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- A puppy mill is a commercial dog-breeding facility that focuses on increasing profit with little overhead cost. The health and welfare of the animals is not a priority.

-  Female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no recovery time between litters. When, after a few years, they are physically depleted to the point that they no longer can reproduce, breeding females are often killed.

- Earlier this year, the owners of a Victorian 'puppy farm' pleaded guilty to 240 charges of animal cruelty following a raid of their Pyramid Hill farm.

The RSPCA found 235 dogs living in wire cages on the property, in squalid and overcrowded conditions. Some dogs had died and those still living were underfed and filthy, many with serious health problems. At the time of prosecution, it was reported in the media the owners had netted more than $250,000 over two and a half years by selling puppies to pet shops.

This shocking case has helped shine the spotlight on the factory farming of companion animals in Australia, as the RSPCA and other animal welfare groups continue to campaign for setting minimum standards to force the closure of unethical dealers.

- In puppy mills, dogs can spend most of their lives in cramped cages, with no room to play or exercise.

- Often times, the water and food provided for the puppies is contaminated, crawling with bugs. Puppies can even be malnourished.

  -  Puppies in mills are found with bleeding or swollen paws, feet falling through the wire cages, severe tooth decay, ear infections, dehydration, and lesions on their eyes, which often lead to blindness.

 -   In most states, puppy mills are legal. It is important that future pet owners seek rescue dogs from their loextreme confinement – in some cases breeding animals may never be allowed out of their cage to exercise, play, socialise, have companionship or even to go to the toilet.

-inadequate veterinary care and general care (grooming and parasite control)

-unhygienic living conditions

-inadequate and overcrowded housing conditions.

"The most distressing thing is the psychological damage," says Debra Tranter, founder of animal welfare group Oscar's Law. "We've seen dogs spinning in circles or chewing their own tails, or chewing the cage. And a lot of these dogs completely shut down. They can't even make eye contact and refuse to eat and drink."

 -   Most puppy mills have no veterinary care, climate control, or protection for the animals from weather (hot, cold, rain, or snow).

-    With limited or no regulations or enforcement, puppy mills have no cleanup control. This means that dogs can be living in urine and feces for indefinite periods of time.  It's common to find dogs in puppy mills with collars that have been fastened so tightly that they have become embedded in a dog’s neck and must be carefully cut out.