable breeder and the puppy mill both apply only to purebred dogs; mixed-breed dogs, or mutts, are generally given away by the people who own the parent animal, although there is a growing trend for mixed breeds to be marketed as new breeds or "designer dogs".

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