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Puppy farms, puppy mills, commercial breeders, they’re all the same thing. A place where dogs are farmed intensively with nothing but profit in mind. This thread is here to warn anyone looking for a dog about puppy farms, what they entail, what to look for if you think you might be in a puppy farm, and how to avoid handing over the money that funds this cruel practice. Be warned, some of the photos contained in this thread are quite distressing.

Ireland Is The European Capital Of Puppy Farms
In the link below is an epsiode of Animal A&E where an ISPCA inspector visits a puppy farm in County Cork.

What is a puppy farm?

A puppy farm is a facility where dogs are bred intensively for the profit of the ‘farmer’. A puppy farmer can have up to almost a thousand breeding bitches on their premises, constantly churning out puppies and either selling them here at home, or exporting them to the UK or even further abroad.

A puppy farm bitch is bred from when they first come into heat (usually around six to eight months old when they are still a puppy and about ten years old in human terms). From that first heat, they come into season twice a year for their rest of their lives, and are bred in every single heat, never once getting a break.
Anyone who has had kids knows well how taxing giving birth is, but imagine having not just one baby, but from one to twelve plus, twice a year? A bitch on a puppy farm also has no access to veterinary care (as this would cost the ‘farmer’ his precious money), meaning her health deteriorates fast leaving her underweight, weak and prone to disease and infection.
When the bitch eventually cannot produce anymore puppies, she is either culled, dumped, or sold off to another puppy farm cheaply to try and get one last litter out of her. Unfortunately, there is no way of telling just how many of these poor dogs aren’t found.

The Conditions Puppy Farm Dogs Have Been Found In:

Because puppy farms breed for profit over animal welfare, many of these so-called ‘pedigrees’ are of low quality and prone to genetic diseases prevalent in their breed. The Cavalier King Charles for example, is a breed that can cost an owner thousands and upwards of euros if not bred properly. They are prone to several different diseases and disorders and none of the parent dogs are health-tested so every single puppy produced is capable of developing these problems.

Dogs on puppy farms are kept in tiny, cramped cubicles or crates for their entire lives, never seeing the sun shine, never feeling the rain in their fur, never smelling the sweet scent of new grass, never hiking through snow, and never getting to walk, run, swim, play or roll about enjoying themselves as normal pet dogs do. Most don’t even see daylight once throughout their entire lives. Their pens are rarely kept clean and dogs find themselves walking around in their own urine and faeces, the urine not only staining their fur, but also burning their sensitive paw pads.
Puppy farm dogs do not receive treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. To minimize waste cleanup, dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs. It is not unusual for cages to be stacked up in columns.
From tiny Chihuahuas, to the gigantic Great Dane, all of the different breeds are kept in the same small enclosures. All dogs are active and need daily exercise, which none of them get in these places.

Cages And Pens Dogs On Puppy Farms Are Kept In:

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Along with the health issues many of these dogs suffer, they also suffer many mental issues. Many dogs lose their voices after barking for so long, only to get no answer. Most become pacers, constantly pacing back and forth in their pens in boredom and frustration.

Most of the puppies born in puppy farms have never been handled by a human being before being sold, and have never met other dogs, heard the everyday noises normal dogs would get to hear, and turn into nervous wrecks with many behavioural issues. Despite being sold as vaccinated, IKC registered, well-socialised etc, few of them ever are. The new owners soon find themselves with an unvaccinated, unregistered, unsocialised dog who has cost them thousands within the first year of their puppy’s life. Some puppies even die within the few weeks they are brought home. It is a heartbreaking situation for many new owners who find themselves having to explain to their children just why their new family member is no longer with them.

Not all puppies are sold here in Ireland; many of them are shipped to the UK and abroad. Packed into vans in tiny crates, almost half of the puppies do not survive the trip as they are given no fresh air, no food, no water, and no veterinary treatment before or during the journey.

Puppies That Have Been Taken From Puppy Farms:

These puppies did not survive after being rescued.

How to Avoid Puppy Farms:

If you are thinking of getting a puppy, then avoid websites selling dogs, and avoid looking in the buy and sell newspapers. A reputable, responsible breeder will not advertise their dogs in this manner. Contact the Irish Kennel Club, or IKC for short, and see if your chosen breed has an Irish Breed Club. If so, contact the Breed Club and they will point you in the right direction of an ethical breeder.

If you do find yourself in contact with a breeder, then always insist on inspecting the breeder’s premises. A reputable breeder will be more than happy to have you come to view where the puppy is coming from, a breeder who offers to meet you halfway, or deliver the puppy to you is not worth your time as they are most definitely a puppy farmer. When you do go to see the Breeder’s premises, ensure that you see the mother, and puppies, and that they are in the house.
Some breeders may have the dogs outside, which might not seem so bad, but this means they may not have been properly socialised. An ethical breeder will keep their puppies indoors to ensure the puppies are used to all sounds found in the home: the television, vacuum cleaner, phone, and are used to people coming and going.

