A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Many of these facilities mass-produce puppies under substandard conditions; dogs live in cramped, deplorable environments and many of them are diseased and deprived of proper nutrition, medical attention, companionship and socialisation.
Poor breeding practices often result in puppies with genetic flaws and physical abnormalities, which are not always evident at the time of purchase. The ones with obvious flaws that cannot be sold are often simply disposed of.
Puppy mill puppies are sold directly to the public through the mill itself, newspaper ads, pet shops and the internet (through forums and online classifieds), and consumer demand for purebred puppies and “designer” puppies (e.g. labradoodles) are the main reasons that the industry thrives today.
In 2012, we completed a third undercover survey, in a follow-up to the ‘Stop the Cruelty in Puppy Mills’ campaign that launched in October 2010. Conducted from August to October 2012, the two month undercover operation saw us visiting a total of 49 pet shops and farms, including 20 pet shops and 18 pet farms selling dogs.
The survey results from the recent operation revealed that general hygiene and conditions of the animals have improved, but other prevalent issues such as mandatory licensing and providing correct and proper pet care advice are seriously lacking.
In October 2010, we joined forces with other animal welfare groups in Singapore – Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES), Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), Animal Lovers League, Cat Welfare Society (CWS), House Rabbit Society of Singapore (HRSS) and Noah’s Ark Cares – to conduct an undercover survey of all the 36 pet shops and pet farms selling puppies in Singapore.
The main focus of the survey was: 1) to see if shop attendants were giving good pet care and licensing advice 2) whether buyers were allowed to see or obtain information about the puppy’s parents 3) to check the general living conditions of the animals.