Somewhere under this mess is a dog that was one of over 50 dogs rescued 1/14/2013 during the raid of an Amish puppy mill breeder. THIS is what you support when you purchase from a puppy mill breeder or a retailer that purchases the dogs they sell from a puppy mill.
These dogs live their lives in small pens or cages--often no bigger than what is necessary to keep the dog. They are bred, whelp their puppies unassisted, raise their puppies unassisted, and when their puppies are old enough to eat solid food (or they are sold)--they are taken away and the mother is once again re-bred. No love, no human companionship, no baths or brushing, only essential vet care at best, and when the adult dogs are no longer productive--they are hauled off to a USDA auction and sold--or put down.
There is no health testing-dogs with health issues are not eliminated from the breeding process.. No careful planning of pedigrees--dogs are bred on connivance--what is there is what gets bred; often litter mates are bred together. There is no careful evaluation as to the quality of the dog--a breed standard is never even a factor in the evaluation of a dog's breeding status. If it has "papers"--then it's bred.
Let's talk about those"papers"--several pet registries exist sole for commmerical breeder to use to "register" their dogs at a minimal cost. These registration papers are simply worthless. If you ask for a "pedigree"--you will see that generation after generation is dogs with no conformation, obedience, rally, agility, or therapy titles. Simply a registration number and a name.
When you purchase a puppy from a pet store, you don't "save" that puppy--you condemn another puppy to the same fate. It is simply replaced by the next one in line. Once that puppy is sold--another is ordered to replace it.
Let's talk about pet store prices. That cute little 8 week old puppy that was contracted and purchased from a puppy mill/commerical breeder probably cost $200-500.00 at the most. The store purchase price--$2000.00 to 3500.00 (for a Mastiff puppy). So let's think this through--->;(1).price often higher than if you bought directly from an ethical breeder, (2). questionable health status on the parents, (3). questionable care and health status on the puppy, (4). and no mentor or information resource (breeder) for you to go to when you have questions. How much of a bargain is that pet store puppy?
Choosing a family companion should not be a spur of the moment decision. Take time to research your breed--make sure it's dog that fits into your family's lifestyle. Research breeders in your area--contact them and ask questions. If possible, go and visit several breeders--schedule a visit, meet them and their dogs. Are their dogs happy? Appear healthy? Is the breeder receptive to questions? Can they provide you with health testing and pedigree information? Do you feel you can form a relationship with the breeder?
Here is a link to a previous blog entry--" How to Avoid Poorly bred puppies"--written by Jan Lanz of Goldleaf mastiffs--and I think it says it all. It provides some excellent points to remember when researching breeders.
I have stated this before and it bears repeating---Pet stores, back yard breeders and puppy millers bank on playing to your emotional responses--and your good and kind hearts. Sadly, this allows them to clear the way for their next litter of puppies. Often the buyer ends up with the heart ache of a sick and ailing puppy that often looks nothing like the breed they are suppose to represent.
You can pay up front--or you can pay later. Be an informed and educated buyer. Look for a breeder who strives to breed happy, healthy puppies from health tested parents that are good representatives of the breed. Make a good choice and be a forever home for your pet.
Catie C. Arney Kiokee mastiffs Hickory, NC
Any comments or questions can be made at --firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. C.