|Random pic from the internet. Just Google|
puppy mill and you will see so much more!
These pics are posted for public awarness to
help put a stop to puppy mills.
A slightly gray haired woman sits at her kitchen table looking out at the rain tapping against the large picture window. Her coffee cup is in hand with a fresh pot brewing on the countertop. A sliver of half eaten chocolate cake lay nearby. The pen and pad sit neatly off to the side not only ready to take information, but to give it as well. Information about breed clubs, lists of litters, vet checks, and parental registrations. A large book on dogs with pages clearly marked by colored post-it notes lay just on the other side of the pad to give quick information on the breed of puppies she is selling. The phone is on speaker so she can continue to eat her cake and thumb through the book of dogs with their highlighted traits if necessary. The background is eerily quiet. Why so eerily quiet? Because she has no pets!
This is not an in depth article. In depth articles are for true reporters who get paid the big bucks to investigate! This is an article to make you think twice before you do business with unknown people when you are looking to buy a puppy. Please read carefully and know what pitfalls to look for. I would like to say kudos to the sites I have listed below for putting the information out there for the rest of us to pass along! After all word of mouth spreads like wildfire!
A few years back a local pet store in PA was taken to court by many irate customers who had purchased sick puppies from them. The end result? The pet store was ordered by the court not to sell puppies for the next five years. Shortly thereafter, two of the three stores they owned were closed completely. I have to admit, I did wonder what happened to all the puppies that they were breeding at their home, as well as what happened to the pups which were already in the store waiting to be sold. Suddenly I noticed an influx of ‘puppy for sale’ ads in the local paper. Coincidence? Maybe!
Over the last couple of months I have been hearing more and more about puppy brokers. Puppy brokers are the middle man which basically move/sell puppies for puppy mills but many times represent themselves as something totally different.
Moving puppies from mills is what pet stores do now, but since more customers are getting wise to pet store involvement with such breeders and with the puppy lemon laws in place, a different middle man has come into the picture to continue to sell poor quality dogs for the sake of the almighty dollar.
I think private brokers consider themselves safe from guidelines of any unlawful act because they really have nothing to do with the breeding of the actual dogs. Most do not house the pups or take control of the health and well being of the pup either. But in many cases they mislead the public greatly by representing themselves as either the breeder or a representative of a reputable breed club so they are seen in a greater light.
I see in my mind’s eye a broker posting an ad in the paper for puppy mills or back yard breeders and it reads something like this:
Let me sell your half dead, diseased, ill tempered or crippled puppy for you, I am a good bull ~shitter! Cash payment only!
Since the general public is becoming more aware of the connection between puppy mills and pet stores accompanied by the fact that some government agencies are cracking down on puppy mills, more and more of these “Puppy Brokers” are showing up making false representations of who they really are.
In many cases the public is so mislead that they don’t realize that they have purchased a puppy from a broker, not from the breeder!
This business is only going to grow as the squeeze is put on bad breeders. On another downside, if the pups are not sold, you may start hearing of the mass slaughtering of puppies. After all, there is no profit in housing and caring for puppies for any length of time.
In looking around for information on this topic I recently came upon the site for the Hunte Corporation (Goodman, Missouri). They have an inviting website and they make you think they are all about the healthy puppy. But I had to question why, if they are all about the healthy puppy, would they need a 100,000 square foot warehouse space and an employee range of approximately 300 people? And why were there so many different breeds up for sale? Does this sound like a reputable place to you? Because to me it seems like a big warehouse of puppy mill puppies, albeit a very clean looking one to house them briefly! I’m not sure how much I would trust the health certificates from the Veterinarians that might be getting their pay checks from this company.
According Hunte's video, they buy/acquire litters from “reputable USDA Licensed breeders in their area.” No offense, but as far as I am concerned, dogs are still considered property by law, so how much should I trust that the USDA is really looking out for the pups welfare, especially if there is a fast turnover? While the living conditions at Hunte look as though they are kept in are in good shape for inspections, I think this company is well versed in what they need to do to slip by and pass an inspection.
Also, when it comes to the USDA guidelines, in their booklet once you get through the $$$$ they have listed for fees to register with them, they state these limited standards.
“Basically the Federal animal care standards cover humane handling, housing, space, feeding watering, sanitation, ventilations, shelter from extremes of weather, adequate veterinary care, separation of incompatible animals, transportation and handling in transits.”
