Lots of aspects need to be considered if you want to bring a dog into your life. While the idea can be exciting, it’s a serious decision and you need to work out where the best place is for buying your new pet. Maybe you have heard the term “puppy mill” or “farm” and either know they’re bad news or have no idea what they are. That means you need to do research before making a commitment. Puppy Farms/Mills A puppy mill or farm is a place where puppies are mass-produced commercially and sold in pet shops or direct to the public, often through online classified ad sites. Approx 90% of puppies in pet shops get there via puppy farms. These places can keep hundreds of caged dogs for their whole lives, for the sole purpose of breeding more money-making litters. Puppies may be purebreds or any mix of well-matched breeds. Dogs are poorly treated in these farms and mills • Dogs aren’t cared for at all. They’re kept in small or overcrowded cages, often with no protection from the elements. They have no choice but to sleep and sit where they also do their toilet. • They’re barely ever fed and what they get is either low quality or unsanitary food and water. • Any dogs that are ill or dying don’t get any care and are left to die. • Adults are bred for as long as they’re able and then are discarded or put down. • Puppies are removed from their mothers so early that most behave badly because they don’t know what’s right and wrong. Why not to buy dogs from puppy mills? Some people think they’re doing a puppy a favour by saving him from the farm. While that may be true, it’s also supporting the farm and its objectives. Surely those animals deserve a good home. Why confine purchases to shelters or genuine breeders? Don’t all puppies (and dogs) deserve good homes? Why do people get told not to buy from such places? All animals deserve happiness. Here are the reasons: When puppies aren’t bought, they end up back where they came from or in shelters. When demand for puppies from mills is low, the puppy farm/miller closes down and all the animals are sent to the pound, where they’ll hopefully be adopted by loving families. Puppies aren’t poorly treated because they’re the money-making part of the equation. They’re given good food and water, cared for to a certain extent and then sold. Puppies are bought or adopted more than adult dogs so they don’t spend much time in unloved facilities. Stop buying from farms and they’ll all shut down. The abuse would stop. You help rescue the puppies and dogs from the mills by not purchasing from them. Buy only from genuine breeders or from shelters Follow these steps and help dogs avoid being badly treated: 1. Make an intelligent decision to buy from a show breeder who: • Shows you where the puppy lives and lets you meet the parents. • Gives you a detailed medical history including vaccines. • Gives you the number for the vet so you can verify things if necessary. • Won’t have puppies available all the time. They may add you to a waiting list. • Asks about you and your family, your lifestyle, experience with puppies and your plans to care for the new puppy if bought. They want the puppy to go to a good home. • Isn’t a high pressure salesman. • Proves their dogs in the show ring prior to breeding. This demonstrates their high level of commitment to the breed as a whole. Titles indicate the dogs are above average in quality. 2. Or adopt or rescue a dog from a rescue group or shelter. 3. Encourage your local pet shop to support animals in shelters. The more animals they have, the more people like coming in to check things out. Strongly encourage the shop owners to promote the adoption of shelter animals and not through backyard breeders or farms. Copyright Pomeranian.org. All Rights Reserved.