What is a Puppy Mill

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Puppy mills come in all shapes and sizes.

Typical housing for up to 60+ dogs.

Puppies at a Puppy MillPuppies at a Puppy Mill
Interior of Sundowner Puppy Mill FacilityInterior of Sundowner Puppy Mill Facility

Inside typical housing

These buildings allow for one person to care for many dogs

Interior with CagesInterior with Cages

Photo by Amiee Stubbs
Animal Rescue Corps

Some breeders use rabbit hutches
to house the dogs.

Puppy millers create beautiful websites that make them look like loving breeders. The reality is quite different. 

The Puppy Mill Reality

A puppy mill is a dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the health and well-being of the breeding dogs and puppies produced. These facilities vary in size from small breeders — ten to twenty dogs — to very large breeders that have hundreds of breeding dogs. The breeding dogs are forced to breed twice a year or at every heat cycle. The breeding dogs are kept mostly in overcrowded wire cages, living and breeding in them. The breeding dogs are not groomed, they are not given opportunity to exercise nor do they know the touch of a loving hand. They are denied veterinary care and most are living and breeding with painful conditions such as urinary tract infections, ear infections, rotten teeth, infected eyes, tumors, infected mammary glands and sore feet from standing on wire cage floors — that never get addressed.

Puppy mill breeding dogs endure neglect, loneliness, depression, sadness, disease, misery, abuse and cruelty. Plain and simple, these dogs are considered livestock. The lucrative cash crop of puppies the breeding dogs produce are sold to pet stores and online through puppy mills, puppy broker websites such as Greenfieldpuppies.com, Puppyfind.com, Nextdaypets.com, Lancasterpuppies.com and others where hundreds of breeders list thousands of dogs for sale in one location. Online puppy mills can also be found using social media pages of every kind as well as classified ads. They sell directly via the internet to unwitting consumers via the internet who are unaware of the cruelty they may be supporting. If you are looking to add a new family member to your home, please visit the breeder and meet the puppy and mother dog. Unless you see for yourself, you will never know where your puppy was born. Please consider adoption too.

Chester

There are two types of puppy mills.

1. U.S. Department of Agriculture – licensed and inspected. Breeders with USDA licenses are considered commercial dog breeders. In our opinion, you don’t want your puppy to come from a USDA commercial “breeder.” These commercial breeding facilities are inspected by the USDA about once a year but many can go longer without being inspected. These breeders have a USDA license to breed and resell dogs and/or puppies. USDA licensed breeders sell puppies to America’s pet stores and on websites that list thousands of puppies for sale. To be licensed, these breeders need only to provide the minimum care standards set by the federal Animal Welfare Act. For example, breeder dogs can be kept in a cage six inches bigger than their own size on all sides for life, and there is no limit as to how many times they can be used to breed. The USDA considers dogs in these facilities livestock. There are around 2,349 USDA licensed breeders in the United States. Every state has commercial breeders however, there are high concentrations in Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Indiana.  When you buy a puppy from a USDA licensed commercial breeder it’s BUYER BEWARE!

2. Non USDA-licensed or unregulated. These breeders do not hold a USDA license and depending on the state in which they are located, may or may not be subject to state laws or state inspections. These breeders primarily sell their puppies through misleading online puppy mills, puppy broker websites such as Greenfieldpuppies.com, Puppyfind.com, Nextdaypets.com, Lancasterpuppies.com and others where hundreds of breeders list thousands of dogs for sale in one location. Online puppy mills can also be found using social media pages of every kind as well as classified ads. There are an estimated 8,000 plus such breeders selling over 1 million puppies online each year. When you buy a puppy from an unlicensed  breeder it’s BUYER BEWARE!