A "puppy mill" is a commercial dog breeding business that focuses on making money instead of raising happy, healthy animals. Dogs are often mistreated in puppy mill settings, and many puppies are sent to their new homes with health issues such as parvovirus, pneumonia, mange, fleas and kennel cough.
Breeding practices at puppy mills are not safe. Genetics are ignored, so puppies often have hereditary defects. Common disabilities and illnesses that eventually develop include epilepsy, deafness, heart disease, hip displacement, anemia, cataracts and respiratory ailments.
Living conditions at puppy mills are often unpleasant. Puppies are taken from their mothers early, and kennels are generally crowded and unsanitary. The animals may receive inadequate amounts of food, water and veterinary attention. It is not unusual for puppies to remain caged indoors until they are sold.