It is difficult to judge how many actual puppy mills exist - there is no state licensing. But typically there are two types of breeders - reputable breeders and inhumane breeders.
The inhumane breeder (or puppy mill) looks at how many puppies they can produce (quantity versus quality). They look to produce as many puppies as possible with no worry as to the health of the parents or even the puppies themselves. Often times there is little or poor quality food and shelter, the water is filthy, the cages are overcrowded, inbreeding(and overbreeding) and poor or very minimal (if any) veterinary care. The dogs do not get socialized, they can be fearful of people.
These puppies are sold to pet stores, brokers, and often times on the Internet (through sites such as Craiglist) or even through classifieds in the paper or your work classifieds.
As a rescue we pride ourselves in giving these loving pugs a second chance! We are a rescue, we take what is assigned with a large group intake and we work with it. If we did not rescue these pugs, they would be "euthanized" (in potentially a non-humane way). Bare in mind these pugs have a multitude of health issues. Every worm you can think of, horrible teeth, bad hips, grade three to four luxating patellas, and more often then not they are blind in at least one eye. They are frightened and we have to take our time to work with them.
With millions of unwanted dogs and cats (including purebreds) dying every year in animal shelters, there is simply no reason for animals to be bred and sold for the pet-shop trade. Without these stores, the financial incentive for puppy mills would disappear, and the suffering of these dogs would end. The best way to find an animal companion is through an animal shelter or rescue group.
Animals give us their love unconditionally, shouldn't we do the same? Don't shop at pet stores, think about adoption first!
I am the dog you see on the chain
I am the cat you see in the drain
I am the friend who has no home
I am the stray who lives all alone I am the friend you helped today
I am the one you transported far away
I am the voice you hear in your head
I am the caged animal who often dreads
I am the opinion you are trying to change
I am the anger you feel, and the rage
I am the tears you cry when I am sick
I am the hurt you feel, but cannot fix
I am the voice in your head, when you cannot sleep
I am the reason for the long hours that you keep
I am the voice who desperately needs you
And if not you…then who?
I am whispering and you are my voice
For more information on puppy mills and what you can do: