Puppy Mills

What are Puppy Mills?

Puppy Mills are “mass dog-breeding operations” (The Humane Society of the United States.) The dogs are raised in very bad conditions and the female dogs are constantly having puppies. The puppies will eventually be sold to pet stores for the general public to buy.
The Humane Society of the United States

The Animal Welfare Act

This act is tries to ensure the proper treatment of animals that are being “bred for commercial sale” (The Animal Welfare Act, Wikipedia Page.)
Unfortunately, some puppy mills find ways around this act.
The Animal Welfare Act Wikipedia Page

Link to my blog about Puppy Mills
My Delicious Account

Questions and Answers by Sharon H. from the SPCA of Tampa Bay

Date of Interview: December 8, 2008 via e-mail
  • How did puppy farms or mills get started?
Puppy mills began after World War II, when desperate farmers looked for other ways to make money in the face of widespread farm failures. In response to this situation, the US Department of Agriculture encouraged the raising of puppies as a crop. Retail pet outlets grew in numbers as the supply of puppies increased, and puppy production was on its way. However, the puppy farmers had little knowledge of canine husbandry and often began their ventures with little money and already rundown conditions. They housed their dogs in chicken coops and rabbit hutches, and often couldn't afford veterinary care. Animal welfare organizations got involved, investigating conditions at these farms and eventually were successful in bringing national attention to the dreadful and irresponsible conditions at these puppy mills.

  • Why are the dogs treated so poorly in puppy mills?
They are not considered pets at these puppy mills. They are considered products or inventory of a business. The cheaper it is to take care of them, the more money the puppy mill makes. The buyers never see the awful conditions at the puppy mill, so generally there is no incentive to make things better.

  • Do the puppy mills have any regulations stating the treatment of animals?
The Animal Welfare Act is the federal law that governs the humane care, handling, treatment and transportation of some animals in certain situations: animals in laboratories, dealers who sell animals to laboratories, animal exhibitors, carriers and intermediate handlers, dog and cat breeders, puppy mills, zoos, circuses, roadside menageries and transporters of animals. The Animal Welfare Act does not protect animals during an experiment, regardless of how painful or even unnecessary it is. Excluded from the Act are the following: retail pet stores, state and county fairs, livestock shows, rodeos, purebred dog and cat shows and "fairs and exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences." It sets minimum housing and maintenance standards for confined animals. These minimums generally become the maximum at these puppy mills. The minimum standards are also very broad and poorly defined. The AWA has the potential to improve the living conditions for animals who are being housed in laboratories, exhibits and breeding facilities. The responsibility for enforcing the AWA lies with a division of the US Department of Agriculture known as the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). However, budgetary constraints and strong opposition from animal breeders, pharmaceutical companies, exhibitors, and experimenters - as well as an inadequate number of inspectors - have resulted in poor enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.

  • Are there laws prohibiting puppy mills?

  • If there are so many puppy mills around America, and they all get such bad publicity, why haven't most of them been shut down?
Puppy mills are businesses and it's pure and simple economics, supply and demand. For every puppy bought in a pet store there will be another one to
replace it that much sooner if people keep buying them there. Puppies are just inventory. Inventory gets restocked. But if inventory doesn't sell, then the items are no longer sold. People think they are "rescuing" puppies when they buy one of them from a pet store. There is no way to save all the pets in the pet stores by purchasing them all. And even though people don't mean to help these puppy mills stay in business when buying one of these ailing puppies, that is exactly what is happening. Puppy mills will exist as long as it is economically feasible to do so. Unfortunately, as the laws stand now in most states, many puppy mills aren't being prosecuted for animal cruelty however immoral or inhumane it they may be. Recently another form of "Electronic" pet stores has started popping up on the internet. Their websites claim themselves as "Pet Brokers". Be very leary of any internet pet sales, especially those selling multiple breeds. This could be an indication that it is a business fronting puppy mill puppies. Clearly no reputable breeder ever would sell to a "pet broker" any more than they would sell to a pet store. The Humane Society of the United States has been actively working to protect animals in puppy mills through humane investigations. These investigations have resulted in many puppy mills being closed down and their owners prosecuted by using state animal cruelty laws.

Puppy Mill Videos from You Tube

"Stop Puppy Mills"


"The Oprah Winfrey Show - PUPPYMILLS (Part 1)"