West Hollywood Takes a Swing at Puppy Mills

Before I get to the good news of West Hollywood, let me inform you of what exactly a puppy mill is. Some of you may or may not have heard the term before, if you have it might be that you aren’t sure what it is.

Puppy Mills by definition are places where puppies are bred for profit. That doesn’t really tell much now does it? For all anyone knows a puppy mill could be nice cages where dogs give birth once a year and are cared for in the best conditions. Unfortunately that idea of a utopian dog breeding facility does not exist, at least not when connected to the term ‘puppy mill.’

What the definition should say is, puppies are harvested for profit. As that would give a better picture of what they truly are. A place where “dogs are kept in small wire cages for their entire lives. They are almost never allowed out. They never touch solid ground or grass to run and play.” You can find this information and more by following this link.

Using the same link as before, to give a quick rundown of what goes on at a puppy mill, these dogs are bred to death. Could you imagine being killed as soon as you are deemed worthless? Bred with your own puppies and siblings so there is massive in-breeding of dogs and illness?

The people running the puppy mills are all in it for the money, would they tell a potential buyer that their dog is diseased? Heck no, as long as a dog can be passed off as healthy long enough to fool the buyer, it’ll be sold. If it can’t be passed off as being healthy it’ll either be used to breed or killed. They have no use for worthless animals.

The animals live in small cramped cages, hardly ever cleaned out, covered in feces and urine. The dogs live in absolutely horrid conditions. Literally bred to death, these animals have no chance of happiness. The unfortunate truth is, is that puppy mills will never go away as long as people buy from them. That will never stop because pet stores, not all, but a lot buy from these puppy mills and with that money they are able to thrive and continue business.

Really what is there to do though, on one hand you say ‘screw you puppy mills’ and then all those dogs don’t get bought which means they are killed if a rescue doesn’t find them in time, and they will be killed if they become useless or aren’t selling. Or you say ‘I can’t let this dog die, regardless of where he comes from’ and which case you’re saving a dog but possibly sentencing dozens of other dogs to death.

The win would be to get rid of puppy mills altogether but it’s a lose-lose situation trying to stop them. With over 3000 puppy mills nationwide not every mill will be busted before the dogs can be saved.

I personally am taking a stand and when I can get a dog will only buy from a shelter or private seller where I meet the parents and see their living conditions. Both my dogs came from private sellers, we didn’t see Scout’s parents or living conditions, it’s feasible he came from a puppy mill but not likely. Leo on the other hand came from a farm where my parents saw the parents and the living condition.

Clearly there’s an ethical choice to be made, to boycott or not to boycott. You can ignore the blatant signs that a dog is from a puppy mill and hope they don’t die within days of being bought, or you can do the research and make sure what you’re buying isn’t from a puppy mill.

It’s a situation where you have to decide if you support raising dogs in cramped dirty conditions, and the dogs physical/emotional/and mental well being doesn’t matter. Or if you choose to take a stand. They are fed generic mass produced food that has no health value to it, thus rotting out there teeth so even after the teeth and jaw are beyond repair they are still forced to eat dry food…if they can. Where broken legs and ripped paws from a wire bottom cage doesn’t matter if they can still breed, in-breeding and illness is the norm and where cleanliness and love doesn’t exist. Thousands of dogs each year die without ever knowing love or freedom, not even the feel of honest ground, and grass under their paws.

The freedom that most dogs take for granted, a ball being thrown once or twice a day and still not being happy with it when there are hundreds or thousands of dogs that wish it could be thrown for them just once in their lifetime. Clean water and food just once in their life but instead forced to drink urine/feces/and dirt filled water whereas domesticated dogs beg for human food everyday and get it even though they aren’t supposed to. Being out of their cage once before death would be like heaven for them but instead they leave the cage only when their breath is gone and when the flame of life is snuffed out of them. If living and life even exists in them, for all we know they die months even years before their physical form gives out. When most dogs in a shelter wait to be adopted instead of euthanized, these dogs wish they had the play room that those dogs have at least then they would have a chance to be saved. If it was you, wouldn’t you want that chance to feel earth, love, and good food.

Love, a simple request but impossible to fulfill, at least for the thousands of dogs that die each year without even the tiniest taste of freedom.

