We’ve all heard of the ill practices of puppy mills in Singapore. These profit-driven breeding facilities have been outed for their poor conditions and cruel practices towards their breeding dogs. According to a commentary by Dr Siew Tuck Wah, president of Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD), almost every puppy sold in Singapore comes from a puppy mill. Most puppy mills can be found in Pasir Ris Farmway, Kranji or Lim Chu Kang-areas on the outskirt that are mostly hidden from the public eye. If you recently got a puppy or own a dog which you purchased from a pet shop, you may be wondering if it came from a puppy mill. Here’s how you can tell.
If you are not allowed to meet the parents of the puppy or visit the kennel, it is highly likely that your pup came from the mill. Reputable breeders will allow or even encourage buyers to see the parents of the puppy and visit the kennel. Such a visit allows you to evaluate the health of the parents and the conditions they live in.
If you find a breeder or shop offering more than three different breeds (or their mixes), it probably works with a puppy mill, if it isn’t one itself. Reputable breeders usually focus on one or two breeds.
To save money, puppy mills often sell unvaccinated puppies with no veterinary record. Always ask if the parents and puppies are vaccinated, and find out if you can get hold of the breeder’s veterinary record.
You would want to avoid buying a puppy from a puppy mill as these dogs are generally not in good health and lack socialisation. To maximise profits, female dogs are bred over and over with little to no recovery time between litters. They are treated as breeding machines until they can no longer produce puppies- by which time they are left to die from poor health.
Puppies from puppy mills are usually susceptible to various health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, eye problems and deafness. On 1 Jan 2017, SOSD Singapore posted a video highlighting the appalling medical conditions of their rescued dogs. These dogs had been living in inhumane conditions under a former dog breeder, said the group. Watch the video to witness how these ex-breeding dogs have suffered from years in a puppy mill.
The only way to put an end to puppy mills is to stop the demand. If you are considering welcoming a pet into your family, choose adoption. If you must purchase a puppy of a particular breed, ensure that you are buying from a reputable breeder by going through the above list.
Read more: List of Dog Shelters in Singapore
If you’re heading down to a shelter, check out some products you should bring down so that the doggos will love you!