Just stopping in to share a link with you that I got from the Humane Society of the United States today. I already knew this, I already knew that puppy mills were bad, but in case you don't know, check this out:
Larry and I are raising pasture-raised, free range chickens for a reason. Large scale production chicken houses lock chickens in small cages, where they are prone to illness, disease, and injury. Injured birds are not cared for, and often die and are left in those cages. Those birds never get to go outside and forage for grass and bugs they way they nature wants them to.
The same goes for puppy mills. Please don't ever buy an animal from a pet store. You don't know the conditions in which they were born. Just like the large scale chicken "factories", puppy mills treat animals like machines. They lock them in cages, never to see the light of day, never cleaning up their cages, and forcing them to breed. They don't care if they get sick or injured. Then they take the cute little puppies to the store to make a quick buck.
We have never gotten an animal from a puppy mill. Only Grish was purchased from a breeder. The rest of our pets are rescues. We rescued them directly from an owner, from the Humane Society, or from a breed rescue. I am all about giving dogs a home - but when you buy a puppy mill puppy, you are supporting an INDUSTRY, a factory. Should your dog come from a factory? Heck, Larry and I don't even think your Thanksgiving turkey should come from a factory. So should a pet you have for 10-18 years come from a factory? No. Rescue an animal first - from a shelter, or rescue society. Get it spayed or neutered. Talk with your wallet. Don't give puppy mills money - then they can't stay in business. If we are all aware, we can all take action, and puppy mills will close.
Just my 2 cents.