What Is a Puppy Farmer (Mill)?
farm" is a derogative term generally used for somebody who is
breeding dogs solely for money.
Puppy Farm/Mill: A breeder
who produces puppies hand over fist with no breeding program, little
attention to puppy placement, and poor health and socialization
A puppy mill may or may not be dirty but it is usually overcrowded
and the dogs may be neglected or abused because the breeder can't
properly handle as many dogs as he has.
Puppy mill operators often denigrate hobby breeders and their dogs
in attempts to make a sale. Unfortunately, some people who are well-ensconced
in your local dog scene could be categorized as operating puppy
Prospective buyers should be careful to question anyone they are
considering as a source for a puppy.
If you think you've found a puppy
mill and wish to report it.
Ring your local council and they will able to help you contact the
For more in depth information
Other Breeder Terms
Pet wholesalers are those
who import, buy, sell, or trade pets in wholesale channels, and
they must be licensed in most countries to conduct business;
Pet breeders are those
who breed for the wholesale trade, whether for selling animals to
other breeders or selling to brokers or directly to pet stores or
laboratories, and they must also be licensed in most countries to
conduct business; and laboratory animal dealers, breeder, and bunchers
must also be licensed, as must auction operators and promoters of
contests in which animals are given as prizes.
Hobby breeder: A breed
fancier who usually has only one breed but may have two; follows
a breeding plan in efforts to preserve and protect the breed; produces
from none to five litters per year; breeds only when a litter will
enhance the breed and the breeding program; raises the puppies with
plenty of environmental and human contact; has a contract that protects
breeder, dog, and buyer; runs a small, clean kennel; screens breeding
stock to eliminate hereditary defects from the breed; works with
a breed club or kennel club to promote and protect the breed; and
cares that each and every puppy is placed in the best home possible.
Commercial breeder: One
who usually has several breeds of dogs with profit as the primary
motive for existence. The dogs may be healthy or not and the kennel
may be clean or not. The dogs are probably not screened for genetic
diseases, and the breeding stock is probably not selected for resemblance
to the breed standard or for good temperament. Most commercial breeders
sell their puppies to pet stores or to brokers who sell to pet stores.
Broker: One who buys puppies
from commercial kennels and sells to retail outlets. Brokers ship
puppies by the crate-load on airlines or by truckload throughout
the country. Brokers must be licensed in most countries and must
abide by the shipping regulations in the Animal Welfare Act.
Buncher: One who collects
dogs of unknown origin for sale to laboratories or other bunchers
or brokers. Bunchers are considered lower on the evolutionary scale
than puppy mill operators, for there is much suspicion that they
buy stolen pets, collect pets advertised as "Free to a good home",
and adopt unwanted pets from animal shelters for research at veterinary
colleges or industrial research laboratories.
Backyard breeder: A dog
owner whose pet either gets bred by accident or who breeds on purpose
for a variety of reasons. This breeder is usually ignorant of the
breed standard, genetics, behavior, and good health practices. A
backyard breeder can very easily become a commercial breeder or
a puppy mill.