Puppy/kittens mills have become a multi million dollar industry at the expense of helpless animals who generally never get any vetting, live a life in a cage and are just breeding machines for their “owners”. Many of these dogs and cats have numerous injuries and behavioral issues due to poor care. But nowadays it’s hard to know where your puppy or kitten has come from. Buying off of kijiji/craigslist or the internet can put you at risk for buying a puppy mill puppy or kitten. So here is a list of things to be on the look out for while you hunt for your newest family member.
- Be very weary in regards to “designer breeds” like pomsky, frenchton, puggles. Breeders will breed to promote their breed of choice and have thorough knowledge of the breed, ensure that there are no genetic defects and high standards on breeding. Breeding a “designer breed” is completely for pure profit and generally do not have high standards on what dogs they breed which can result in genetic problems for the puppies. Sadly many of these “designer breeds” come from puppy mills.
- Always view the parents, or at least the mom and make sure to notice if she has recently had a litter. Some “owners” will show a female dog who doesn’t even look like she has had any puppies at all as they don’t want you to see the poor condition the real mom is in.
- View the property, yes it can be impersonal but really what do they have to hide?
- Never transfer any money to an account to purchase the pet.
- Never purchase the pet outside the home, parking lots or gas stations are huge red flags for potential puppy/kitten mills.
- No good breeder would sell puppies or kittens to a pet store where they have no control on who buys them.
- Know the breed you are wanting! Do very thorough research to find the right fit for you and your lifestyle. Always know the breed, temperament and any markings/coloring’s that is standard. Sadly it is common for people to sell brown tabbies as Bengals, long hairs as Maine Coons and grey cats as Russian Blue cats just to ask for a higher price.
- Kittens mills do exist sadly, Ragdolls, Persians and Himalayan cats are extremely common for kitten mills so be aware when purchasing a kitten of these breeds.
- Sells purebreds only from registered parents.
- Has a spay/neuter contract (Only those with the ideal standard and temperament of the breed could be bred to preserve the breed, pet quality puppies/kittens should be fixed to prevent unwanted genetic defects).
- Does not allow you to re home your new pet.
- Has thorough knowledge of the breed and is careful of who buys for them.
- Only breeds one or two breeds, to them quality and giving individual attention is important.
- Puppies/kittens have at least first sets of shots and dewormed. To these breeders it is important that they get vetting to ensure they stay healthy.
- Sells mutts or kittens as designer breeds or emphasizes that such and such kitten/puppy has a certain breed in them in order to ask for more money.
- Sells puppies/kittens as potential breeders, even if poor quality usually to ask for more money.
- Only cares about profit, not the animal, so these puppies/kittens get no vetting at all and were probably never look at by a vet which could mean you are buying a sick animal.
Backyard breeders are common and you should also be very cautious with them. Most are just breeding for pure profit not for their breed of choice to ensure that the breed continues on. If you think you know of a puppy mill or kitten mill or see poor quality of life for some dogs/cats you go and see then please contact your local humane society and they will investigate. The only way to stop puppy mills and kitten mills is with knowledge and speaking up against them. With your help, they could be a thing of the past! Let’s put a stop to these inhumane breeding facilities, animals are much more then just dollar signs, they are family and should be treated with love and care from the moment they are born.