What is a puppy mill?

A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding facility where many of the pedigree puppies found on sale in pet shops are bred. The puppies are also sold by the puppy mills themselves. The emphasis on profits over the welfare of the animals often leads to substandard, often appalling, living conditions and inevitable suffering, especially for the dogs who are used for breeding.

The poor living conditions, together with frequent inbreeding, mean that many puppies are born with physical abnormalities, genetic flaws and hereditary defects. Many puppies develop behavioural and social problems due to the inappropriate living environments, and from being taken from their mothers at too young an age.

In 2010, the case of a puppy mill at Pasir Ris from which 85 sick and neglected breeding dogs were rescued highlighted the problem of puppy mills in Singapore. Many of the dogs suffered from various serious illnesses including tick fever, skin problems and general neglect. Some of the animals died.

The Campaign

In July 2010, representatives from key animal welfare groups in Singapore – ACRES, Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), Cat Welfare Society (CWS), House Rabbit Society of Singapore (HRSS) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) met up with officials from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to appeal for a strong stance against the unethical and unacceptable practices of puppy mills in Singapore and to present a joint proposal for improving the standards and conditions for dog breeding facilities in Singapore.

The animal welfare groups have offered to assist the AVA and will support the agency in its endeavour towards improving the welfare of dogs in puppy mills. The groups will also engage in educating the public on the puppy mills and their operations.

Following the meeting, the groups, also supported by Noah’s Ark Cares and Animal Lovers League, issued a joint press release to bring the puppy mill issue to public attention.

Read the joint press release on puppy mills here.

See media coverage here.

A website dedicated to raising awareness on puppy mills has been established at sgpuppies.com. Please take a look, especially if you are considering acquiring a dog companion.