Puppy mills are any dog breeder that puts profit over the health and well-being of the breeding dogs and puppies produced. These breeders vary in size from small breeders — ten to twenty dogs — to very large breeders that have hundreds of breeding dogs. Puppy mills are legal, and some are licensed by the USDA.
To maximize profit, female dogs are kept pregnant, bred at every heat cycle to produce as many puppies as possible. The breeding dogs are usually kept in wire cages, many times stacked. The breeding dogs are not groomed, they are not given opportunity to exercise, nor do they know the touch of a loving hand. They are denied basic veterinary care, and most are living and breeding with painful conditions such as urinary tract infections, ear infections, rotten teeth, infected eyes, tumors, infected mammary glands, and sore feet from standing on wire cage floors — that never get addressed.
It is important to know that any breeder can be a puppy mill. It’s hard to imagine the breeder you are talking or texting with could be a puppy mill. If the breeder has excuses why they won’t let you see where they keep the breeding dogs or you are not able to meet the mother dog in person, we suggest you find another breeder. Video chats, videos and photos do not take the place of seeing in person.