Why you should avoid puppy mills
Puppy mills can be a danger for families that want to adopt a new dog. A puppy mill is a breeding facility with the sole purpose of churning out the most dogs for the least money - and to make the most profit. Substandard breeding conditions and inbreeding can lead to disastrous results:
Because many puppy mills do not take the proper precautions when breeding dogs, genetic diseases that could be identified during professional medical screenings are often missed and passed down to future generations. Many issues caused by these conditions don't show up until later in life, and can result in costly veterinary bills.
Temperament selection is not taken into account at a puppy mill. Puppies are often separated from their the mother too soon, resulting in development and socialization difficulties and serious behavioral problems later in life.
Contributing to pet overpopulation and euthanasia
When a parent at a puppy mill is no longer able to produce, the dog many be given to the nearest shelter, abandoned, or even destroyed. Also, because the puppies produced in puppy mills do not have safe and healthy homes selected for them ahead of time, if they are not purchased by the time they hit a certain age, they may suffer the same fate.
Since the 1980s, the Humane Society of the United States has been fighting to shut down these facilities. You can do your part by making sure to research before you adopt and by keeping yourself informed!
For more tips on finding a responsible breeder, check out the HSUS.org guide.