A tale of two puppies
Below you’ll meet Jasper, on the left, and Logan, on the right. Jasper and Logan are both healthy-looking, adorable, 8-week-old puppies. But their pasts and their futures couldn’t look more different.
One of these puppies came from a reputable and caring breeder, while the other came from a puppy mill. Can you tell which is which?
Nope. You can never tell just by looking at a puppy whether or not it came from a mill.
But here’s the real story behind the cute photos:
|How they were sold||Jasper was bought by the McPherson family from a reputable breeder. They’re on their way now to pick him up. They have already visited the breeder several times.||Logan was bought by the Stevenson family through an ad they saw on an online classified ad that said “Adorable, health-checked, CKC-registered Golden Retriever puppies, raised in loving home.”
The woman who answered their email inquiry sent them photos of Logan and his littermates, and once the Stevensons emailed back to say they wanted to meet him, the woman offered to bring him to a shopping mall parking lot near them. They’re on their way there now.
|Housing||Jasper was born and raised in the breeder’s home, in a room specially set up with a whelping box for the birth and nursing of the puppies.|
At about 3 weeks old, they moved to a much bigger playpen just off the kitchen where they had toys and things to explore. It was cleaned several times a day.
|Logan was born in a small, barren, wire cage, in a dirty, dimly-lit barn with rows and rows of such cages. There were no windows nor ventilation, so the dogs suffered extremes of heat and cold.
The ammonia stench from urine burned the eyes of both dogs and people.
They had no toys or stimulation of any kind and no room to run and play together.
|Health||Jasper was thoroughly examined by a veterinarian, he has been dewormed a few times and has had his first vaccination. |
His breeder has trimmed his nails several times.
|Logan has never been seen by a vet and he hasn’t been dewormed or vaccinated.
His nails have never been trimmed.
|Nutrition||Once Jasper and his littermates started weaning from their mother’s milk around 3-4 weeks, they were fed softened, high-quality puppy food.|
His mother and father also are well nourished and healthy.
|The only food Logan knows is a mash of the cheapest, lowest quality food, and not enough of it, so his growing body is not receiving all the nutrients it needs.
The inferior food gave him diarrhea, which further dehydrated him.
His food and water bowls were usually contaminated with feces and urine.
|Socialization||Jasper and his littermates had many visitors as they grew. They met, played with and were handled by people of all ages, including young children.|
Their enriched environment taught them how to play, to explore and to adjust to various household noises, smells, etc.
Jasper’s upbringing will help him grow up to be a well-adjusted, social and happy companion to his new family.
|Logan has never been out of the dirty, barren cage, nor felt a gentle human touch.
He's never been inside a house, heard a vacuum, dishwasher, or doorbell.
He’s never set foot on carpet, linoleum, hardwood or grass.
Logan's deprived existence will make it difficult for him to adjust to new people, sounds and experiences.
|Breeding practices||Jasper’s breeder knows a lot about the dogs in his pedigree – their temperaments, structure, health, etc.|
Both of Jasper’s parents and all his grandparents were screened by specialist veterinarians for all known genetic disorders in the breed.
With this information, she carefully plans breedings with the goal of producing the healthiest puppies, both physically and mentally.
Jasper’s breeder waits till the females are 2 years old before breeding and they don't have more than 4 or 5 times in their life.
She won't let the pups go to their new homes before they are 8 weeks old. This is important as they learn a lot from playing with their littermates and being nurtured and reprimanded by their mother.
|Logan's breeder knows nothing about the health, temperaments or structure of her dogs or any of their ancestors.
She doesn't know anything about genetic disorders and even if she did, she wouldn't pay for such tests.
This means there's a good chance Logan and his littermates will develop some painful and life-shortening or even fatal condition.
Logan’s breeder breeds the females on their first heat, which could be as early as 6 months, and then every heat after that until they can produce no more. The worn out "breeder" dogs are discarded when they can no longer produce.
The puppies are taken away from their mother at 5-6 weeks old and sold to brokers who ship them to pet stores, or they are sold directly to the public. (Logan is a "leftover" puppy that wasn't sold as early as his littermates.)
|Paperwork||Jasper’s breeder will provide puppy buyers with: a bill of sale stating the breed and price; paperwork regarding microchip identification implanted in the puppy; copies of veterinary records; copies of registration papers for the sire and dam; certificates showing the sire and dam are clear of genetic disorders; a copy of a 3-generation pedigree for the litter, as well as a package of information on caring for the puppy. |
She will also submit the paperwork to the Canadian Kennel Club (or other registry recognized by the Animal Pedigree Act) to register the puppies in the names of their new owners.
|Logan’s breeder will provide a veterinary record that may or may not be valid. She may also provide a registration certificate from the Canadian Kennel Club or possibly from a bogus breed registry that's not recognized by the Animal Pedigree Act.|
|Follow-up||Jasper’s breeder will phone or email within a few days to make sure Jasper is doing OK.|
She will be available for any questions Jasper’s new family has and will ask them to send her pictures of Jasper as he grows,
|Logan’s new owners will never hear from his breeder again.|
|Puppy placement||The McPhersons had to fill out a questionnaire about their lifestyle, past dog experience and what they were looking for.|
They were also required to visit the breeder’s facility at least once. The breeder wanted to be sure they would be responsible, loving, lifelong owners before agreeing to let them have a puppy.
|Logan's breeder didn’t ask them for any information besides their names.
She didn’t ask if they’ve owned a dog before, or have enough money and time to care for him properly.
|Guarantee||Jasper came with an extensive, written guarantee of overall health and temperament including genetic disorders. |
The guarantee offers some financial reimbursement in case of illness, not simply a replacement puppy.
The breeder also had the McPhersons sign a contract outlining her obligations as well as requirements for the McPhersons, such as obedience classes, spay/neuter and general care of the puppy.
|Logan came with a 5-day guarantee that if there was a problem the Stevensons could give the puppy back and get a replacement.
Of course, this is NOT a meaningful guarantee as the Stevensons fell in love with Logan by the time they got home and couldn't possibly send him back. The breeder is counting on this.