by Nick Norris

There are around 10,000 puppy mills in the United States, the Puppy Mill Project estimates. This number includes both licensed and unlicensed facilities.

Over 2 million puppies are born and housed in these often poorly-kept mills each year. Additionally, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized yearly in these facilities, many being adult females who have outlived their usefulness by being unable to breed.

Puppy mills are often crowded facilities that lack adequate services such as clean water, proper food, veterinary treatment, or open spaces. The puppies who are raised in these sometimes-abusive conditions are then sold for profit while more are born to take their places in cramped cages. Often, puppies as young as 8-weeks old are sold to pet stores with false documentation and diseases.

As aforementioned, many of the female breeders are bred to death, birthing litter after litter until they are no longer able. Once incapable of conception, females are often killed as they are no longer profitable.

Though these situations are dire, there is still time to help.

The third Saturday of September is the annual Puppy Mill Awareness Day. Activists around the world are working to have puppy mills banned. You can do your part by spreading awareness and refusing to support any stores that profit from puppy mills. Instead of buying puppies and dogs from commercial stores, you can adopt.

One of the many reasons First Foundation exists is to help former service and working dog trainees find adoption into loving homes. Many of these dogs did not become working dogs due to their loving and overly-friendly nature, making them perfect pets for welcoming families. First Foundation also donates service and companion dogs to first responders and military members in need. These canines go on to greatly assist personnel and even become heroes in their own right by lending a helping paw and averting disasters.

The canines First Foundation have available are kept in spacious, affectionate environments where they enjoy quality conditions and ample playtime. Adopting with organizations such as First Foundation are a much more humane and reliable method of adding a fur-friend to your home.

To spread the word about the ongoing fight against puppy mills, share this article and others like it on social media today. If your home is interested in adopting, you can fill out an application at 1stfoundation.com/pages/k9-adoptions.