Puppy mills are nothing new. These mass dog-breeding operations have been around for decades, but
they continue to be a problem because unsuspecting consumers keep buying those adorable puppies in the pet store window. Or
on some slick Internet site. Or even through an ad in the trusted local newspaper.
But behind the friendly fašade of these pet shops, web sites, and newspaper ads, there often lies a puppy mill. These
canine breeding facilities frequently house dogs in shockingly poor conditions, particularly for "breeding stock" animals
who are caged and continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a
family. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result
of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems.
The puppies will be shipped cross country by truck to be sold in pet shops, but many are also sold via newspaper classifieds
sites and are often accompanied by false claims such as, "We'd never sell puppies from a puppy mill."
The Laws Aren't Enough
Because a puppy mill is a business, the facility is designed purely
for profit, not comfort. Laws are on the books to provide minimum-care standards for puppy-mill animals, but enforcement has
historically been spotty at best. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses and inspects puppy mills for violations
of the Animal Welfare Act; likewise, some state laws are designed to protect the charges in the average puppy mill. But puppy
mills can successfully navigate around these laws, whether by selling directly to consumers (thereby avoiding USDA licensing
requirements) or simply by avoiding the reach of law enforcement (with so few USDA inspectors and minor fines, it's easy to
stay in business).
We Need Your
The Humane Society of the United States has
been investigating puppy mills for decades, exposing the cruel realities of the commercial dog-breeding industry. We've lobbied for the current laws as well as for additional
money to enforce those laws. We've also educated millions of consumers on the many reasons they should avoid pet-store puppies.
But our work is far from over. There are still thousands of puppy mills that need to be shut
down for good. We need your help to do exactly that: Stop puppy mills.
Help The HSUS spread the word about puppy mills by ordering and distributing copies of our two fliers, "How to Find a Good Dog Breeder" and "How Not to Buy a Puppy."