Puppy Mills are organisations/ commerical kennels that breed pure-bred puppies in large amounts. These places primary goal is to make money so the care for animals is minimal. Dogs are kept in cages and bred over and over again, until they get too old—then they are killed. Those dogs are often sick and have minimal vet care. They are not fed properly. They do not have human contact. Puppies and dogs are kept in unclean conditions and many of them die. The documented problems of puppy mills include overbreeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing of unwanted animals.
Puppy mill kennels generally consist of small, outdoor wood and wire cages or crates. The dogs are cramped into filthy cages. Their eyes are filled with pus and their fur with excrement. Many of the puppies suffer from malnutrition and exposure; they usually remain outside year round, enduring both freezing temperatures in the winter and intense heat in the summer. Like pet store owners, puppy mills save money, and thus maximize profits, by spending little on food, shelter, and veterinary care. Puppies consequently receive below standard food, minimal if any veterinary care, and inadequate shelter which, combined with the inbreeding prevalent in puppy mills, produce animals with genetic diseases and abnormalities. Puppies’ legs often fall through the bottom of their wire cages, causing additional injuries. Because they are mistreated (instead of socialized by humans) during important developmental periods, they may be excessively timid or ferocious and thus unsuitable as house pets.
Dogs that are kept in puppy mills their entire lives are called “brood bitches.” They are typically undernourished and receive little veterinary care, in spite of being kept perpetually pregnant. Their puppies are frequently taken from them before they have been weaned; as a result, some puppies do not know how to eat and die of starvation. At approximately six or seven years of age, when they can no longer breed more puppies, “brood bitches” are killed.
Transportation and Sale
At four to eight weeks of age, puppies are taken from their mothers and sold to brokers (or retail businesses). The brokers pack them in crates and transport them for sale at various pet shops. Frequently, the puppies are not provided with adequate food, water, ventilation, or shelter during transport; consequently, many die en-route. Those that are not sold will be killed, brought back to the mill to breed, or sold to laboratories for research.
The Problem with Pet Stores
Most of the American bulldog puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. Purchasing pet store animals means you are not only supporting the cruel puppy mill industry, but also taking a home away from one of the 17 to 20 million unwanted animals who are killed each year. Because of the inbreeding and filthy conditions common to puppy mills, they often produce animals with serious health problems, which typically result in hefty vet fees for adopters. Pet stores generally do not socialize their animals; the puppies may consequently develop behavioral problems which make them far from ideal pets. Most pet shops do not check the references or histories of their customers. They therefore send animals home with potentially abusive and irresponsible owners without taking even the slightest precautions. Pet shops dispose of unsold animals in, at times, unscrupulous ways. For instance, former pet store employees have reported finding animals starved or frozen to death. Cockroach and rodent infestation may spread disease to animals in pet shops. The overcrowding common in pet stores sometimes causes animals such as birds to beat up on one another, becoming violent.
Choosing the Right Pet
Bringing a pet into your life is a major decision! Ask yourself this – would you buy a car without first doing some research? The answer is NO! What make, model, colour, year is best to buy? But each year well meaning people purchase a companion animal on impulse. Pet stores count on this fact! You will own your car for an average of five years, but your pet is a fifteen year commitment! Your car is steel and plastic, your pet is flesh and blood, with emotions & feelings, much like humans. Where will you be in 15 years?
Adopting from Shelters & Rescue Organizations
Adopting from a shelter or reputable rescue can be just as rewarding.You still have the same considerations as buying a dog, but if you adopt, the shelter or rescue will know more about the dog and will try to match you with a dog that suits your lifestyle. There are SPCA’s, Humane Societies, Private Rescues and Breed Specific Rescues out there—tons of resources! Check out www.petfinder.com for a great start.
Finding A Reputable Breeder
If you are looking for a purebred American bulldog puppy to be the perfect addition to your family, then it is well worth your while to find a reputable American bulldog breeder. A reputable American bulldog breeder will be able to help you choose a companion that is compatible with your lifestyle and will be there for you for its whole life.