So, is this why Hunte has its own vet staff, vet techs, and cleaning personal?
I wonder what adequate veterinary care means in the USDA guidelines. If a pup is in poor health is it treated appropriately or just put down?
USDA Guideline If you are an animal broker: Anyone who deals in regulated animals but does not take physical possession must be licensed. If you meet this definition of a broker, you are exempt from certain regulations imposed on dealers who handle animals, but you need the same type of license. Annual license fees are based on income from commissions and brokerage fees (with no deductions)
Basically if you live in the hills where no one knows you and you own a puppy mill, or if you are a back yard breeder, or broker, you can easily fly under the radar. Face it, there are too many out there for USDA to find, let alone enforce their rules. As well, a broker can take cash money to sell a puppy leaving no paper trail as everything is in the breeder’s name.
Hunte Corporation also states that the pups are AKC registered, and if you are a reader of my blog you will remember that I did post an article a while back called “What’s in a registration anyway?” which told of that very same pet store above that was taken to court and closed up. Foolishly way back when, I purchased a St Bernard puppy from them which was AKC registered and deemed deformed by my Vet at six months of age. I have heard a lot of pet store horror stories over the years so I have a hard time taking stock in what Hunte says because they do provide puppies to pet stores.
I don’t mean to get off on a tangent (well maybe I do!) with this particular company because I am sure there are more out there just like them, but watching their video as it regards to the pups care and staff interaction until the pups reach “their destination” which of course is meant to sound like a new home, but meticulously throughout the video, new home is linked with pet store, well, it just gives me the chills! (I don’t know, maybe I’m a skeptic, but to me something smells like poop in Goodmen, Missouri.)
If you Google Hunte Corporation you will see more on this operation from many who have reported on them. One article I found mentioned how much Hunte’s owner proclaimed to have founded the company for "God" and to carry “God’s Word.”
Umm, so? Hopefully those that believe in God naturally carry his word, but don’t make money off of puppy mills and don’t use that as part of their advertisement! Hey, if you’re truly moral, it should stand on its own!
You can read this article here. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Hunte_Corporation
Obviously the point I am trying to get across is “Caveat Emptor.” Let the buyer beware!
Anyone can make a dandy website (heck look at this one! Ha, ha) and say what they want to say and show what they want to show. But that’s all it is, a website. It’s like a rag newspaper; do you believe everything you read? (well okay I agree, whatever is written about Lindsey Lohan I believe!)
With that being said, my skepticism looks to the future, and I would not be surprised that once the public gets more educated about puppy brokers, the broker's next move may be a staged home with a fake breeders, and fake doggie parents! Heck, maybe even fake children running around!
Keep in mind that puppy mill dogs are not only unhealthy, but they can be mentally unstable as well. Their temperament may not really reflect upon the true breed’s temperament because they have very little human contact which can make them shy or aggressive.
If you should find yourself in this situation, there are puppy lemon laws in most states, and even though you have fallen in love with the puppy, it may cost you more than you know in the long run if you don't take it back.
Poor temperaments can cause injuries to someone in the family or outside the family which can in turn only get you sky high medical bills or law suits. The dog itself may also end up requiring serious and expensive life time vet care.
Always ask questions and if the seller seems evasive or vague, take a second, third, and fourth look at them. A good breeder will know everything there is to know about that breed. Always expect a lengthy interview and a contract with a reputable breeder. They don’t let just anyone have their pups!
What to watch for
While I have tried to put together as much as I could to spot puppy brokers, if it feels wrong in the gut of your stomach, it probably is. Don't let your heart sway you on this matter unless you are prepared for a let down.
1) Don’t take someone’s word for it over the phone no matter how pleasant they sound. A good bullshit artist can talk you into not only taking the puppy but also a bag of poop!
2) If there is only one pup at the time of pick up and the mother is not around for you to see, a red flag should go up! Really any story can be made up regarding the mother like it died during childbirth. Think it through, if it does not make sense it probably isn’t true!
3) If there are no papers stating the owners name or if the name on the papers do not match who you are talking to it’s a red flag. Make sure the name, phone, and address match where you are picking up the pup.
