Puppy mills


Melayna Elkins, Staff writer

First, I want to share a personal story.  My puppy, Chewie, came from a puppy mill, however, we did not know this at the time when we bought him.  My Mom wanted to surprise me with a dog for a Christmas present 3 years ago.  She looked online and found Premier Pups based out of Ohio.  She browsed the website and found “Ralph”.   My Mom called Premier Pups to ask about “Ralph” and tried to get more information on him, like if his Mom and Dad were on-site or if a breeder was used. Their answers were vague, but my Mom decided to go ahead and purchase him.   Since they were in Ohio, they said they will ship the puppy and we can pick him at the airport.  After they sent more information about “Ralph” regarding his current weight which was one pound and his flight itinerary, my Mom got even more concerned.  “Ralph’s” itinerary was about 18 hours in a pet carrier with an optional care package which included a blanket and a stuffed toy.  My Mom was horrified and decided to fly to Ohio and pick “Ralph” up.  She told me that when she called them to let them know she was coming, they tried to tell her not to since they were not going to cancel his flight and shipment and that was about $200.  My Mom did not care and went anyways.  When she got there, they put her in a small room which was not quite a storefront and when she asked to see perhaps another dog she saw on their website, she was told that only “Ralph” was available.  Even though my Chewie, in my opinion, is the best and smartest dog in the world, my family and I have made the conclusion based on some research I did that he was a product of a puppy mill.  I don’t believe puppy mills should exist.  There are several reasons which I will go over.  

First,  when my Mom asked if she could meet another dog, a Teddy Bear puppy, they said only “Ralph” was available to meet.  According to the website, iheartdog.com, “10-signs That A Puppy Is From a Puppy Mill, reason #4  – Several Breeds.  Reputable breeders focus on one breed, maybe two MAX .”  Premier Pups, has 20 different breeds available.  Poodleloverpost.com also states that “Puppy mills often consist of as many as 30 different breeds with up to 800 or more breeding animals. Females are breed with every heat and kept pregnant, this includes their first heat when they are only 6 – 10 months old; at a point in their lives when they themselves are still puppies.  This is no life for a dog.” 

Second, a puppy mill is only concerned about making money regardless of an animals well being.  Thespusepets.com, “Defining Puppy Mills and the Truth About Them, What Is a Puppy Mill”, “The term puppy mill is used to describe a large-scale commercial dog breeding enterprise. Sometimes called puppy farms, these operations tend to house their dogs and puppies in squalid conditions and focus on profit over the health and well-being of the animals. Puppy mills do not actually refer to their businesses as such; they usually simply call themselves dog breeders or kennels.”  Even though videos that I have watched on the Premier Pups website had the employees call the families to see how the puppies are adjusting.  My family has never received a call to see how Chewie was adjusting to our home or any other follow up.  A breeder should be concerned about how the pet is responding to their new environment. 

Lastly, puppy mills should not exist entirely because this is just plain cruel.  Another passage on Thespusepets.com, “Defining Puppy Mills and the Truth About Them, What Is a Puppy Mill”, “Puppy mill proprietors mass-produce puppies by over-breeding dogs, often regardless of health or genetic defects. The breeding dogs spend their lives being bred repeatedly until no longer deemed useful, then destroyed. The animals are kept in cramped, unsanitary prisons (usually very small wire cages) with little or no chance to play, exercise or become socialized with humans and other dogs. By six to eight weeks of age, most puppies will be sold to pet stores or marketed directly online. Sadly, a large percentage of puppy mill dogs will develop health and/or behavior issues. Many are eventually abandoned or euthanized because of these problems.”  This is no life for any animal – this is animal cruelty to the highest degree.  Animals show unconditional love and in return, they should be shown the same love.  If people demonstrated the same kindness and love, this truly would be a wonderful world.