Tracking Backyard Breeders
Why track backyard breeders?
Many times dogs are kept in poor conditions including inadequate water, food, or shelter and lack veterinary care. They receive little socialization. Genetic defects are passed down requiring costly veterinary care for families. Lastly, they contribute to the homeless pet crisis.
What are the different types of breeders?
Home Breeders: Will generally only be breeding one dog or the litter may be accidental as they didn’t spay or neuter their pet(s). More often, home breeders are usually trying to make a quick profit. Their puppies are commonly mixed, although you will see purebreds. They aren’t concerned about temperament or physical characteristics of the dog. These breeders usually aren’t very educated about what they bred or about dogs in general. Home breeder’s ads will be limited unlike backyard breeder or puppy millers who will be posting ads regularly.
Hobby Breeders: Breed for show or sport. Money is not the driving force behind these breeders. They generally take good care of their dogs and usually only have one breed of dog. Commonly have just a handful of adults.
Backyard Breeders: Individuals that breed out of their house, basement, backyard, garage, shed, etc. to try and make a profit. Care given to these animals is usually the very minimum - cages are small, dogs may be sitting in urine and excrement, may not be fed properly (malnourishment is common), little to no veterinary care, genetic deformities may be common. Backyard breeders generally live in suburban or semi-urban areas. They usually have multiple breeds of dogs that are under 30 lbs. They purposely breed smaller dogs because they are easier to hide from the neighbors and are easier to sell. They will commonly have 10-30 dogs, but 150-200 is not unheard of. They sell to pet shops and directly to consumers through newspaper ads and the internet. Many not allow customers into their houses or where the dogs are being housed and prefer to meet buyers in parking lots within a few minutes of their property. They may refuse to show the parents of the puppy they are selling.
Commercial Breeder: Also known as “puppy mills.” The driving force behind puppy mills is money. They mass produce puppies. Puppy mills are the main source for pet stores. Conditions in a puppy mill are generally poor - small wire floored cages, dogs may be sitting in urine and feces, usually are not receiving proper veterinary care, and breeding females may sit in a cage for ten or more years. In order to increase profits they are bred as often as possible. Puppy mills may have anywhere from approximately 50 breeding females to a thousand breeding females. Usually found in rural areas. Missouri is the “puppy mill capital of the country” and are common throughout the rest of the Midwest – Puppy Mill Belt (i.e. Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, and Oklahoma)