The warning signs

I am always surfing the web; I like to see who is having puppies and who are some up and coming GREAT breeders. While I am on my quest to find the "good" ones I inevitably come across the bad. And when I talk about the bad breeders; there is no one "bad breeder" mold. Of course there are the big ones; the millers, the ones who are the focus of many tv investigations. I've talked about this often but it seems you can never say enough; if I reach just one new reader each time I read I will be happy.

I remember a while back having a heated conversation with a group of dog people. I had called a certain breeder; a miller, in my opinion they fit all the criteria. And that is my criteria. I caught a lot of heat for tagging this breeder as a miller; no I don't care, I call it like I see it. It is a huge facility; dogs are bred in cages, whelped in cages, puppies are raised in cages and then shipped to you. You can pick your puppy from an image on the puppy page then pay with paypal THIS IS A WARNING SIGN.

This is one of the major contributors of pet overpopulation. The big assembly line breeders are pumping out puppies by the bucket full. Just the other day I ended up on another breeder site; I was appauled at what I found. This couple had decided to go into the dog breeding business; they had no idea of what they were doing which was obvious by the lack of health testing and knowledge on their website. Another I visited just yesterday had puppies available from litters that arrived Nov 16, Nov 17, Nov 23, Dec 12 and it just kept going. THIS IS A WARNING SIGN!!!!!!!

The economy is bad right now; and many of these big bad breeders are still pumping them out. And they are running clearance sales; yep puppies half price "today only." THIS IS A WARNING SIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Think any of these puppies had early stimulation or socialization? Think any of them have been snuggled and loved by the people who are pumping them out? Think again. This is business and only business; there is no heart in what they are doing; money is what drives these businesses and it is a sad business indeed.

There is a saying that has been around for years; there is no money in breeding dogs. I agree; if this statement is coming from what I would consider to be a good, ethical breeder. They spend money on health testing, over the top nutrition and medical care, temperament testing etc. Sure they are paid for their pups as they should be; there is a lot of hard work that goes into breeding and raising great puppies for you, the future puppy buyer. But those who pump out puppies; the people who breed their dogs at every season, sell their puppies online, have 10 or more breeding bitches at a time, supply the pet stores and sell to anyone who has the money; these breeders make money. They make money because it is a business; a cold hearted business.

Where do dogs belong? I can tell you that they do not belong in a cage; they do not belong in a breeding facility (if you prefer that term). But to me; not all millers are filthy facilities, many are clean, efficiently run businesses. But dogs ARE NOT a business. They are living, breathing creatures who deserve a whole lot better from the humans they have ended up with. It breaks my heart when I see how these dogs are treated; no one cares about them, the only care they get is to make sure they continue to pump out the goods.

And the puppies that these people are pumping out are not healthy and happy; these people don't spend their cash on making sure that you; the future puppy owner gets a healthy happy product. Oh it will be cute; on that you can be sure, they know how this business works. Although one site I was on didn't even take the time to wash the mud off the puppies for their "look how cute we are" pictures.

So when you stumble upon a website; one with adorable puppies set up in the cutest of poses. They probably have a teddy bear or flowers beside them; and they've even been given a name. When you scroll down and see puppy after puppy; when all you need to do is to email these people, go to the paypal page and purchase your puppy DON'T DO IT. If you give these people your money; you are helping to keep these people in business. The Mom and Dad who linger; the dogs left in cages with no one to hug them, no one to walk them, no one to climb into bed with; there is none of that for the ones left behind in the cages. When they fall ill; there is no one to care for them, no one to lay their head on until they get well again. They are often dumped, discarded or worse. Afterall they are no longer useful; they have no money making abilities once they are ill.

And after their puppy producing days are done; then what? Do they spend their golden years on a fluffy bed by a fire, cared for by their loving guardian? No; they too are cast aside; often dumped at a shelter. But if they are one of the lucky ones; they will be adopted by a loving family who will then give them the life that they deserve but have never known. It is truly mind boggling how many of these places there are; do your research.

Please pass this on to anyone who loves dogs; perhaps it will make it's way to one, just one who doesn't already know this. If you are that one; find a breeder who has a litter of puppies in their bedroom or living room. A breeder who has all the health testing done so that you; the next generation gets a healthy happy puppy. If you've found a good breeder; it should be difficult to get one of their puppies, they only want the best for their dogs and puppies. And that puppy has received everything that they deserve; including a healthy and very happy Mom.

Dogs deserve our best; you can make a difference.


  1. Great post today Sherri! I hope it reaches more than just one person.

    Raising puppies & caring for our dogs is a 24/7day job at probably a rate of $.10/hr. Our main holidays consist of attending National Breed shows with one or more of our dogs we consider 'stars'.


  2. Re" I had called a certain breeder; a miller, in my opinion they fit all the criteria. And that is my criteria. I caught a lot of heat for tagging this breeder as a miller; no I don't care, I call it like I see it. It is a huge facility; dogs are bred in cages, whelped in cages, puppies are raised in cages and then shipped to you."

    I made a similar comment and had a similar reaction in regard to Velvet Touch "teacup" poodles. Not only do I consider them a puppy mill but I am appalled and shocked that there are quite a few poodle breeders who brag about having Velvet Touch "lines".


  3. I totally agree with everything you've said here. I have boxers that I have bred in the past. It wasn't something I planned but boy was it fun! These were the greatest pups ever. They had their whelping box in my room, their playpen in the livingroom, they pottied outside at 4-5 weeks, going all night with no accidents at 5 1/2 weeks and both proud parents (and an aunt and uncle) here with them. I had one woman comment "wow, they don't smell like pee". I have to say I was shocked. I mean, I know it goes on and some people only care about the money but it's still hard to wrap my head around, you know? I love my dogs soooo much. I was helping with the births the whole time, yelling there's another one!! lol Even my vet was so excited to get his hands on the pups! He tells me what a good dog mom I am every time I go in. It's wonderful to hear but it makes me realize that there are so many who are not. It hurts to know that there are so many places out there who do mill puppies. Thank you for speaking your mind. I'm hoping also that this helps people when they look for a pup.

    If it feels wrong, even if your'e not sure what it is, trust your instincts. You're not obligated to buy from that breeder. Don't be afraid to speak up about it.

  4. ditto Sherri! very well put! it is a lot of work and it does put most things on hold! but not only are my chi's good, they are making my son a better person for letting them be in each others lives!

  5. sherri - this really got to me. most of know about the outright "puppy mill", but many of us don't know about the "grey areas". thank you for writing about this subject.


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