4) Don’t meet to pick up the pup on neutral territory, brokers will make you feel that they are doing you a favor by meeting you half way, but really they don’t want you see where the pup came from. As well, they don’t want you to know where they live in case you want to complain or bring the puppy back. It’s much easier once sold, that they not pick up the phone, especially with caller ID and cell phones! Breaking off contact with you once you've paid and picked up the pup is sooooo easy to do.
5) The majority of reputable breeders will talk to you for hours to be sure you are the right fit for one of their dogs. That’s a given. But a good broker can up the ante with good bullshit as well, this is when you really want to scout out how the dogs are kept, you want to meet the parent or parents of the pup, you want to write in the contract that the dog will be taken back by the breeder if it is deemed unhealthy. (Get that puppy checked out by your own vet reasonably fast. )
Most breeders will take back one of their own even after years of it living out of their home. Remember my baby Steeler? 3 years later he came home again. In most contracts you will see it stated that you must notify the breeder before you do anything with the dog in terms of finding it a new home.
6) If you have gotten one pup from a person and it was deemed sick by your own vet, don’t get another from them. Normally you have a certain amount of time to get a health check by your own vet. DO IT! Suggest that it be in the contract that you want the choice of getting your money back and not be forced to take another pup if 2 or more vets state that the likelihood of the litter being of good breeding stock are low. It may cost you a little money but it is worth it. Both parties should sign and date any amendments. If that is not aggreable to them sometimes it is better to take a loss and learn a lesson because in the end it could cost you so much more.
7) Talk to the vet office that did the initial care of the mother and the pups. While the office staff has the right and possible duty to deny you information, there is also the slight chance that they will answer some basic information. They may give you their personal opinion as to whether or not they would buy a pup from that person. So if you say "I'm looking to buy a puppy from Joe Schmo and it says on the papers that your office examined the mother and pups, would you recomend I continue with the purchase?" The employee can simply reply "yes or no" which would be a big indicator.
8) If you can’t visit the site where the puppy is housed and meet the person who actually bred or owns the pup, it may be wise to rethink your decision on such a purchase.
Although I started this article well over a week ago something recently happened that sadly tells yet another horror story of a puppy mill pup or back yard breeder.
If you have your own story to tell, post it below. I’d love to hear from you.
Puppy Lemon Laws by State: click here
For USDA guidelines click here
The Hunte Corporation website click here
Example of a broker using the name of a breed club to sell Shorkies , Actually in checking over and adding updates to this blog article it seems the site below has moved to somewhere else under another name
blog on AKC registerd pups from pet stores click here
Update/ 10/19/2013: I also wanted to add this back link to a site that has great information for you to report puppy mills. click here
To find which places sell puppy mill puppies in your area click here
Every time, no matter the year, when I find something new on mills I will update this particular blog. as of 5/10/14 this was going around Face Book. Click on this list
Update 5~ 20~ 14 CONGRATULATIONS MINNESOTA FOR PASSING A DOG & CAT REGULATION LAW!
This regulation Bill defines a commercial dog or cat breeder as a person who has ownership interest in animals and is in the business of breeding animals for sale. Those who possess 10 or more intact animals and produce more than five litters a year (for dog an d cat). Read more here and here
Special thanks to "Retrieve A Golden Of Minnesota" Rescue for bringing this to my attention.
Let keep mills in the forefront and hopefully other states will follow suit.
UPDATE 6-29-2014~ There is a scheme going on in Amarillo Texas and I suspect more all over the country where people are going to shelters and adopting full bred dogs only to turn around and try to make a profit off of them. They are not particular about the age of the dog, they are taking them because they are purebred. If they don't sell them they either return them to another shelter, sell them as bait dogs or just kill them by starving them to death. This is called "Dog Flipping" I urge you to make sure you know where that dog in the newspaper really came from when it is advertised privately. What I would do is if you see such an add check out your local pounds and rescues to see if they just recently adopted out such a dog. If the connection of the recent adoption and sale from the private owner seem too close then there might be a problem. Sad that such disgusting people exist but they do and we have to shut them down with every new trick they throw our way.
Update 7-7- 2014 Humane society of the United States names 101 puppy mills
|The inside of a puppy mill exposed. Great pic found on the net. 4 and five dogs cramed into|
one cage. Inbreeding gone mad to say the least. Dirty conditions
as you can see in these pics. Imagine your whole life being lived in a cage!