Dogs sold in pet stores often come from overcrowded and inhumane “puppy mills”

When you make a choice to adopt a dog from your local shelter or a rescue group, you are not only saving an animal’s life – you are choosing not to support puppy mills.
What are puppy mills?
A puppy mill is a massive breeding operation where hundreds of dogs are kept in overcrowded and often unsanitary conditions without proper veterinary care, food, water or human interaction. Puppies born in puppy mills are often seriously sick, poorly socialized and have hereditary and congenital defects from being bred carelessly.
What is life like in a puppy mill?
Puppy mill dogs do not experience simple pleasures like treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. A breeding dog might spend her entire life confined to a filthy wire cage, bred over and over again, year after year. When she is no longer able to produce litters, she will be killed or abandoned.
Health issues: Because of the closed quarters, proximity to other dogs, often unsanitary conditions and lack of health care, puppy mill dogs are at risk of contracting diseases and developing severe physical ailments. Physical conditions and diseases commonly seen in puppy mill dogs include extreme matting, hair loss, open sores, lacerations, eye and ear infections, parasites, mange, heartworm disease, parvovirus and other serious, congenital and hereditary diseases.
Even if a puppy from a pet store doesn’t look sick, they may develop signs of serious congenital diseases later on.
Behavior: Psychologically, puppy mill dogs may be fearful, timid and stressed from spending their entire lives confined to a cage without human interaction. For many adult dogs from puppy mills, sensory deprivation has severe effects on their socialization and interactions with people and other dogs

How can you help?
Make a better choice for the animals by adopting from a shelter or rescue group…and encouraging others to do the same.
Puppy mills will continue to flourish until consumers stop buying dogs from pet stores, through classified ads and over the Internet. Don’t buy food, supplies or other items at stores that sell puppies. When you adopt, you use your wallet to say “NO” to puppy mills, and create an opportunity to tell others about your choice

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