Can you recognize a puppy mill?


Can you only purchase online? Don’t buy a puppy online. JUST DON’T! You have NO WAY to know where it comes from or how it’s been raised. You can’t see the parents and judge their health. You’ll be putting money into the hands of animal abusers. We can’t stress this enough. DON’T BUY PUPPIES ONLINE!!!

Are there too many dogs and too many breeds? If you see several breeds available at the same kennel, RUN THE OTHER WAY! Multiple breeds almost always say ‘puppy mill’, as a reputable breeders focuses on one or perhaps two purebred dog breeds. Puppy mills will cross breed to create ‘designer dogs’ and give them fancy names. Also double check any organization calling themselves a ‘rescue’, as millers are now disguising themselves as rescues!

Are the mothers with their pups? A sure sign of a puppy mill are lots of puppies without their mothers. Always ask to tour the kennel to see the puppies nursing with their moms. Puppies that are put on display without their mothers should be viewed with HUGE suspicion. When you see puppies at flea markets and in pet stores their mothers are NEVER there…DO NOT TRUST that the dogs didn’t come from a puppy mill. Their parents are suffering in a cage somewhere.

Did the breeder ask to ‘MEET’ somewhere other than their location? These are puppy millers. They don’t want you to see the condition of their kennels or the parent dogs, so they find a public place to sell their wares. Puppies are not products! When you can’t meet the pup’s parents where they are raised, WALK AWAY!

Did the Breeder interview you? Puppy millers will sell their dogs to anyone, no questions asked. Reputable breeders will ask details about you and your ability to care for their pups and most will require (by contract) that you spay or neuter your pup. If they only want your money, YOU DON’T WANT THEIR DOG.

Is there a no return policy? If you can’t return the puppy you’re dealing with a puppy miller. Reputable breeders care about the health of your puppy. They ask for neuter/spay contracts and provide credentials for the puppy. Many even insist that if something happens and you can’t keep their dog it must be returned to them.

Has the pup seen a vet? Ask who has vetted the puppies and check the reputation of that vet! If the breeder refuses to provide a name, they are a puppy miller. Meet the pup’s parent and ask about their health as well. Unhealthy dogs breed unhealthy pups!

Does the puppy look TOO small? Pups need their mothers and litter mates for 8 weeks and puppy millers often wean their puppies much too young. This leads to illness and socialization issues! If a puppy looks tiny for its breed, it’s probably younger than 8 weeks old.

Is the kennel clean? Your nose, knows! If the place smells ‘off’, TURN and RUN! Nothing good could be happening there. If you smell an over abundance of chemicals like cleaning products or bleach, they are covering up something nasty. If the dog’s paws are a different colour than the rest of their coat they are likely suffering from urine scalding from sitting in their own waste. This is no way to breed a healthy dog as all of these things lead to disease.


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