Here in Ohio the list of puppy mills is long. In fact, in 2017 there was 12 puppy mills listed on the Humane Society of the United States “Horrible Hundred” list that are based in Ohio.
Most of these mills are located in or near Ohio’s Amish Country.
Ohio is one of 28 states that regulates 255 registered “high-volume” dog breeders. In Holmes County, which is located in Amish Country, 132 “high” volume dog breeders are registered. (A high volume dog breeder is anyone that keeps, houses, and maintains adult breeding dogs that produce at least 9 litters of puppies in any given calendar year and sells 60 or more adult dogs or puppies per calendar year.)
Why does this concern me? Because there’s a lot of Newfies that live in Ohio. That’s not saying that every Newfie that lives in Ohio came from a puppy mill but I’ve unfortunately heard quite a few stories where a person has gotten their Newfoundland from Amish Country. Also, Ohio is one of the states that still allows puppies to be sold in pet stores. In fact, if you look at the above map,I live in Cuyahoga County which has 3 pet stores that sells puppy mill puppies. There’s a pet store less than 10 minutes away from my house that sells Newfie puppies. They’ve been selling them there for at least the last 5 years. They’re still selling them because people keep buying them.
I want this to stop. I want puppy mills to be gone for good. I don’t want the Newfoundland to be sold in pet stores. The breed deserves better than that.
That’s why My Brown Newfies is proud to be an endorser of Stop Puppy Mills Ohio.
Thousands of dogs are suffering in puppy mills throughout Ohio. Mother dogs are forced to breed continuously in factory-like conditions, then discarded like trash when they can no longer produce puppies. Dogs are crammed into small, filthy wires cages for their entire lives, denied basic care. Stop Puppy Mills Ohio is working to end this cruelty.
As a resident of Ohio and an advocate for the Newfoundland breed it’s my duty to spread more awareness about puppy mills and Newfoundlands being sold through these mills, that’s why I created a list of ways you can easy spot them.
Misuse of the word Adopt. Many pet stores, puppy mills and commercial breeders have started to use the term “adopt” to lure people in. Afterall, society has told us many times to adopt don’t shop right? If money is exchanging hands you’re making a purchase. I’m not talking about a small adoption fee that you pay at a shelter, I’m talking about several hundred, and in many cases, thousands of dollars. If you feel so guilty about buying a dog that using the term “adopt” makes you feel more comfortable in your own skin, then go to a shelter and adopt one. If you want a purebred dog from a responsible breeder then you have to come to terms with the fact that you will be purchasing that dog. A responsible breeder isn’t going to use the word adopt and try to compete with shelters and rescue dogs.
Pet store. It’s said that 95% of puppies sold in a pet store come from a puppy mill. Please just stay away from pet stores. You are not a saving a puppy, you are putting more puppies and dogs in harms way because you are creating a demand for that breed. For every puppy store sold in a pet store, another breeding bitch will have to endure horrible conditions to supply more puppies. Dogs and puppies produced in puppy mills go through horrible things to get to that pet store. They are kept in horrible conditions, not properly cared for, sold to a broker, placed in a pet store and cared for by people who are not qualified to care for any animals and no nothing about the breed. Pet stores will often try to trick potential puppy buyers by using a play on words. They will say that their puppies come from breeders and not puppy mills. The problem with that is that a breeder is a loose term that refers to anyone who mates 2 dogs. Do you think that the 16 year old who is trying to sell you that puppy has ever been to that “breeders” facility? I’m sure they have not. Why do you trust what they’re saying then? Have you ever seen a mini van of puppies being delivered to a pet store? I have. I use to work right across from a pet store and they would get “deliveries” of puppies twice a week. They would get deliveries of puppies in a mini-van that was stacked with plastic carriers filled with puppies and the manager of the store would go through the puppies and pick out the ones that didn’t appear sick. It was disgusting.
Advertising. A responsible breeder does not rely on advertising. They don’t place For Sale signs on their front lawn. They don’t advertise in the newspaper, they aren’t listed in the Ebay Classified section and they aren’t sold in pet stores. Responsible breeder’s dogs sell themselves, they don’t need to pay for advertising. Where you might see them is in the breed club’s magazine, show magazine or a dog health magazine.
Heath certificate. If someone is using a health certificate as a selling point be careful. A health certificate is required for any puppy sold across state lines. All this means is that puppy had a basic exam by a veterinarian. This does not include specific testing such as being cleared by a cardiologist for heart conditions, or the testing of parents for genetic disorders such as hip dysplasia.
Registered. Seems like today any dog can be registered with the AKC and many pet stores proudly display an AKC sticker somewhere on their store front. This registration does nothing to ensure that your puppy is healthy and free of genetic disorders , that the dog follows breed standards or that the dogs and puppies come from clean and safe environments. All someone has to do to get an AKC registration is to send in a required fee along with an application, if the dog’s parents are registered, the puppy will then be entered in the AKC database and given a registration number. It’s an important number to have if you’re going to do something with it like microchip your dog, OFA, compete in dog sports…etc. It’s like a social security number for a dog but it doesn’t tell you anything about that actual dog, just that it exists in the world of dogs.
