Yes - puppy mills have always reminded me of concentration camps - the poor dogs live out their lives completely neglected and abused - barely alive at all - and their lives are then ended by being incinerated. Dogs - the most social of all animals and our closest companions - are made to suffer in unimaginable ways....ways that are closer to torture than just neglect.
The title of the show was inspired by comments made during a 2005 Lancaster County zoning board hearing when a dog breeder was asked what happens to unsold dogs. He said they were "exterminated" and their carcasses spread over fields as fertilizer. "They are biodegradable," he said.
I do believe that we can make an impact on puppy mills if we focus our collective energies and pick our battles. This is essential as there are many animal lovers who feel that any dog breeder is evil and that all dog breeding must end.
This will never happen so I believe it's a waste of time and energy trying to fight all breeding and make the good ones the enemy.
There are many very good breeders who produce small quantities of healthy and highly socialized puppies. The quality of life among these dogs and puppies is good. The bitches and stud dogs are family pets. Many of these breeders hold the belief that most potential buyers of their puppies do not measure up and are rejected; they are very picky about who gets their puppies.
Additionally, they usually do this out of a deep love of a particular breed and not for profit...there are many easier ways to make a lot more money. A good breeder stipulates that all puppies be spayed/neutered.
These reputable breeders are not the enemy.
Those who operate puppy mills are the enemy, but I believe we can make an impact. Pet shops selling puppy mill dogs (which is what most pet shops sell) can be boycotted and prospective puppy buyers can be educated and enlightened. Humane societies, SPCA's and rescue groups can work together in their local communities.
Even if there are no puppy mills near you, there is a good chance there are backyard breeders whose dogs live in similar conditions to those in commercial puppy mills.
Here are some websites that are helping...
Prisoners of Greed
United Against Puppy Mills
Stop Puppy Mills
North Penn Puppy Mill Watch
New Jersey Consumers Against Pet Shop Abuse