Puppy mills, for those who don’t yet know, are entities that breed puppies for profit and have extremely poor living conditions for the dogs they are breeding. There’s a reason pet stores across America don’t advertise where they get their puppies and kittens from: no one would buy them. 

Here in Georgia, a county is considering banning the sale of these animals in pet stores. More than 100 people showed up at a public hearing in Cobb County to express their support of this ban, and with good reason. Puppy mill conditions are deplorable and remind us of how cruel and negligent people can be when motivated by their own greed. Oftentimes these animals are malnourished, exposed to extreme weather, and seriously ill. This particular ban will most likely not be passed due to state legislative law, but there is something we all can do to stop puppy mills without changing the law:

Do not financially support them.

These entities still exist despite protest from all major pet institutions, such as the ASPCA and the Humane Society. The only reason puppy mills continue to thrive is because there is money to be made. Keeping your dollars out of their pockets is the only way to stop the cruelty of these mills. When choosing a pet, your best option is a rescue. Rescues can be breed-specific or may cater to all shapes and sizes. Most importantly, rescues are focused on helping dogs and ensuring their safety and wellbeing. If you have a specific breed in mind, be very picky about the breeder you choose and ensure they uphold a high standard for the care of their animals.

For more information on puppy mills and how to ensure your new dog isn’t a product of this terrible system, visit the ASPCA’s website.

If you’re interested in helping save and rehabilitate both street dogs and puppy mill dogs, visit our nonprofit, Dog Corps.