Puppy mills are no place to get a pet. But it’s not easy to know if a puppy came from a mill. How does a responsible animal lover evaluate?
First we have to define “puppy mill,” but this can be tricky because the answer may depend on who you ask. A real puppy mill is operated by a breeder who produces puppies with no breeding program, little attention to puppy placement, and poor health and socialization practices. Conditions in puppy mills are generally substandard and may be deplorable, and puppies and adult dogs may be malnourished, sickly, and of poor temperament.
You can avoid puppy mills by adopting from a shelter, where 25 percent of the dogs are purebred.
First go to your local shelter. There are nearly 20,000 dogs and cats unnecessarily euthanized for time and space in Los Angeles every single year. These are great animals. They deserve to have a home of their own.
Next, go to a breed rescue group. Almost every breed of dog has a rescue group. You can find them on the Internet. Do a web search for any breed and contact any of the representatives. They can give you the names of the representatives in your area.