Puppy Mill

Ok, Im a victim of falling in love with that puppy in the window...at a pet store, and of course a Maltese. I admit to having no knowledge of "puppy mills"..but after searching the net regarding the Maltese Breed, I've run into this term several times. I'd like to know the specifics of what constitutes a puppy mill (the term conjures up horrendous images), and how I can find out if "my" puppy was once a resident of one.

Upon purchase, I was presented with a pedigree, that went back 4 generations, and included coat colors. The names of the various champions of this particular puppy's geneology were typed in red. Does this sound legit, or have I been duped?

At any rate, the puppy is spectacular, and to my novice eye, fits every standard of the breed.... Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Also I have a name of a "breeder" on the pedigree as to where the puppy is supposedly from, though I'm not sure posting it here would be appropriate...

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