They can’t all be that bad….

I had someone argue with me today about puppy mills…

His exact words were, “Not all puppy mills can be that bad, right?”

This frustrated me… Because this seemingly intelligent individual doesn’t even see the difference between a breeder and a puppy mill. This is why people get so frustrated with the word “puppy mill”. Half of them don’t understand what it means and the rest don’t use it properly. And this is also why so many people get offended and annoyed by animal welfare groups… SO let me clear things up a little bit.

Just because a person is a dog breeder, does not mean that they have a puppy mill. In my life, I have met so many wonderful breeders! In high school, I would help a family friend with his whelping. He only had two female dogs, Babe and Sierra, and he would only breed them once a year. These dogs were so loved. They lived in an air-conditioned building, they had outdoor runs and they were able to go out and run the fields while we did farm work. Every single day… And each of those puppies was equally loved. Randy only sold his dogs to the best homes. And he didn’t charge $600 for a “champion bloodline”, purebred puppy. No. He charged $150 with all shots, not to mention, each puppy could come back and train to be a hunting dog on his land. FOR FREE, with him as the teacher… We all cried each time a puppy left the house. That is what a good breeder means to me. Randy didn’t breed his dogs for the money. He bred them for the love of what he was doing. He had two amazing purebred german wire-haired pointers, and he wanted to keep their blood lines going.

It is a sad fact that on the other end of the spectrum there are unethical breeders that many refer to as puppy mills. A puppy mill is a breeding facility that produces purebred (OR DESIGNER) puppies in large numbers. The puppies are sold either directly to the public via the Internet, newspaper ads, at the mill itself or sold to brokers and pet shops across the country. Puppy mills have long concerned the Humane Society of the United States, as well as many other animal welfare groups. The documented problems of puppy mills include over breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing of unwanted animals. To anyone that really cares about this, you can go to the USDA website and find any information on any USDA licensed breeder. You can see for yourself what it going on, like I have. The inspectors, although there aren’t enough of them to actually do their jobs, must take pictures of every thing that is against the code. These pictures are also able to be accessed by the public.

To the person that argued with me, I really hope that you are reading this… I want you to look up the Hunte Corporation in Missouri, or the Kruse family in West Point, Iowa. These are what puppy mills look like… Because I wrote about one of the bad mills I visited, doesn’t mean that there was only one bad mill. There are over 400 in Iowa. Some are worse than others. But I dare you to actually look into the world of a puppy mill dog. If you don’t want to believe the “propaganda” spread by animal welfare groups. I suggest that you Browse the USDA website and google the names I just gave you. Or go to this site: These are real people who go undercover to show people like you what is really going on. The videos aren’t altered, and the names aren’t changed. I really invite you into this and then I will gladly welcome your CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, after you are educated on this topic.

To the unwitting consumer, the situation frequently means buying a cute puppy from the store and then later facing an array of immediate veterinary problems or harboring genetically born diseases that do not appear until years later. The Humane Society of the United States strongly opposes the sale, through pet shops and similar outlets, of puppies and dogs from mass-breeding establishments. Even though I don’t feel like I need validation from anyone reading this… To the person that felt the need to argue with me about my one-sidedness… I suggest that you really do your research before you say that I am uneducated. Yes, I am very, very passionate about this, and no, passion is NOT a bad thing.

The way that we get things changed in this state is to use your voice, petition, protest, write your legislators, call your legislators, boycott things that you disagree with. I am not some silly girl with a pipe dream… I am a silly girl with 100,000 other silly Iowans that want the same thing as I do. Together we will help end the suffering that is going on in our state– Whether it be in puppy mills, the dog chained up next door, or the dog left in a hot car. Enough of us care about this and things will change. Because we are the change that we want to see in our state. By attending these free puppy mill presentations and spreading the word, we are changing the future. By asking our friend to think about adopting before buying, you are saving the life of that shelter dog. And by calling animal control when you see an animal that isn’t being treated humanely. All of these small acts do make a difference in the big picture.

To anyone that I have offended by my blog, I sincerely apologize. If you are a legitimate breeder and you are sick of getting labeled as a puppy mill, speak up! Do something about it! I suggest contacting the Iowa VCA. They want to hear from the legitimate breeders, because we are all fighting the same fight. No one is trying to take your rights away, we are just trying to give rights to the pets that you are keeping on your property. I have said it in previous posts, and I will gladly say it again. NOT ALL BREEDERS ARE BAD. Yes, I would always push for adoption. But as long as you are taking care of those animals in your care, then I have no qualms with your business…

As usual, I am always glad to hear your thoughts! Please leave me any comments


0 thoughts on “They can’t all be that bad….

  1. Linn

    I agree with Amy! Go get him! You aren’t alone. We are all fighting with you. We are all fighting this TOGETHER. I am not a part of bailing out benji, but because of it, you and I met! You are an awesome girl and your passion is contagious. I do read your blog, because you write about things that I care about. If you ever get sad, think of that lovely little dog you rescued from that puppy mill. You didn’t buy it you simply went in there and changed that dogs life. No one will ever be able to take that from you. There will always be haters, always. But that is what makes fighting fun 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    Very true, Mindi! Although, I have to say…there are way too many people breeding dogs/cats that shouldn’t be and they are not puppy millers either. There are the reputable breeders that know what they are doing and are doing it ONLY for the good of the breed. MOST people are NOT this, and they are also contributing to the unending problem of pet overpopulation and the millions of pets euthanized every year because for every puppy/kitten they sell, one or more in the shelter is euthanized. It’s still about being responsible pet owners, which means SPAY/NEUTER and DON’T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE.

    It still blows my mind that there are so many people that just don’t get it…like you mentioned above!


  3. Anonymous

    But, to be clear…….I’m totally on board with shutting down puppy mills and being the voice for the innocent animals that suffer!


  4. Chris

    This was right on the money, I agree with you and Megan… Not all breeders are bad. But ADOPTION IS THE ONLY OPTION. This is why need to inform as many people as we can. Just the other day, I talked to a girl who got her puppy from a website based out of Ames… She was like “Oh, he assured me that he wasn’t a mill”. When in fact she got him from the biggest mill in the Altoona area. It is the younger crowd that we need to educate the most, I think. They are the ones that want the pretty, expensive dogs that can just sit in your purse. Something has to be done, and you are on the right track! Thank you for posting this!

  5. M.C.

    Thanks for your well written blog. I think sometimes people want to argue the reality of puppy mills because they don’t want to admit that they were that naive, or that their own knowledge was somehow inadequate. And I’ve been there, too; my Shiba is almost certainly a puppy mill dog. It doesn’t mean I love him any less, but it does mean that there’s a reason behind my impassioned pleas for people to please, please, just learn the facts.

    We do have one overlapping topic of conversation between this post of yours and my “Puppy mills that don’t look like puppy mills” post. I think I may punch a couple holes in the purported anonymity of my descriptions, because I realized I can put .pdf files on WordPress instead of having to link to them. I do veer on the side of caution, but it’s hard to dispute the facts when one is faced with such mind-boggling numbers and sheer misery. I think your writing is good because you balance your passion with a certain amount of level-headedness and clarity that is needed in the face of this problem, even when it tears your heart out.

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