Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

I’ve read all the comments about Lancaster puppies. I bought my dog from there, and the experience was great. Yes, it was an Amish family, but my Stitch was born in a barn on a milk farm in wonderful condition. We met the entire litter even though we went there with a specific puppy in mind.

I have gotten a lot of eye rolls and speeches about rescuing instead of buying, but the only dog I could have was a Yorkie due to one of my sons being allergic to dogs. 

As in every situation, there are good and bad apples in every aspect of our lives. Do the research, ask the right questions, and request to see where the animals were born and kept. If someone has something to hide, they won’t allow you access to these.

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

I agree with what Katherine Brown said about Lancaster Puppies, but I just wanted to add a few things. I, too, need to gain experience with this organization. Still, I have had experience with similar businesses during my 25 years of showing, breeding, raising Great Danes, and working for our local Great Danes rescues.

I can confidently say with 99% certainty that the “breeders” advertising through Lancaster are backyard breeders or puppy mills. Reputable breeders don’t need services like these to showcase their puppies.

Many reputable breeders already have a list of potential homes for their pups before birth. Suppose a puppy’s home falls through, or they have puppies that aren’t spoken for. In that case, reputable breeders have plenty of other avenues to circulate a puppy’s availability. 

It is often just word of mouth through other people in the dog community. Someone looking for a puppy might contact breeder X, who doesn’t currently have puppies available or any litters planned but knows that breeder Y does.

Few, if any, of the sire and dam of the puppies available through Lancaster have had any health testing done. You can find out the recommended health testing for a particular breed by going to the breed parent club. 

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

If you need to become more familiar with parent clubs, these breed clubs (for instance, Great Dane Club of America) are responsible for setting the breed standards you see in AKC publications. The individual breed pages on the AKC website have links to the parent club’s website.

Adoption is wonderful, but there are sometimes reasons why there are better options than adoption. I would never purchase a puppy from any website. Plenty of websites walk you through what to look for in a responsible breeder so I won’t go into detail about that. 

But in a nutshell, a few of the key elements to look for in a responsible breeder are: the puppies are registered with preferably AKC, but the UKC (for new breeds only) and CKC (Canadian Kennel Club, NOT Continental Kennel Club) are acceptable.

Sire and dam were health tested; sire and dam have AKC, CKC, or UKC (new breeds only) championship and performance titles; breeder will allow you to see where the puppies are being raised; breeder has a detailed contract; breeder requires the dog to be altered unless being shown or in other competition.

Again, those are just a few things to look for in a breeder. There are always exceptions to the rule. So, if a breeder doesn’t meet all the criteria I’ve listed, they shouldn’t automatically be ruled out if there is a good reason for not meeting them.

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

Would you consider Greenfield Puppies in PA to be a puppy mill?

They aren’t – they don’t breed any of their dogs. Rather, they are a “broker” through which puppy mills can sell their dogs without the expense of keeping up their website/advertisements.

According to their website:

They sometimes visit and check the breeders they work with.

They recommend (but do not require) that the puppies sold on their site have had any shots and been wormed.

They recommend (but do not require) that a vet has seen the puppies sold on their site.

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They also have over 300 “breeds” for sale at a given time, with half of those being mixed breeds “Golden Mountain Doodles” and “Jack-a-ranians.”

DO NOT buy a puppy from them, please!

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

What is a puppy mill dog?

Rather than try to explain what a puppy mill is, let me take you on a tour of one….

The first thing you encounter upon entering the property, which is usually quite secluded, is the smell. Along with dogs that are filthy and cages that are never cleaned is the smell of despair and hopelessness on the faces of these poor dogs. They sit in their dirty cages daily, never taken out and never feeling a soft touch or a belly rub. 

They are there for one breed. The millers do not care which dog they breed to, just as long as it’s the same breed. No researching pedigrees, no health checks..nothing. They aim to pump out as many puppies as they can as quickly as possible. 

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

You look into their eyes, and there are no twinkles, no merriment, no let’s play ball look, only despair. Dogs with long coats, like the Maltese or shitzu, are so terribly matted they can barely walk. Of course, there is no walking around in their cages. There is barely enough room to turn around and lie down. 

When a bitch comes into season, a male dog is put into the cage with her. She is given no prenatal care. In 63 days, she will give birth..with no help and no afterbirth care. The puppies are taken from her when they are about four weeks old…barely weaned. Any that are deformed, and many, because of improper breeding, are simply killed. 

If the breed has fallen out of fashion by the time the puppies are born, the mother is put into a cage with a large wire bottom so that when the puppies are born, they fall through the wire bottom and die. The millers don’t want anything that won’t sell… means no money, and will only cost them. The puppies are sold to a broker, and from the broker to a dealer to a pet shop to you. 

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

The puppies are very often sick and sometimes don’t even make it that far. You notice the water bowls are mostly empty, and those with water are green with filth..undrinkable until someone decides to change it. The bowls are never washed..just refilled.

