Puppy mills are an industry based solely on making as much money as they can possibly generate. They are found across the country and house anywhere from 65 to 75 puppies in cold, wire cages. The puppies are often not given enough food, water, and space. They lack the love and care from owners and their own mothers in order to keep them happy and healthy. They are forced to sit in their own and the other puppies’ secretions while they develop pneumonia and other respiratory problems. Some puppies even develop genetic diseases that future owners will not even be aware of until years later. The wire cages often cause serious injuries due to the legs and paws of the dogs slipping through the bottom.
To this day, no laws have been passed in order to regulate the conditions of these puppy mills. Presently, there are no state laws against the housing of dozens of dogs in one crate without sufficient food, water, and space. Because most of these puppy mills do not sell to other pet stores, there is no inspecting necessary for a puppy mills to sell directly to the public via the internet. Breeds of dogs are often not true according to the puppy mill, so the purity of the dogs being bought over the internet is not guaranteed and often lied about.
Before this issue was made public and the problems were clearly spread out for people to see, I purchased my Shiba Inu from a puppy store that was supplied by a puppy mill. Within the first year, he seemed like a normal, adorable puppy. He developed anger problems, anxiety, fear of strangers, and even epilepsy over the years. He now has regular seizures and is very aggressive to anyone who comes near our home. These are usually not typical traits of his breed, so if he had come from a trusted Shiba Inu breeder, he would not have these issues.
The USDA needs to regulate the treatment of puppies and the conditions provided for them within a puppy mill if they want to continue to allow them to exist. They must conduct regular inspections of these facilities to ensure these puppies are remaining happy and healthy. Laws must be created in order to give these puppy mills strict guidelines to follow in order to stay in business. These puppies could be your next best friend, so we need to treat them accordingly.