What is a Puppy Mill?

A puppy mill is not the number of dogs in a kennel, it is all about how the dogs are cared for.  Puppy Mills are less than 5% of the total number of breeders, but they are a blot to the entire industry and should be shut down.

A puppy mill is NOT a breeder with a lot of dogs.  One advertiser told us that she has seen breeders with 5 dogs that she considered a puppy mill.  Our AKC inspector said she has seen a breeder with TWO dogs that she would call a puppy mill.  There are ways to tell the difference between a puppy mill and a professional breeder.  Conditions in a puppy mill are substandard and may even be deplorable.  Their dogs may lack food, or receive a poor quality food.  Puppy mill dogs may lack water or not have access to clean water.  These dogs may lack adequate shelter, or not get their vaccinations/wormings on schedule.  Puppy mill puppies may not even know how to walk on the ground if they were born in a cage or might not have been handled by humans in any affectionate way.  These animals are in many cases malnourished and sickly.  If these kennels were licensed and inspected, they would not be in business, which is why any attempt to further legislate the dog breeding industry will only harm honest, legitimate breeders.  The puppy mills will continue to exist because they are not regulated, licensed or inspected.  Of all 50 states, Missouri has the highest standards in the dog breeding industry.

Most professional kennels are closed to the public, not because they have anything to hide (like a Puppy mill), rather they do so to protect their puppies.  Just like the ICU department at the hospital does not permit just anyone to visit in order to protect the other patients; professional kennels are closed because they must also protect their puppies.  A professional kennel is not a storefront.  If you feel you must visit the facility, then purchase from pet store, but buyer beware (see below).  We know a local breeder with 300 adult breeding dogs and you could eat off their kennel floor, but they recently lost nearly all their dogs due to the Corona virus.  They used to admit customers into their facility in the past (which actually goes AGAINST the instructions of our state inspectors), now their business is closed, as in shut down, wiped out.

A professional breeder can probably tell you the names of every dog in their kennel.  A professional breeder keeps their dogs up to date on their vaccinations and wormings.  A professional breeder feeds quality dog food, even though they could save a ton of money with a less expensive brand.  A professional breeder will probably have champion lines in some of their breeding stock.  As a professional dog breeder, we have even turned away potential buyers if they did not meet OUR standard as a pet owner because we care more about the puppy than we do the money.  A puppy mill cannot make the same claim.  Puppy mills are not licensed or inspected by any state or government official.  Many professional breeders sell their puppies directly to the consumer, saving the buyer a lot of money and saving the puppy a lot of wear and tear by having only one transition period.

At Jarbethís Kennel, we go one step further. Many breeders, once the sale is complete, have no further contact with the buyer.  We encourage our customers to call anytime with any question and have taken calls from our customers years after a sale.  We are there for our puppies from beginning to end.  We do not bail out on our customers once the sale is made, because in essence, we would be bailing out on our puppies.  Our dogs are our life.  They are manís best friend.  What kind of friend would we be if we turned our back on the dogs we produce in our kennel at any stage of their life?  Buy a puppy from Jarbeth's Kennel, then call back in a year or so just to ask a question.  In some cases, we will either remember your name and/or the puppy you purchased.  You won't get that from a puppy mill or a pet store.

Not all breeders are cut from the same bolt of cloth. All types of dog breeders are in it to make a living or to supplement their income.  However, a puppy mill is not in the business to better the breed.  They have no breeding program.  They just put two dogs together repeatedly regardless of whether the puppies meet the standard for that breed or not.  Garage breeders do the same.  Friends, just because you and your neighbor have Pugs (for instance) does not mean that it is a good idea to have a litter of puppies.  Is your dog brucellosis free?  Has your dog been genetically or DNA tested?  Do you know whether you and your neighbor's dog are related?  Would you recognize if your dog has pyometra (a canine version of pelvic inflammatory disease)?  She might lay down and die if you can't.  Would you know if your mother dog is calcium deficient?  She might lay down and die of you don't.  Do you know the signs that the mother is in delivery trouble?  Can you tell if she needs a C-section?  You may lose the mother and the entire litter of you can't.  Do you know how to get the puppies out of their sack and breathing if the mother is too tired or if its her first litter and does not know how?  Do you know how to tell if the mother has a retained placenta?  She may lay down and die if you don't.  Yes, nature in many cases will take care of itself.  But in nature, many things can go wrong.  Are you prepared to deal with any or all of these instances?  They can happen to normal, healthy dogs.  Do you know how to send in the paperwork to register your litter?  There is a LOT that goes into breeding dogs.  Please educate yourself before you enter this arena.  If you had a brain tumor, would you go to your neighbor, your plumber, or your auto mechanic or would you go to a professional?

The bad news is that animal activists, who are also a blot on society, don't get it.  They may be nice, sincere people, but they are sincerely uneducated, misinformed and many have no desire to learn (or tell) the truth.  In their uneducated opinion, no one has a right to breed or sell animals.  Any animal.  Animal husbandry has been going on since time began, so their opinion is in the severe minority.  If there was no human intervention, there would be no pure breeds left, pure breeds would all go extinct.  Animals were put here for our use.  Notice I did not say they were put here for our misuse.  We have a sign posted near our front door that states, "This house is maintained for the comfort & security of our animals.  If you don't like that, please leave."  A neighbor of ours recently had an auction to sell some of her dogs.  There were animal activists all over the place, some trying to take photos, others bidding on the dogs.  They crammed dozens of dogs into a small van.  If a breeder had done that, they would have been charged with abuse.  Some of the dogs the activists purchased were later found dead in a dumpster out of state.  We found out because the dogs had microchips and were traced back to the our breeder friend.  Animals activists do not care about the animals, it seems they are only interested in taking away the rights of honest breeders by clumping us all together with dishonest puppy mill owners.  Honest breeders want both puppy mills AND animal activists to be charged for their crimes; crimes committed against us (honest breeders) and the animals they indiscriminately mistreat under the guise of liberty and freedom.  Puppy mill owners want freedom for all, animal activists only want freedom for themselves and their own opinion, so they are actually lower than the puppy mill owners.  If you are an animal activist, reader beware.  I am not against you personally, I am against what you stand for.

The good news is that many puppy mills do not sell their puppies directly to the public, but some do.  The best way to go about your purchase is to become educated.  Know the breed you are interested in.  If you purchase from a store front, ask the pet store owner for the name of the kennel/breeder where they got their puppies.  Call the breeder.  Ask for references and/or for the phone number of their vet.  If you decide to purchase directly from a breeder, such as Jarbeth's Kennel, ask the breeder questions and do not send any money to a breeder until you are satisfied that they are legitimate.  Scam artists usually do not post phone numbers, or if they do, will not answer or return your call.  We will answer or return your call as soon as we can.
A few of our references are posted on this site. Click here.