The dog industry in the U.S. is a $53 billion a year business, pumping out more toys, treats, beds, and organic dog foods than any other country in the world. But it’s not all chew toys and leashes in the business: Puppy mills, where scores of animals are kept in cages no bigger than the animal for the sole purpose of breeding, are a rising problem. Dogs born in the mills are sold and shipped to pet stores throughout the country. Often these dogs grow up to have severe medical conditions and behavioral issues.
This is why when getting a dog, it’s important to avoid dog stores that support puppy mills and rescue or adopt a dog from more reputable sources. Here’s how.