Puppy mills are facilities that mass-produce puppies for sale to individuals or for pet stores throughout the country as well as to emerging foreign markets. From back yard breeders to those selling via the Internet, thousands of puppy mills aren't even regulated or inspected by the USDA since they sell directly to the public. Dogs used for breeding suffer an endless misery imprisoned in small cramped cages, often soiled with their own excrement, breeding litter after litter till they can no longer reproduce.
The average puppy mill will house between 65 and 75 animals, most housed in hutch-style cages with wire floors. Fecal matter drops to the ground below and waste accumulates beneath the cage, providing a haven for flies and other vermin. Even with fairly prompt removal of waste the ground becomes permeated with stench because the urine cannot be raked away. Dogs housed in indoor facilities endure an equally deplorable existence with ammonia vapors and odors permeating poorly ventilated buildings. Rodents, flies, and other pests plague the animals almost constantly. Solid surfaces are supposed to protect the legs of puppies; however, as they mature and scout out their surroundings feet and legs often fall through wire floors designed to allow fecal matter to fall through. The resulting injuries compound their misery. Their soft coats of fur become soiled with fecal matter that didn't drop through the cage adding insult to injury.