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The term “puppy mill” generates a very negative response from those who hear it. However, when asked the question, “What is a puppy mill?” there are many different answers.
This is what the term “puppy mill” originally meant.
During the post World War II era, farmers in the Midwest were looking for an alternative crop. The USDA encouraged farmers to breed puppies. Unfortunately, some farmers had not learned how to properly take care of the dogs. The Humane Society of the United States and other organizations investigated the conditions in these kennels. The term “puppy mill” was used to describe these substandard kennels. As a result of the Humane Society’s investigations, Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act of 1966. The Animal Welfare Act established the requirements and acceptable standards for the care of dogs and puppies.
Since then, the definition of a “puppy mill” has become blurred. The term is most often used by animal rights activist groups and the media. These groups and the media will show undercover footage from one of the small number of breeders who do not meet the needs of their dogs. The footage includes inflammatory pictures of piles of dog feces, flies, sickly looking dogs, and often times worse. These groups and the media then imply that all breeders and their facilities are like those shown in the footage. This creates a strong, negative emotional reaction. No one would want their puppy to come from such a gruesome place. Activist groups capitalize on this emotional reaction in order to raise funds and to stir up support for increased regulations.
The Precious Puppy defines a puppy mill as follows:
A puppy mill is any breeding facility in which the staff does not provide for the needs of the dogs and puppies in its care.
Labeling all professional breeders as puppy mills is extremely unfair. The breeders with which The Precious Puppy partners take excellent care of their animals. A professional breeder understands that dogs will not produce healthy puppies if the needs of the dogs are not met. All dogs have the following needs, and we only partner with breeders that understand these needs and do all in their power to fulfill them.
Dogs have demanding nutritional requirements. Dogs need to eat food with the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals. This is particularly important for growing puppies since physical development happens quickly. Puppies need a high quality diet to ensure they have healthy bones and joints, a strong immune system, proper cognitive and brain development, and strong muscle growth. In addition, nursing and pregnant mothers have special dietary needs that need to be met in order to raise strong, healthy puppies. Dogs also need access to fresh water.
Dogs are social animals. They need the companionship of other animals. Dogs prefer the company of other dogs. In the absence of other dogs with which to socialize, dogs will happily accept being a part of a human family. The best dogs are those that have been socialized with other dogs and with people.
Puppies need regular vaccinations and worming to help protect them from potential viral diseases and internal parasites. In a perfect world, no person or no animal would get sick. Unfortunately puppies, like children, often do get sick despite the best efforts of breeders and parents. When puppies get sick, they need veterinary care, just as when children get sick, they need to go to the doctor.
Dogs are den-like animals. They need a space where they can go and feel secure. They also need a place to get out of the elements: To stay warm in the winter, to stay cool in the summer, and to stay dry when it rains. Mother dogs need a safe, secure environment in which to raise their puppies.
Dogs, like humans, need regular exercise in order to be healthy. Exercise keeps a dog’s heart, lungs and muscles strong and improves bone and joint health. Regular exercise prevents a dog from becoming overweight, which can lead to any number of health problems.
Puppy mills are criminal organizations and as such, The Precious Puppy follows its exacting standards to filter out any unsavory business practices. Our clients can rest assured that we, as well as our partners, stand behind every puppy we provide for adoption.