There are petitions and legislation galore out there advocating for puppy mills to be shut down. To find out more about puppy mills in your area and in general follow these links:





If you would like to read articles where puppy mills were busted follow these links:




On a seperate note, not to change the subject but in West Hollywood, there is a new ordinance being passed where dog and cat sales are banned. You can read the whole article in the San Francisco Chronicle. The ordinance allows shelters and private owners to sell their dogs and cats, however it bans pet stores from getting their animals from puppy mills. Not a big deal in West LA because as it states in the article, there aren’t really any stores that sell animals. This ordinance was more to get other cities where it is a problem to adopt the idea and create the law. Would that stop puppy mills entirely, no, but it would decrease their income and hurt them financially.

If you read the article you’ll note that other municipalities have already asked about the ordinance so they too can copy it. It’s not going to stop the problem entirely but it is a hit on puppy mills. It’s a start in the way that there really isn’t a lot of laws out there that really hurt puppy mills. There are a lot of petitions being sent around to stop them, and there are rules and regulations to breeding however with the few inspectors there are, puppy mills can get away for years without being caught, meeting the absolute bare requirements if that, they can’t be stopped until real evidence of abuse surfaces.

Not the biggest hit on puppy mills but like everything it has to start somewhere, if enough municipalities pick up this same ordinance maybe it will turn into something bigger and eventually stem the flow of money to puppy mills enough that it’s not worth it for the owners to continue doing their inhumane activities.

Finally as a last little shout-out I’d like to give props to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show that was on Feb. 16 and 17. I’d like to give props to them for saying “Just because it looks good on screen doesn’t mean it will be good in the home.” They are also advertising for dogs in the shelter, saying that most of them are pure bred and they need homes too. Not only saying be careful about the dog you get but do research and just because it can live in an apartment doesn’t mean it won’t need exercise. To check out there site go here. Just thought it was nice that although most of their dogs are pure bred and very high class they are pushing for adoption from shelters as well as trying to deter people from buying a dog just because it looks good.


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6 Responses to “West Hollywood Takes a Swing at Puppy Mills”

  1. kjcenters Says:

    The concept of “debarking” is the most atrocious thing I have ever heard of. Murdering the dog is more kind then that…

    On a lighter note your knowledge of this subject is profound and I can tell by writing. I like the way you have incorporated so many aspects for a reader to take in. And thank you for the links.

    P.S. Puppy Mills aren’t happy.

  2. CJ Says:

    Very informative. The true can be a harsh thing and that was depressing. Keep up the good work though. That was well written and profound.

  3. Megan Says:

    Ugh the idea of a puppy mill is so disgusting and it’s hard to believe that this is actually allowed. And I agree with Kyle: debarking?? Really?? How do you even go about doing such a thing? It can’t be humane…
    I have only adopted from a pound and I don’t think I will ever consider adopting from anywhere else. But your point about how it’s a double-edged sword when it comes to boycotting places like these puppy mills definitely stumps me! All I know is they shouldn’t exist and I want them to disappear completely!
    The amount of resources and information you have is amazing! You really are credible because you took the time to get your facts right. Great job and keep it up! I think you’ve found your niche!

  4. Laura Beth Says:


    I agree with everyone else who has written so far: Your posts are chock full of information, but not only that, you back it up with facts, links and images.

    I loathe puppy mills. I don’t want them to exist at all, and I will definitely join the crusade to stop them. Debarking is the most inhumane thing I think I have ever heard, and I’ve heard several inhumane things in my life. Why are people so cruel to animals? It’s not like many of them did anything to us!

    My neighbors across the street from me at home adopted an abused dog about five years ago. His barking is loud and annoying, but at least he isn’t violent. They’ve given Bogey a loving, safe home and there are other dogs in the neighborhood that he plays and interacts with. My neighbor told me when they first got him in 2005, he showed all the signs of being abused or being raised in a puppy mill: extreme defensiveness, wild and uncontrollable barking and growling, constantly wetting the carpet and floors, the list goes on. His physical condition was awful too, but now he’s happy and healthy. I wish all abused dogs could have happy endings like Bogey’s has been.

    Keep up the great work, and I agree with Megan: I think you’ve definitely found your passion!

  5. placecm Says:

    I’m glad that everyone found it to be informative, I can’t tell you how many projects I’ve done on puppy mills. I find them to be horrible places and I can’t get over them. I am horrified by it and the fact that it is a double edged sword is aweful but the truth. I hope all my blogs can be this informative and helpful if not a little depressing. But I feel in order for me to get the point across it needs to be depressing in some way. I try to end on a happy note but there is only so much I can do when it’s about such a sad topic. Thank you for all your input, I hope everyone who reads this blog learns something from reading it.

  6. saidkhorram Says:

    Now we can help the dogs in puppy mills to have a much better life. Please spread the word!!!!


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