Ever wondered what kind of life puppy mill dogs and future pet store puppies lead? Here we tell you about their misery and what all of us can do to end uncontrolled breeding, overpopulation and killing.

No doubt who the pround parents of these happy puppies are

Isn’t this the perfect photo to show the world what family life is all about? Such happy pups with their proud parents!

Puppy mills, also known as puppy farms, are factories where puppies are made, put on a conveyor belt, packaged and shipped out to bricks and mortar and online pet stores all over the country. Although, at first, they may look and act cute, many puppy mill pups have latent behavior issues and serious health problems brought about by animal abuse.

Also, let’s not forget the breeding parents left behind to endure a cruel and miserable existence, which is all they have known and will ever know.


  • Alone. Never loved. Never groomed. No running after a ball. No toys. No treats.

  • Live in cages with a wire floor so that most of the waste matter falls below. The feet become deformed and leg injuries are common.
  • Generally undernourished and receive little veterinary care.
  • If kept outdoors, they have no protection from the cold or the heat. If housed indoors, they never see the outside world.
  • A “brood bitch” is kept permanently pregnant and when she is no longer able to produce, she will likely be killed or abandoned.


The misery of puppy mill dogs used for breeding

Deplorable conditions where puppy mill breeding dogs spend their life

  • Puppies born at puppy farms are typically separated from their mother and litter mates at 6 to 8 weeks of age and deprived of a critical socialization period. As a result, they tend to become shy and anxious, or fearful and aggressive.

  • Since this type of breeder is interested only in maximizing profits, good genetics are not a consideration. Consequently many, if not most, puppy mill dogs suffer from malnutrition, birth defects and generations of hereditary diseases.
  • Puppies are usually sold to pet stores through a broker. When transported to those locations, they may not survive the journey if they are not properly fed and watered or receive adequate ventilation and protection from the elements.
  • If they are not sold, they will be killed.
  • Uncontrolled breeding of this kind results in serious overpopulation. It is estimated that between 2 and 4 million puppy mill pups are sold each year in the USA while between 3 and 4 million dogs and cats are killed in shelters each year for lack of homes.


  • Although some pet store puppies have pedigrees, they may still have come from a puppy mill.

  • Often these “papers,” which are the dog’s lineage records, are falsified.
  • People who buy puppies at a flea market, through newspaper ads and over the Internet also need to beware.
  • The only way to make sure that a puppy comes from a reputable source is to go to that source and verify for yourself.


  • In order to sell puppies to a pet store, a breeder must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • There are between 2,000 and 3,000 USDA-licensed breeders in the USA.
  • Licensed breeders are commonly referred to as puppy mills.
  • Some are not required to be licensed.
  • Backyard breeder is a term that describes a breeder who operates illegally.
  • There could be as many as 10,000 such businesses here, in this country.

Puppy mill dogs live in deplorable conditions like this!
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These dogs remain outdoors, come rain or come shine


  • The federal Animal Welfare Act stipulates that breeders who have more than three breeding female dogs and sell puppies to pet stores or puppy brokers must be licensed and inspected by the USDA.
  • Nonprofit organizations work tirelessly to get abuse reported and non-compliant breeding operations shut down.



If there is a pet store near you that has joined the Puppy Friendly Pet Stores program, it is one of over 2,000 across the country that have pledged to never sell puppies again. Some have even transitioned to allow local humane and rescue societies to hold adoption events in their store so that puppies and adult dogs can go to loving homes. Kudos to these business leaders for embracing change!

We encourage you to support stores that have joined the movement to end the exploitation of puppy mill dogs and purchase all your pet supplies from ones that display the sign, “We Love Puppies, That’s Why We Don’t Sell Them.”

Example of inhumane conditions at a puppy mill

Cramped, unsocialized and potentially dangerous


  1. Refuse to buy anything, including supplies, at a store that sells puppies.
  2. Adopt from a mill dog rescue or other reputable rescue/shelter organization.
  3. Join an advocacy group and fight for laws that protect breeding dogs and their offspring.

Pet store puppies are usually sold quickly. If a pup does not sell fast, the price is reduced, and further reduced until someone eventually buys it.

The lower the price, the less profit the store makes. Next time the store will order fewer puppies. If pet stores buy fewer pups, the breeder will produce fewer pups. And, one day, we hope that all puppy mills will be a thing of the past!


In the coming months we will be adding pages to showcase more topics related to the treatment of animals. For now we invite you to read some basic facts we have compiled regarding Factory Farming. Please click on those words to view.



One way for us to join forces and help the No Kill Advocacy Center pursue this aspect of animal abuse is to acquire a unique, handcrafted glass pendant from our collection of Gift Ideas For Her. Please click on the words Gift Catalog to view. We are proud to make them available to our visitors. Enjoy looking at them, giving them and wearing them!

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nd pendant post

We have just discovered a great site about music that has been specially created about, for and with animals, and wanted to share this with you.

Laurel Canyon Animal Company is the name of the record label and Skip Haynes invites animal communicators to work with him on a number of musical projects.

One of our favorite CDs is More Songs To Make Dogs Happy and really like the tracks Squeaky Bark, Whistle Song and Unconditional Love.

You can listen to free sound samples by visiting http://petcds.com/MSTMDH.html