What are Puppy Farms/Mills?
When we think of Puppy Farms, we think of Wholesale Breeders who care little for the welfare of their breeding stock, keep them in dank, cold barns with little or no personal contact, producing litters over and over until they are too old and no longer serve any purpose and are likely destroyed.
Many of these dogs will find their way into equally unscrupulous pet shops or are sold online, a recent study by the RSPCA said that 87% of calls they got about possible puppy farm dogs was where people had bought these over the internet!
Puppy Mill Dogs can cost unsuspecting owners thousands in vet bills as they try in vain to save a sickly puppy from dying and any attempt to complain with the sellers – especially if they are online sellers – is difficult to pursue.
So what should you look for?
The first thing you should do is contact the breeder on the phone, a good breeder will be happy to answer all of your questions, arrange a time for you to view the puppies including mum and ideally the dad if he is owned too.
A good breeder will want to also ask you questions in return, to ensure that their puppy is going to the right home and that you will take care of them.
Many breeders are also KC (Kennel Club) Registered and if they are you should ask for their Registration details. Also, they will be happy to show you their Local Authority License if they are breeding pets as a business.
When you meet the puppies look for indications that the dogs are kept in the house and have not just been brought in and are “assuming” the look of a loved pet. Look for beds, toys and signs that the dog is kept in a home environment and if anything seems “off” trust your judgement – ignoring this can prove very expensive – even if your heart says that you need to “rescue” the puppy from a bad situation.
Be suspicious even more if the breeder will try to meet you somewhere to deliver the pup or is reluctant to allow you to visit their home – you could find yourself parting with a lot of money for a sick pup or even one that has been stolen.
Remember, that most people love their dogs and they are treated as part of the family, so any dog that has not been treated like this will not have basic social skills and puppies do learn from their parents – good or bad.
Write a Contract?
You can write your own contract of sale or alternately you can use a site like https://puppycontract.org.uk/ to provide you with a really good contract to help you have some cover in respect of any problems that may arise.
Most of all consider that every person that buys one of these puppies, is effectively supporting an industry that cares little about the welfare, health or happiness of the puppies and the poor breeding stock that are kept in such awful conditions.