The majority of puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. A puppy
mill is a factory farm type facility that is only interested in producing as
many puppies as possible for profit, without considering the health or well being of the
puppies or the puppies' parents. Breeding dogs are often kept in cages their
entire lives, churning out litter after litter, and are not given the care
needed in order to maintain physical and mental health.
Please do your research before purchasing a
puppy. Read our checklist on Choosing
the Right Puppy and Finding a Good Breeder for more questions you should ask when interviewing breeders
and selecting your new puppy.
about puppy mill puppies
Most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills -- factory-like facilities, churning out purebred puppies in large numbers. Puppy mills
look to make a profit; commonly disregard the dog's physical and emotional health; and do not adhere to sound breeding practices. The result is
often sick or dying puppies who suffer from genetic, mental and physical health problems that are not always immediately apparent to the consumer.
Thousands of "breeder" dogs live a miserable existence in horrific conditions without hope of ever being part of a family.
the puppy mill – pet store connection
Most pet stores are adamant that they do not support puppy mills and that the dogs they sell are strictly from "reputable breeders."
However, many people who purchase their puppy from a pet store can end up with a sick or dying animal. With some research, they will learn their
puppy was indeed from a puppy mill. For those who were lucky enough to purchase a healthy dog, it is important to keep in mind that purchasing
that dog makes room for more puppy mill dogs raised in horrendous conditions. Every puppy mill dog purchased ensures that the industry continues
Reprinted by permission of
The Humane Society of the United States.
puppy mill brokers posing as breeders
Often times puppy brokers will purchase puppies from a puppy mill, then resell them via websites or newspaper ads,
posing as breeders or families that just happen to have a litter of puppies.
Their stories are rehearsed and thoroughly thought out, and initially it can be
hard to tell the difference between a reputable breeder and a puppy broker.
In order to avoid unknowingly purchasing a puppy mill dog, visit the breeder
in person and meet the puppies and the parents of the puppy. Ask to see where
the dogs are kept and take note of the conditions and how many dogs, puppies and
different breeds are on the premises. Ask for a copy of the pedigree, then go
home and research the kennel names on the pedigree. A simple google search often
reveals a puppy mill in the puppy's background. If a breeder pressures you to
leave with a puppy rather than holding one for you for 24 hours, or if they
refuse to give you a copy of the pedigree, move on to another breeder.
recognizing backyard breeders
If the breeder doesn't participate in any type of conformation, agility,
obedience, or other club-sponsored events and does not test the parents for
diseases prior to breeding, they are likely a puppy mill, puppy broker, or "backyard
breeder". Backyard breeders often obtain cheap dogs that may have come from
puppy mills, then randomly breed them for profit, disregarding the importance of
health and breed standards. Backyard breeders often neglect their dogs and many
are kept in poor living conditions, chained up or kenneled for most of their
For more information on recognizing a good breeder, before purchasing a puppy visit our page on
Finding a Good Breeder >