What is a Puppy Mill?

Journalist Tate Chapman interviews an officer from a local animal shelter.


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Officer Levin from the Burbank Animal Shelter explains what puppy mills are and shares his thoughts. 

What do you think about puppy mills?
I think they are awful. I’ve seen them first hand and the conditions in which the animals are kept are usually atrocious. Animals are starving and terrified because they have no human contact and are living in small, inhumane cages.

Do you think puppy mills should be banned, and if so, why?
Absolutely, they should be banned across the United States. Globally would be better, but I doubt that will ever happen. It’s an unnecessary business that is directly responsible for millions of dog deaths per year, not to mention the diseased, terminally sick animals that they mass produce by inbreeding.

What is the purpose of a puppy mill?

Do puppy mills cause any health problems in animals?
The majority of the dogs born in these places are inbred. This inhibits growth, both mentally and physically and essentially shortens lifespan. A small few are able to get through their short lives without having to endure severe health problems, like enlarged/murmured hearts, chronic respiratory disease, arthritis, dysplasia, etc.

What is the best way to ensure your dog isn’t coming from a puppy mill?
Stop buying animals at pet stores and swap meets and Craig’s List. Start adopting at shelters and rescues and if you absolutely have to have a specific breed, then go to a reputable breeder who will let you on the property to meet the parents of the pups and who has nothing to hide. If they’re kept in small cages outside and they are dirty and scared, this is not a good breeder. Ask for their license. The very best thing you can do, though, is to open your mind to other breeds and realize aesthetics aren’t important.