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The evil empire of puppy mills and catteries

The evil empire of puppy mills and catteries

I never realized, how many people talk about their vet bills on Twitter.

While I sometimes joke that vets are still cheaper than most kitchen or bathroom reno’s or lawyer visits, vet bills can get out of control and seem never ending.

If you have ever complained about the cost of vet care, keep on reading, it may save you thousands of dollars.

If you are one of those people who has a heart of gold but can’t seem to walk by the pet store window without “rescuing” yet another puppy mill puppy or cattery kitty, think twice.


Many of these puppies and kittens have been affected by:

  • poor nutrition
  • crowded environment
  • heavy parasite burden

Your puppy mill purchase may drain your pocket but also fuel the vicious circle of

factory style pet production.

If no one bought from puppy mills, they would cease to exist.

Physical abuse and concentration camp like conditions are common. Unscrupulous breeding practices lead to serious genetically predisposed health problems. This includes breeding closely related animals such as brother and sister or parents and their off springs.

  • Most animals are fed inferior food that has a lifetime negative effect
  • on their health such as bone and skeletal deformities.
  • Parasite burden may be a source of serious organ damage and poor digestion.
  • Animals from puppy mills and catteries are often less socially adjusted.
  • Over-vaccination is common and can lead to more disease including cancer later on.


  1. Be strong and resist the urge to save the puppy or kitten behind the shop window.  By making your purchase you are in fact putting more animals “through the mill”.
  2. Adopt an animal from a shelter
  3. If you have your eye set on a special breed that is not available at shelters , inquire at the local societies and clubs or contact a small scale family oriented breeder
  4. Always request to see the mother of the kittens or puppies if dealing with a breeder. If you are not allowed, this should raise a warning flag
  5. Choose puppies and kittens that are loved and well socialized or those who have been abandoned and are in need of a good home.
  6. Do not have your puppy shipped or flown without visiting its original home.
  7. Observe your ego.  Do you really need “the expensive dog or cat?”
  8. A living being should not be a fashion statement. Look for a best match , the best friend.
  9. Never get a pet for your young children or as a gift. Choosing an animal friend is a big decision. You would not adopt a child for anyone else either.
  10. Ensure that you can spare at least 2 hours of your time for walks or interaction with your new family member.Never leave your new animal outside and alone for days and weeks. Pets are social and they need to be included.
  11. Be responsible, don’t be stupid and go with your gut feeling.

© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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