By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You may have heard the term “puppy mill” before. A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is the only priority over the well-being of the dogs. Unlike responsible breeders, who place the importance on producing healthy puppies, breeding at puppy mills is performed without consideration for the welfare of the dogs themselves. Sadly, this results in generations of dogs with unchecked genetic and hereditary defects.

According to reports from the ASPCA, puppy mills house dogs in shockingly poor and unsanitary conditions with massive overcrowding and without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization.

After they are unable to breed, these animals are often killed, abandoned or sold cheaply to another mill to try for one more litter if possible. The annual result of all this is millions of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems. They are forced to live their entire lives in a small wired cage with no toys no comforts and no companionship and without their needs being met sufficiently. It is severely inhumane.

When you are looking to adopt a dog, look to animal shelters and rescues first.

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