Every day, I get a stark reminder just how far we have to go to educate the public on the reality of puppy mills. I was recently giving advice on the Next Door app regarding a person looking for a “Cavapoo” breeder. Many people chimed in with suggested breeders and references to places they had purchased puppies. I was being very polite in explaining that most “Cavapoos” come from puppy mills and explaining why you want to be sure you are not supporting cruelty. One person posted a link to a breeder located in Illinois. The place was clearly a puppy mill to me but I like to present facts and wanted proof so I could show them that it was indeed a puppy mill. I looked up how many puppies this kennel sold last year. This breeder self reported selling 723 puppies last year. I thought perfect, there is my proof. It’s obvious right? Any breeder who sells 723 puppies in a year is obviously a puppy mill.

As I presented this information to people on the thread, I was responded to by several people who were of the thought that any business that sells 723 puppies in a year must be doing a good job and must be a successful business. They were serious, they thought this was a good sign. I was speechless for a few minutes. I did not know how to respond right away. How could anyone think it’s OK to have enough breeding dogs that could produce 723 puppies in one year? There were several people who thought this way too. I quickly did the math and figured out in order to sell 723 puppies, this kennel, probably has around 60 breeding dogs. These 60 breeding dogs may average 6 pups per litter and they are most likely bred twice a year. But to the people who do not know puppy mills exist, the unknowing and uneducated public…THIS IS A GOOD THING. Sadly, selling this many dogs tells them this is a “successful” business. I presented many more facts and explained it’s not all about the puppy. Puppy mills come in all sizes, small 10-20 breeding dogs or large 20 – hundreds of breeding dogs. It’s hard for people to imagine the suffering these breeding dogs endure.

The truth is, the online sale of dogs has exploded. Because of the internet, breeders are selling on multiple different venues and multiple social media platforms. People are so used to buying everything online, they think nothing of purchasing a puppy too. People are not thinking past the photos they see. When choosing a breeder people don’t think of the mother dogs at all, they are not considering the health and well being or the conditions of the mother dogs that are kept pregnant living in cages their entire lives with little to no vet care. Not to mention the mental conditions of the mother and father dogs and what they endure when they are bred or artificially inseminated. Stop to think about that. It’s all happening and consumers are hardened to it. They believe what they see in the photo that is presented on the social media page or website. Around a million puppies are sold online each year and chances are high if the puppy was shipped to you or delivered to you at a meeting place, your puppy most likely came from a breeder who makes a living off of selling puppies…..a puppy mill. It is important to go to the breeders home, meet the mother dog and see where and how she lives. If you can’t meet the mother, don’t buy the puppy. As I said, puppy mills are thriving today. That is why we need your help… continue to be an advocate. Spread the word about puppy mills. It’s the dogs’ only chance.