Cathy: Walk us through a typical puppy mill from the surrounding scene to the interaction with the breeder, the puppies, and the mother pup.
Janie: Puppy mills can have large or small breeders and since there is no standard set up for a puppy mill, they are all different. Most of the mills I have been to keep the dogs in dark pole barns stacked in cages or they keep them in what is called a “Sundowner building”. The dogs are filthy, as they don’t get to see the light of the day to go potty. The breeders see nothing wrong with the way they treat their dogs. The mother dogs are separated from the other dogs when they are whelping (known as the process of giving birth). The mother dog’s job is supposed to be keeping those puppies alive. Sadly, once her puppies are whelped, they are taken away from her and it won’t be long until she is forced to breed again.
Cathy: What types of breeds do you typically see in a puppy mill? (Possibly explain more about the “doodle” phenomena or the “designer” breed aspect and how that’s a glorified mutt)
Janie: No breed is immune to puppy mills. The most popular dogs right now are the doodles and poos. They are mixing Sheepdogs, Bernese Mt Dogs, Irish Setters and so much more with toy Poodles to make Mini Doodle versions. It frustrates me so much to see these dogs because they are everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, they are adorable and it’s not their fault. I just know the cruelty involved with these high volume breeders. Would you want your dog to have his semen collected who knows how many times a week and your female dog artificially inseminated over and over again against their will? Many of these breeders are using IG, Facebook, and Pinterest to sell their dogs. They sensationalize them as the cute little puppies (that they are), but its important to know what happens behind the scenes.
Check back next week to learn more as Janie discusses the red flags to pay attention to when looking for a dog. She’ll share some tips on how to sniff out a puppy mill breeder from a mile away.