A puppy mill or puppy farm is a large dog breeding facility created to mass produce puppies for profit.
Likened to battery hens, the breeding dogs are kept in cages or pens for their entire life with the sole purpose of producing puppies for the pet shop, internet and overseas markets.
Pet shops require a constant supply of cute, young puppies and individual shops can take more than 20 a week. Multiply that by the number of pet shops found in shopping centres throughout Australia and you have the perfect distribution network for an industry producing hundreds of puppies with little concern paid to quality, health or temperament.
Puppy farm kennels - Victoria (Photo courtesy of Animal Liberation Victoria)
Puppy mills are legal in Australia, as long as the proprietors meet the minimum standard of care. The law is different in each state and territory, but usually requires that the dog can stand up, turn around and lie down and that the pen has a partial roof. The dogs can remain in these cages their entire life - there is no requirement for socialisation, grooming or bathing, human contact, exercise and certainly no requirement for love.
In Australia these farms have anything from 20 to 1000 breeding females who are kept constantly pregnant or lactating in order to keep up with demand. The health, behaviour and temperament problems found in puppies from puppy mills are well documented and for each cute, fluffy litter of puppies seen in a pet shop window their mother is likely to be suffering the fate of a puppy mill dog.
Even if the puppies look cute, clean and healthy there is no guarantee that their mothers arenít suffering as breeding dogs in cages for their entire lives.
If you're an animal lover please visit How you can stop puppy mills and do something today to stop puppy mills in Australia.