We all know puppy mills are bad.  Factory farms where thousands of breeding dogs are kept in cages slightly larger than their own bodies.

Underfed dogs feeding an industry of corruption and greed. Instead of walking on grass, they spend a lifetime on painful wire flooring in cramp rabbit hutches. Instead of collars or bandanas, they wear rusted livestock clips in their ears or chains with USDA tags embedded in their necks. Undeserving of a name after eight years of service, a breeding female is often starved to death or led into a dark cornfield and shot once she can no longer produce puppies for market.

The factory farming of man’s best friend is an ugly business.  Each step of the process is harsh, inhumane and unspeakably cruel.  From the time a female dog comes into her first heat cycle at six or seven months of age, she is bred unmercifully.  Producing two litters a year for eight years, she will spend her entire life isolated from the outside world.  Kept along with hundreds of other breeding dogs in rows of outside hutches or hidden away in dark barns.  Deprived of the most basic of veterinary care, she can suffer from untreated bite wounds, pneumonia, heat stroke, ear infections, blindness, malnutrition, splayed and swollen feet, periodontal disease and mange.  Main Line Animal Rescue has rescued breeding females who were “de-barked” with steal pipes, their back teeth cracked, their jaws broken. Other dogs have come to us with scars from undergoing more than a dozen Caesarian sections, all performed without anesthesia by commercial dog breeders, who are generally farmers unqualified to perform such surgeries.

Their puppies, taken from their mothers too soon, will be shipped across the country in large tractor trailers to pet shops or brokers. Vulnerable to extreme temperatures and contagious diseases, many puppies die en route.  Suffering from a variety of health and behavior problems, they will be sold in pet stores to unsuspecting families who believe the sales assistant’s lies about puppies born to small breeders and raised in loving households.  ”Our dogs don’t come from puppy mills” she says.  Don’t believe it.  Ninety-nine percent of all puppies sold in pet stores are from puppy mills and if you buy a dog from a pet store or from a broker/breeder over the Internet you are contributing to the suffering of that puppy’s mother.

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