The industry of puppy mills, started right after the post war era of World War II in the late 1940s. The production of crops was reducing so farmers were looking for an alternative, and this resulted in the development of the first commercial puppy business. With an increase in the number of puppies being produced, the first pet store was also invented. These farmers often housed their dogs and puppies in chicken coops with no socialization to humans because only two or three people worked on the farms. Dogs were rarely ever fed and had no veterinary care at all.
In 1960, the animal welfare act was eventually passed and this was a law that wanted cat and dog breeding to be regulated. Commercial breeders are to be licensed, and routinely inspected by the United State Department of Agriculture. However, the conditions of puppy mills are still the same, if not worse than what they used to be.
According to the ASPCA, there could be as many as ten thousand puppy mills in the United States alone. Therefor, there is no way that each and every single one is regulated. Dogs and puppies are still kept in cages similar to chicken coops, stacked into columns, with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs. Dogs are also inbred which results in genetic disorders in puppies. They also are still receiving no veterinary care and malnutrition in a pregnant or nursing dog has a great effect on the health of her puppies.
Sick dogs are also rarely ever taken from breeding pools. Puppies are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions including epilepsy, heart diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and many more diseases and problems. What most people don't know is that these puppies that are arriving in pet stores and in their new homes are also carrying along with them diseases that effect humans. Leptospirosis is one of the many diseases puppies carry. It is a bacterial disease that is spread through the dogs and puppies urine. It remains in soil and water for months and when humans come in contact, it can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death. Other diseases that spread to humans are brucellosis, which is also a bacterial disease, scabies, and hookworms.
States have the power to stop this industry and create stricter laws and although many states have, most states, such as Kansas and Texas, haven't done much and don't require breeders to be licensed or even inspected by the state.
"Companion Animals." The National Humane Education Society. N.p.. Web. 3 Nov 2013.