Adopt, Don’t Shop

Puppy Mill Awareness Day

Starting in 2004 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Puppy Mill Awareness movement quickly spread throughout the United States. Every year, animal activists around the country host events and protests to raise awareness of the poor conditions of mills and the poor treatment of the animals. In this article, we will explain the disadvantages of puppy mills, and what you can do to fight these horrible practices.

What is a Puppy Mill?
A puppy mill is a mass commercial facility that breeds dogs for profit. According to Last Chance for Animals (LCA), 2.4 million dogs are born in about 5,000 U.S. puppy mills every year. The conditions that the pets are subjected to are often horrific; with the female breeder being forced to produce litter after litter so many times that it greatly affects her health. Most times, after reaching the age of six or seven, after she is not able to breed anymore, she is put to sleep.

The puppies are forced to live in tight, often dirty cages made from wood and wire, and many don’t get enough food and poor medical care. Many cages are kept outside, forcing the animals to endure harsh temperatures, either hot or freezing, with no personal attention and often abuse. The puppies are usually taken away from their mother before they are weaned, which results in them not being taught to eat properly; as a result many suffer from malnutrition and some die. They are typically sold to pet stores, breeders or individual buyers as young as four or eight-weeks old, separated from their mothers and siblings. Many families who purchase these puppies commonly find them to have medical issues that are not reported on their documents, as those are often falsified. Those that are not sold are either killed or sold to animal laboratories for medical research.

Alternative to Puppy Mills

Individuals and families that become aware of the poor and abusive conditions of the puppy mills begin to research alternative ways to find a dog. Instead of purchasing a dog from a pet store, which usually gets their pets from puppy mills, a great choice for a companion dog is to adopt from a local animal shelter. LCA states that there are about four to five million dogs that can be found every year in shelters; the animals that are not claimed by their original owners and not adopted are killed.

There are many advantages to adopting a dog from a rescue versus purchasing one from a puppy mill or pet store, such as:

  •  Variety – Most puppy mills produce a certain breed of dog; finding a dog of a different breed may take many trips to various locations. On the other hand, pet rescues offer a multitude of different dogs, from big to little, and mixed-breeds, as well as purebreds.
  • Better Behavior – Puppy mills and stores don’t take the time and effort to socialize their dogs. However, pet rescues do, which produce dogs with less behavioral problems and those that are more conditioned to interacting with people.
  • Better Health Conditions – As previously explained, puppy mill and store pets are kept in small, dirty and often horrid living conditions, which result in many health ailments. On the other hand, rescue animals are not bred for profit, so the people responsible for their care don’t skimp on money to care for them. The pets undergo routine veterinary care, and are given proper food and water.
  • Saving a Life – According to the American Humane Association, around 3.7 million dogs are killed in pet rescue foundations if they are not claimed or adopted. By taking a puppy home, you will be saving a life and giving a home to an animal in need.

Taking a Stand on Puppy Mill Awareness Day

How can you help the poor defenseless animals that are bred in puppy mills? Take a stand on September 27th to celebrate PMAD. You can donate to the animal foundations that fight puppy mills, such as Last Chance for Animals and American Humane Association. You can hold a protest in your neighborhood to alert others about the dangers of puppy mills; these events are held all around the country. You can email in order to get information about staging your own PMAD event. On a smaller scale, you can celebrate this day by adopting your very own dog, and giving a home to an animal that was lost or simply abandoned.

Dr. Willard’s is honoring Puppy Mill Awareness Day by donating $.25 from every pet product sold to national animal shelters, such as Big Dogs, Huge Paws. We carry a line of humane animal products that are made from all-natural ingredients to promote dogs’ mental and physical well-being.

Dr. Willard’s Natural Restorative Pet Care® Kit includes a two-month supply of:

  • Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® (8 oz.) enhances dogs’ overall nutrition and general health in a simple, safe and effective way by optimizing nutrient absorption and enhancing cellular function. Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® contain no artificial colors, flavors, parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals; are cruelty free; and help improve dogs’ overall hydration and nutritional benefits, keeping dogs healthy and vibrant. By adding the secret catalyst in the Dr. Willard’s® patented formula to pets’ clean drinking water, Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® boost water’s biological functions to help with digestion, nutrient absorption, behavior and performance. This means that dogs will get more vitamins from the same amount of food they consumed before.
  • Dr. Willard’s Rejuvenating Skin and Coat Spray® (8 oz.) is made with the finest natural ingredients; restores moisture and beauty to the skin and coat of dogs; and relieves discomfort from a variety of conditions such as hot spots, scrapes, burns, abrasions and cuts. This topical application has no artificial colors, flavors, beans, phthalates or petrochemicals and is cruelty free. Dr. Willard’s Rejuvenating Skin and Coat Spray should be sprayed directly on the affected areas one to four times daily, or as needed.
  • Dr. Willard’s Soothing Aloe Gel for Pets® (8 oz.) naturally moisturizes dogs’ skin, helps restores dogs’ coats and relieves itching caused by a variety of skin irritations. The gel, which is made with natural ingredients, helps alleviate some problems associated with burns, cuts, wounds and other skin disorders. It can be topically applied to dogs’ coats and skin.


How will you celebrate Puppy Mill Awareness Day? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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