Puppy Mills 101:
What is a Puppy Mill and Why is it Bad?
Page 2
What happens to the dogs bred at puppy mills?

Dogs at puppy mills are sold to to buyers who don't know or don't care that they are supporting a situation that is bad for dogs.  Millers also sell to pet stores, franchises, and local chains, where buyers are caught up in the cutness of the puppy rather than its overall health and genetic quality.  Sometimes, puppy mill dogs with the worst health conditions must be euthanized or surrendered to rescue organizations who assume the burden of care and the responsibility of re-homing them.
After being rescued from a puppy mill, Westie Bossie (right), joined a happy family and gained a Westie-wannabe playmate! (Photo courtesy of Bossie's mom.)
What is Westie Rescue's relationship with puppy mills?

Westie Rescue is occasionally contacted by mills who have become overburdened by their quantity of dogs or who have accumulated too many sick dogs to be profitable.  In these instances, Rescue takes mercy on the dogs, accepts custody, and starts them through vet treatment and adoption.  Rescue tries to rehabilitate and rehome as many dogs as possible. 

The rescue of puppy mill dogs often results in many happy adoptions, but not without a cost.  To get each dog ready for its new home, costs can range from $300 for basic teeth cleaning and shots to thousands of dollars for special skin treatments, xrays, and multiple vet consultations.


NOTE: Puppy mill rescues represent only a fraction of Westie Rescue's placements throughout the year.  They do, however, represent a significant portion of rescue costs since most dogs relinquished by traditional owners do not need as much medical care.
This Westie and 12 of its mill-mates were rescued by Westie Rescue, who assumed responsibility for their care and provided all of the dogs with what were probably their first vet check-ups ever.  Donations to Westie Rescue and adoption fees help to off-set the large costs associated with getting so many dogs in ship-shape form!
(Photo courtesy of Westie Rescue USA)
What can I do to help stop puppy mills?

First, buy your pets only from a reputable breeder.  Do not support mills by buying from them or from pet stores, newspaper ads, or backyard sales.

Also, advocate to your public officials about the conditions that animals deserve.  Tell your local politicians that more must be done to keep unethical people from mass-reproducing dogs.
Want to know more?
Visit these other on-line resources for more information on puppy mills.
Westie Education Center
Dog Owners Guide
Canadian West Highland White Terrier Club
Click here to visit our special section dedicated to successful puppy mill adoption stories!

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