The mother dog should be well-brushed and in good condition, with bright eyes and she should be introduced to prospective new owners as well. She should not be underweight, despite a ‘breeder’ telling you the puppies will take it out of her; a good breeder will make sure the bitch has a constant supply of high-quality food to keep her healthy.

The puppies should be curious and excited to see new people, they should be plump, but not potbellied, they should be bright-eyed and their coats in good condition. There should be no dirt matting their fur. Roll the puppies over and check their stomach for any marks, redness or loss of hair. Part the fur to make sure there are no small black pieces of dirt (a sign of fleas) and check for lice and redness on their skin.
The puppies should not cower away from you, should not stay huddled together. The puppies should be confident enough to investigate the stranger in their midst. If they aren’t, then its quite likely they haven’t been socialised.

Questions to ask the breeder:
  • Health concerns of the breed. Nearly all breeds have some prevalent health problems, if the breeder claims that they have no health concerns at all, walk away.
  • Temperament, personality of your chosen breed. A good breeder will be able to talk about their chosen breed for hours on end.
  • How suitable they think you are to the breed. If they claim that the breed suits everyone, or they're grand with everything, walk away. Every breed is different, it is simply impossible to compare a chihuahua to a collie etc.
  • How long they have been interested in this breed and how many show titles do the bitch and dog have.
  • How many puppies they have. If more than one litter at a time, walk away.
  • If they have a waiting list. Most reputable breeders will have a long waiting list of people wanting their puppies. If they dont, best to wonder why not.
  • If they are a member of their breeds Irish Club. Most reputable breeders will be members of their breeds club, clubs set up with in interest of their breeds welfare.

And remember, an ethical breeder will have as many questions for you as you have for them, and usually even more.

A responsible breeder will be unlikely to own the puppies’ father, so make sure to ask if you can view him as well. Be wary if the breeder has both mother and father; it is highly unlikely that a breeder will have both a bitch and dog who compliment each other.
Things to ask the breeder for:

  • IKC papers for your puppy
  • Vaccination Card for your puppy
  • Veterinary Cert from the vet clearing the puppy of all health problems.
  • Health test results for the parent dogs.
  • A contract that allows you to return the puppy for a full refund if your vet finds any problems within forty-eight hours of purchasing the puppy.

If the breeder cannot or is unwilling to give you any of these, walk away. A reputable breeder will have all of these, a puppy farmer/backyard breeder will not.

Be Warned, many Puppy Farmers are now selling their 'wares' through other people, placing the puppies in a domestic setting so it looks like a normal breeders premises. Again, be sure to ask every single question, ask for proof of health tests etc. on the spot. If these cant be provided or the 'breeder' mentions someone else having the details, most likely they are one of these people.

If you find yourself in the position where you are on a puppy farm and find a sickly, weak puppy before you, DO NOT BUY THIS PUP. Although it may occur to you that you are rescuing/saving this puppy, you are not. All you are doing is funding this cruel practice by handing over your well-earned money. If you buy this one puppy, then you are giving these people more incentive to continue over breeding their poor dogs. The only way to try and stamp out puppy farms is to not give them the business they need to continue.
This is the only family member that you can choose, so make sure you do your very best to find the perfect, healthy puppy to bring into your home. A puppy farmer will not care what you want the puppy for, they will not care what breed you want, they will care only for the money that you hand over to them.

If You Come Across A Puppy Farm, then make sure you report it to your local SPCA, Welfare Groups and the ISPCA. Due to lack of proper legislation, Animal Cruelty charges can only be brought if the animals are without food, water and shelter, but please report, report, report.

For More Info On Buying A Puppy Or Puppy Farms:

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Hellrazer Moderator

ISDW posted this in another thread and I felt that if this even saved one dog then its worth it.So Im posting this here as a means to warn users about the dangers of not doing your research correctly in the first place when buying a pedigree.

This morning I took a beautiful 2 year old malamute bitch to the vet as I was very, very concerned about her back legs. I have her IKC papers, so know that was born in July 2009. She was handed over to me by a family who had her chained up in their back garden, and the man hit her repeatedly with a lead in front of me, trying to get her into my van.

I sat on the floor at the vet's surgery cradling her head (she was too big to go up on the table) while her front leg was shaved, and she was sedated. I fed her garlic sausage, her favourite treat while the vet then injected her and I felt her life slip away.

Miya had such severe hip displacia that the vet and I felt this was the kindest thing to do for her, she was in constant pain in both hips.

Please, please, please, if you are considering buying a puppy, only go to a reputable breeder who has done all the relevant health tests for that breed, and make sure that you see the results. I wrote to her breeder, but she never replied to me, so how many other mals are out there suffering in the same way?

If anyone has a malamute that was born in July 2009 and wants to know if they are litter mates, or indeed wants to check with me the dam or sires names, please pm me. I will be contacting the IKC, but really don't expect them to do anything.

Run free at the bridge Miya, you deserved so much more.

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