No contract. A contract should come with any puppy that you purchase. This contract contains important information like the breeders contact information, information about vaccines, feeding and exercising. It should include spay/neuter information, such as the proper time to alter a giant breed dog. This is vital health information that every new puppy owner should have. It has health testing information like when to have hips, knees and elbows cleared. Most breeders would like to have this information on file in case an issue arises. A contract will usually also have an agreement in it that states you agree to contact the breeder if something happens and you are no longer able to keep the dog. A responsible breeder wants this dog back, they do not want it going into a shelter. Many people don’t know that there’s quite a few people that are responsible for that dog. When Sherman sired a litter a few years ago, I signed a contract agreeing that if a puppy was returned from that litter for whatever reason and whenever in time, I would take the dog if the breeder was not able to do so. This ensures that the puppy always has a home. A contract will also state if the puppy is considered pet quality or show quality. This doesn’t mean that a show quality puppy is any better than a pet quality puppy in terms of health but that a show quality comes with a different set of responsibilities.
Rare. Stay away from the word rare. There is no such thing as a rare color in the Newfoundland. There are standard colors. In the U.S. that means black, white and black, brown and grey. There’s no silver, blue or bronze. Silver or blue=grey. Sometimes you’ll see a white and brown but that’s not rare, that was someone either not paying close enough attention to color genetics or they knew exactly what they were doing and they wanted white and brown. It’s not rare. Rare dry-mouth. Nope, not rare. While some Newfies may drool less than others that’s the luck of the draw. If someone is specifically breeding the jowls tighter so that they don’t drool as much, that’s altering the breed for their own satisfaction. It’s not rare and it’s not responsible.
No visiting. If someone tells you that it’s not possible to visit their kennel or the place where the puppies are kept, run away. Any respectable breeder will not mind inviting you to their place of residence. They will not ask to meet you in a Walmart parking lot. If someone says that they live on a 20 acre farm and that their place is too hard to find, don’t buy it. Also be careful of farms, while many breeders may actually live on a nice farm with lots of acres for their dogs to enjoy, there are some who keep their dogs locked in a cage in a barn on a farm, especially in Amish Country. This is not a good quality of life. Not being able to visit also means that you aren’t able to see the parents. You want to be able to see at least one of the parents in person, preferably the mother. If the father isn’t kept on the property then you should be able to see pictures or contact the person that has the father.
6-8 weeks and ready to go. A puppy that is 8 weeks or younger should not be seperated from their mother of litter. Most responsible breeders will not let puppies go to their new homes until at least 10 weeks of age. At 8 weeks of age a puppy is still learning crucial social skills from their mother and not all health tests have been performed. When you get a puppy that is 8 weeks or younger you risk the puppy having social and behavioral issues later on in life.
No List. If you decide that you want a Newfoundland today and you get one today, most likely you’re dealing with a puppy mill or greeder. Responsible breeders normally have a waiting list. They have a list because they have carefully planned litters, they aren’t just “winging” it. You shouldn’t be able to get a Newfoundland the same day that you decide you want a Newfoundland. The day you decide that you want a Newfoundland your name should go on a waiting, after you’re screened by the breeder. Most likely your name isn’t going to go on a list for the next litter either. The people on that list decided that they wanted a Newfoundland 12 months ago. Now this isn’t a rule for ALL responsible breeders, some breeders do not like having a list for a handful of reasons and one is because they know exactly who their puppies are going to well before hand. While all responsible breeders may not use a list to keep track of potential puppy buyers, if they pass the above scenarios then I wouldn’t use the no list example as a deterrent.
It all comes down to the fact that puppy mills are going to be here as long as we let them be here. If we are giving them a reason to produce puppies they will. It’s up to us to stop giving them reasons and be responsible puppy buyers. This isn’t a new concept. In fact I was just reading one of my Newfoundland books that was copyrighted back in 1974 and it addresses many of the same things as I listed above. People just need to be careful, do their research, be patient and ask questions.
If you’re a registered voter in Ohio and you’ll be hitting the polls on Tuesday, make sure to check your polling station for volunteers who are circulating petitions to place “The Ohio Puppy Mill Prevention Amendment” on the November 2018 ballot. Your signature will give the voters a chance to decide if Ohio will be off limits to puppy mills, or a refuge for those who would keep mother dogs in inhumane confinement conditions.
Researchers found at least nine dealers on the “Horrible Hundred” report selling online on PuppyFind.com.
PuppyFind.com has repeatedly been linked to problem puppy mills listed in the Horrible Hundred
reports. A number of the breeders in this report also advertise on other online outlets, including
internet classified sites and on social media.
Don’t think Newfoundlands are found in puppy mills?: In July 2014, a USDA inspector found 11 violations, including a Newfoundland dam with her 8 newborn puppies “located in a dirt hole” in an outbuilding; the licensee stated “he was not aware [that] the puppies were there.” The
puppies did not have their eyes open yet, they were soiled and vocalizing, and they were “too young to
move out of the hole on their own,” according to the inspector’s report. In January 2015, Yoder’s USDA
license was cancelled for unknown reasons, but in February 2015, he applied for a new license. The
prelicense inspection was compliant.