A puppy farm (also known as a puppy factory or puppy mill) is defined as 'an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the animals' behavioural, social and/or physiological needs'. In simpler terms, puppy farms are places that don’t provide the dogs in their care with adequate food, water, grooming, vet care, exercise, play or affection. The living conditions are horrifically overcrowded and the housing unhygienic, often with filthy, faeces laden floors. Puppy farms are a serious welfare issue in Victoria and not just confined to puppy breeding - kittens are also bred for profit in similar appalling conditions.
And don't forget mum...
It’s not only the welfare of the puppies that is a concern. Once the puppies are sold, their mothers are left behind to endure endless cycles of producing litters in these appalling conditions. Female dogs as young as six months old are made to churn out several litters a year till they can no longer reproduce. These poor dogs simply don’t get the chance to recuperative, leaving them with serious ongoing health problems. Sadly, there are thousands of dogs and cats living in unacceptable conditions – literally being ‘bred to death’.
How to avoid supporting puppy farms
Puppies or kittens from these farms are sold to the unsuspecting buyer via any sales channel that prevents the buyer seeing the appalling conditions these dogs are bred in - including the internet, newspaper ads, markets, car boot sales and pet shops. Any type or breed of dog can come from a puppy farm (purebred dogs, crossbreeds, mixed breeds), so you cannot be sure a dog has not been bred in a puppy farm based on the breed. The only way to be sure you’re buying from a reputable breeding facility or breeder is to visit them, meet the mother and check out the conditions. Find out what questions you should be asking when looking for a reputable breeder– read the RSPCA Smart Puppy Guide .