I have thought about this long and hard before putting this down on paper, so-to-speak. Puppymills and the consumer. Everyone blames the over population on the breeders. And the term breeders is used in general by most and I can honestly say I do not know if they mean all or specifically the unethical ones.
But the answer to eradicating puppy mills is twofold. If there were no buyers, they would not produce the product therefore the issue would disappear. Consumers still continue to buy which in turn is feeding the supply. Why is only one half of this equation being blamed? Why is none of the responsibility being shouldered by those that buy these pups? Why is there no onus on those that choose to do no research on the dogs, nor the breeder? Why do we continually protect those too lazy to be bothered to find out any information for themselves or God forbid…wait until a responsible breeder is capable of producing the right dog for them?
Now I think this is where I should give you my personal definition of a puppy mill. A puppy mill if what horror stories is made of. It is any animal lovers worst nightmare. The puppy mills you see in the papers of crates stacked on top of each other with the urine and feces dropping from the top cage to the one below. Where those breeds or mixes that should be groomed regularly see none at all and are full of matts and weighed down by their own coats. Where they don’t receive any medical attention of any description and chances are they are killed by the owners if seriously sick. No health testing is done of any sort before mating. Where back to back breedings are the rule not the exception. Where is you have the money, you can have a puppy. No screening of potential owners at all
That is what I feel puppy mills are. Now this is my solution. The CKC and the AKC need to advertise more…not just their subscription emails and the canine magazines, but to the general public. They are the ones that are making these bad choices. And I am not saying these dogs are bad dogs but if we buy from them we are supporting them…regardless of how cute their babies may be. I consider them to be a wolf in sheeps clothing. They may look harmless but they could be hiding all sorts of diseases that are going to come forth at some point. We need to educate the general public about what to look for in a breeder or anyone selling puppies. The general public is not generally a part of the canine world and these are the folks that need the education. Hold free seminars using volunteers or rent a kiosk in a mall to explain what a puppy mill vs ethical breeder is with official backing from our parent kennel clubs. Some of what we say is going to fall on deaf ears but the more they hear something, hopefully the more they will think about their choices with a bit more clarity and knowledge.
The second part of this solution is to change some of the rules. The biggest rule to change would be requiring breed specific and general health tests on ALL unaltered dogs and bitches. That is all. If you have an unaltered dog or bitch, you will be required to perform health tests as if she/he were breeding stock. If these health tests were required by law, then that in itself would eradicate puppymills as the bottom line for them is profit. Simple isn’t it? For most this is not a problem, for the puppy mills it will be.