About 98 percent of the puppies and kittens sold by pet stores come from puppy/kitten mills. Puppy mills are greedy and selfish operations. Owners run their puppy/kitten mills purely for profit and not for the love of the animal or any particular breed. The Humane Society of the United States describes puppy mills as:
A breeding facility that mass-produces purebred
puppies, which are typically sold at eight weeks of
age to brokers and retail operations across the U.S.
Puppy mills have long concerned The Humane
Society of the United States (HSUS). The
documented problems of puppy mills include:
overbreeding dams, inbreeding, minimal veterinary
care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of
socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and
the killing unwanted animals. To the unwitting
consumer, this situation frequently means buying a
puppy facing an array of immediate veterinary
problems or harboring genetically borne diseases
that do not appear until years later. Sadly, some
dogs are forced to live in puppy mills for their entire
lives. They are kept there for one reason only: to
produce more puppies. Repeatedly bred, most of
these 'brood bitches' are killed once their
reproductive capacity wanes.
Like any business, pet stores that sell pets are in the business of making a profit. There is nothing wrong with that. The question is, at what cost? Pet stores "stock their shelves" with companion animals purchased from puppy/kitten mills because they get them cheap and sell them at inflated prices. The potential for a large profit margin is what drives them. In their endeavor to maximize their profits, they often provide their puppies and kittens with minimal veterinary and animal care - assuming they even get the care they need. Case in point, the Animal Defense Team had an eight-month protest and investigative campaign against the three pet stores, which were later raided by the San Diego Humane Society on March 27, 2012. Over 100 animals, including 57 puppies, were confiscated. The owner, John Le, was arrested on June 19 and charged with four felonies, 10 misdemeanors, and more than a dozen violations of the State's Health and Safety Code.
Pet stores and puppy mills also strain the economy and shelters in every single state of the United States. Banning pet stores would be a huge step in reducing the problem of pet overpopulation.