These sad animals are there for one reason: to breed and make money for an unscrupulous miller. Many of these mills have been closed down by authorities, but the millers have gone to the internet. 

They picture a kennel that looks like the garden of Eden..all lush green grass, clean sparkling kennels, and happy, well cared for, and healthy animals. In truth, behind that facade lies the same horrors as before. Beware of buying a puppy online.

When I was younger, I became very involved in exposing puppy mills. I wrote a local newspaper column on dog care; one of my favorite topics was puppy mills. They haven’t changed in all those years ago…..

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?
Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

Is Greenfield Puppies a puppy mill?

Greenfield Puppies appears to be a broker of dogs from various breeders. And many, if not all, those breeders are likely puppy mills. Why do I say this?

  1. They will ship dogs nationwide; reputable breeders will not do that. They are far too concerned about their puppies ending up in proper home environments and will insist on meeting the buyers.
  2. Reputable breeders will NOT sell through brokers or third parties (including pet stores). They sell directly and insist on language in their purchase agreements requiring the buyer to return the dog to them if there is a reason to relinquish – not surrender to a shelter or sell to another owner. Again, they care about the outcome of those puppies and do not treat them as livestock.
  3. The press has cited them as working with known puppy mills and unlicensed large-scale breeding operations. Here is just one example. State local SPCAs battle the scourge of unlicensed kennels

You can best go to your local shelter, rescue, and humane society and adopt a dog from there. They have purebreds, mixed breeds, adults, puppies, you name it. And you’ll be saving a life.

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Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

Is Greenfield Puppies a puppy mill?

No responsible breeder sells through a broker…

Greenfield Puppies appears to be a broker. Hence, they get their dogs from people who are in dogs for one reason … to make money. That typically means they are not well-bred for temperament and health (much less the breed standard), nor are they properly socialized or any of the things that good breeders do.

The parents of their puppies are probably living in hell, especially those from the Amish, plenty of whom breed dogs en masse and in cages.

As the buyer of a puppy, you have two choices: you can support these types of breeders and buy from a pet store or a broker, and have a dog that was not thoughtfully bred, left with its mother until just the right time, fed properly, etc. or you can buy from a responsible breeder.

It may be more costly, but pet stores are more expensive. You might have to sign a contract, but that means the breeder cares about what happens to their dogs.

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

How can you give a puppy from a puppy mill someone to love and care for it without supporting the puppy mill?

My little Puccini was from a puppy mill. I didn’t realize it when I saw his photo online and fell in love with him. I called the phone number, and a man arranged to meet me at a shopping mall to trade my cash for the puppy.

That got me thinking this was not completely legit. I insisted that if I couldn’t visit the home and see the doggie parents for myself, I wanted the veterinarian’s number who had supposedly given the puppy his first vaccinations. The man reluctantly gave me an out-of-town veterinarian’s name. 

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

I called the vet and was told they also had never been to the property, but they vaccinated puppies from there every couple of weeks. The vet said he suspected this operation was a puppy mill.

I still bought my little guy but reported my findings to my local vet when I took Pucci in for his first check-up. My vet said he would work with the out-of-town vet to try and shut the operation down. A couple of weeks later, the online site was gone.

When you suspect a puppy mill, that should not stop you from buying your little pup. He’s already here and needs a good home away from the monsters who bred him into existence. But you should do everything you can to shut that operation down so that no other innocent puppies are brought into the world.

How can you give a puppy from a puppy mill someone to love and care for it without supporting the puppy mill?

You can adopt one of the adult dogs used for breeding. Last November, word got out to some people who love the Keeshond breed that five breeding-age dogs were being auctioned at a Springfield, MO facility. 

They were from a puppy mill in Kansas that owned over 700 dogs of various breeds. Two women from the St. Louis area went to Springfield with the financial backing of other Keeshond lovers. They won the auctions of the four females and one male. 

The young adults were housed with someone near St. Louis. They were vet-checked, and three of them were neutered. Their socialization was started. They were groomed and bathed. 

When separate foster homes were found, they were transported to those homes. They were all adopted by people who were experienced with rescues. This coordinated action saved multiple Kees puppies from being born and raised in a puppy mill situation. 

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

How do you tell if the breeder you buy puppies from is a puppy mill? And why should you avoid puppy mills?

A puppy mill will have many different types of dogs and many, many of them. They will be kept in cages and bred at each heat cycle. You will not be allowed to see this. You will be shown only select puppies. You will never see your parents. 

The puppies will often be interbred with their siblings or even parents. Congenital disabilities often occur; these puppies are killed almost immediately after birth. The females do not receive proper aftercare and usually suffer miserably. Many die from complications. It is a horrible existence for these dogs.

A puppy mill will not want you to see the filth in which the mother and the puppies live. They might need to find out which male bred the female.

As a former small breeder, I had one stud, Deacon. I had two females: Morgen and Caitlin.

