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National Puppy Day Raises Awareness on Puppy Mills: Dog Trainer Highlights Concerns



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A dog trainer has warned prospective pet owners about the dangers of buying a furry friend from a puppy mill ahead of today’s National Puppy Day.

National Puppy Day has been observed by animal lovers across the U.S. since it started in 2006 and is celebrated on March 23 each year. While you’d be forgiven for thinking the day is simply to celebrate the delights of cute animals, it was actually started to raise awareness regarding puppy mills and the inhumane treatment of dogs.

Puppy mills, also known as puppy farms, are intensive dog breeding facilities where profit is valued over the welfare of the animal. An irresponsible breeder will often cut corners to try and maximize the number of puppies they sell for minimal effort and cost.

Puppies bought from mills often spend the first weeks of their lives in cramped conditions with little to no interaction, as well as poor sanitary conditions that mean they frequently suffer from preventative health conditions. The pups can develop serious behavioral issues due to lack of care and attention. Alexandra Bassett, a Los Angeles-based certified dog trainer with over 25 years of experience, has seen first-hand the devastation puppy mills can have on both pet and owner.

“I’ve worked with many clients in Los Angeles who, unbeknownst to them, bought teacup breeds from supposedly ‘reputable breeders’ who were selling dogs from their homes, but engaging in puppy mill practices behind closed doors,” she told Newsweek.

According to The Humane Society, an estimated 10,000 puppy mills are in operation across the U.S., with around 500,000 dogs kept solely for breeding. Mothers are often forced into pregnancies with little to no break in between. Often, when a dog can no longer breed, they are abandoned or killed.

Bassett said that more often than not, prospective owners are paying a ‘premium price’ for a dog that becomes ‘a nightmare companion because they were so fearful or aggressive.’

Rachel Adams

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