What are puppy factories?

Home   >  The Issue   >  What are puppy factories?

The dictionary defines puppy factories as "A place where puppies are bred for profit".

Also known as a puppy farm or puppy mill. This is the definition widely accepted by animal welfare organisations world wide.

Just like sheep farmers farm sheep, or pig farmers farm pigs —puppy farmers farm puppies. 

 In 2010, RSPCA Australia attempted to write their own definition of what constitutes a puppy farm, however their definition was not accepted by any other animal welfare organisation at the time.

Many animal welfare organisations realised it was a flawed definition that allowed for puppy farms to be completely acceptable.

This is why the only organisations that use the RSPCA's definition are the pet industry and puppy farmers themselves. They use this definition to target animal advocates and threaten them with legal action.

Puppy factory dogs are frequently denied adequate food, water and shelter. Their veterinary care and social needs are often disregarded.

Breeding dogs are confined for the majority of their lives, in some cases, their entire life. They are forced to breed to supply a commercial market. Puppy factories are designed purely to make a profit from the sales of their product ... puppies.

Most breeding dogs suffer painful and untreated health conditions; such as eye infections, ear infections, mammary tumours, hip dysplasia and  skin infections.

Puppy factory dogs are not walked, patted or shown any love. They're not given the chance to nurture and love their pups, as they are usually taken from them at around 6-7 weeks.  

When their exhausted bodies can no longer produce, they are often killed and replaced.

They are deprived of social interaction, companionship, environmental enrichment and they are not given a chance to bond with a human the same way a pet dog in a family home does.

Dogs that live a life of deprivation develop severe psychological damage and in some cases, even when rescued, these damaged dogs never fully recover. Some dogs remain fearful and shut down and require extensive rehabilitation to get them to the stage where they can be adopted. 

Dogs on puppy factories are kept in sheds or outdoor dirt yards and some dogs are kept in small crates.

Some are clean and employ staff, usually family members. Some are filthy and employ no-one.  Some puppy farmers paint murals on the shed walls or clouds on the roof in an attempt to make it appear visually appealing —but even clean puppy factories with colourful murals on their walls are no place for dogs. 

These cruel facilities supply pet shops with puppies, or sell them online directly or via a broker. The unsuspecting public are told the pups are from "reputable breeders".

In many cases these pups have serious illnesses or genetic defects due to poor breeding practices, some of them become so sick they die before they are sold or shortly after.

While some consumers may think buying a puppy from a pet shop or an online add is helping them or saving them, it is actually financially supporting one of Australia's cruelest industries.

If you don't want to support puppy factories; never buy a puppy online or from a pet shop.

Read our ethical dog buyer's guide