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Morgen had four litters in her lifetime. A heat cycle was skipped each year. So, she had a litter a year for four years; she was then retired and spayed.

Caitlin had three litters in her lifetime. A heat cycle was also skipped for her each year. She, too, was retired and spayed. Neither had a litter before they were three years old.

They were both retired when they were seven years old. They received prenatal care and post-natal care from our vet.

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

 The puppies were raised in our home with full human interaction for at least eight weeks. Three days after birth, the mothers and the pups were vet-checked. They received regular vet checks at three weeks, four weeks, six weeks, and eight weeks before going to their forever homes.

Potential pet parents were required to come to my home to interact with the pups and the parents. Questions were asked by both myself and the potential pet parents. Upon approval for adoption, a contract was signed to purchase the puppy. 

A deposit was taken to hold the pup, and a receipt was given for that deposit. No puppy was allowed to leave the litter until they were at least eight weeks old. 

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?
Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

Each puppy left fully weaned, piddle pad trained, fully vetted, and with a puppy starter kit with a small bag of their food with coupons for said food, piddle pads, and toys they had played with that had the scent of their mother and litter-mates.

If you go to buy a dog and are not allowed to see the parents or at least the mother, that is a red flag.

If you are buying an AKC or CKC registered puppy and cannot be provided the pedigree of the parents or at least the mother, that is a red flag.

That is a red flag if you are not allowed to see where the puppies are being kept or raised. If the puppy does not seem human-socialized or appears afraid, that is a red flag.

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

If you are not provided vet records, that is a red flag.

Do your research when buying a puppy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to a reputable breeder for your puppy. 

But if you see any red flags, look somewhere else. A good breeder, who is not a puppy mill, will have nothing to hide. They will want the best for the puppy. 

They will not be interested in just making money. They will be looking for red flags in you, too. I have told people no before. Not everyone who walked in my door was worthy of one of my grand-pups!

And by the way, I know where all thirty-one puppies are. I have kept in touch with the pet parents through Facebook and the Christmas card we send yearly.

Is Shake a Paw a reputable place to buy puppies?

Of course not. No reputable breeder ever, ever, EVER places puppies in a pet store to be sold to anybody with a checkbook and a casual impulse to buy a puppy.


Frankly, it makes me feel physically sick to my stomach to imagine a puppy of mine in a place like that, with nothing but pure luck to get him into a good home. All reputable breeders feel the same way.

Therefore, all puppies in all pet stores come from either puppy mills, ignorant backyard breeders, or shelters working with the pet store to place their dogs.

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Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

All dogs in shelters also came from puppy mills or ignorant backyard breeders. Every single reputable breeder takes back a puppy if the owner can’t keep it. That is part of the definition of “reputable.” Therefore, only a few dogs in rescue organizations and shelters came from reputable breeders.

Pet stores are an awesome place to buy a puppy if and only if:

a) You think it’s great to support puppy mills and

b) Your other favorite hobby is playing Russian roulette, so taking wild chances with your puppy’s health strikes you as fun.

Why do some people still buy puppies from puppy mills?

Most puppy mill puppies are not sold directly from the mill itself; they are sold to pet stores, where people buy them. Pet stores often claim they get their animals from reputable breeders. Still, the simple fact is that reputable breeders usually want to know where their animals are going and ensure they’re getting a good home.

The bottom line is that you can assume that any animal you buy from a pet store, be it a dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, mouse, lizard, whatever, came from a mass breeding mill, and this is why many cities and states in the U.S. have banned the sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet stores.

A backyard breeder is different than a puppy mill, although usually not much better. These people often advertise on sites like Craigslist, while a reputable breeder will usually have their own website. Backyard breeders, like puppy mills, usually don’t breed animals selectively for health or temperament like reputable breeders.

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

Why do people buy from backyard breeders? Because they’re cheaper than reputable breeders, and often, someone who wants a particular breed of dog will want to avoid paying the higher price. A Papillon from a reputable breeder usually costs a thousand dollars or more in the U.S. A backyard breeder will sell them for three or four hundred.

The bottom line is that as long as people buy animals from pet stores, puppy mills will exist, and people need to realize that buying an animal off websites like Craigslist also fosters poor breeding practices. 

It’s much better to go through a breed-specific rescue or to bite the bullet and pay the higher price for a puppy from a reputable breeder, but some people are uneducated, and others don’t care.

Conclusion: Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

I don’t have any specific knowledge about this, but I wanted to relate my experience as I’ve been looking for a puppy that wouldn’t break the bank. 

Because I was worried that the lower costs I saw on Lancaster puppies meant they had puppy mill breeders, I decided to google some sellers with lower-priced puppies. 

I will say that I found several that had either news articles or were on lists with breeding conditions, meaning they were puppy mills. It doesn’t mean they all are, but that means you have to do your due diligence by checking each that has a puppy you are interested in.

Is Lancaster puppies a puppy mill?

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