There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States (this includes both licensed and unlicensed facilities). Over 2 million puppies bred in mills each year. An estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year.
Where are puppy mill puppies sold?
Nearly all puppies sold at pet stores come from puppy mills. Pet stores are the primary sales outlet for puppy mills and are essential for keeping puppy mills in business.
Both licensed and unlicensed mills sell to pet stores (many mills sell to pet stores without the required license and are not held accountable).
Puppies are bred in mills and then shipped all over the country. For example, puppies bred in the Midwest may be shipped on trucks to southern California or Florida.
The shipping conditions are inhumane. They can be forced to go up to 12 hours without food or water, and they are confined in a small space where diseases can be easily transmitted. Many puppies do not survive.
What You Can Do
Adopt from an animal shelter or rescue group; never buy from a pet store. Remember that 25% of shelter animals are purebreds
Volunteer at your local animal shelter or rescue group
Ask your elected officials to outlaw puppy mills. Urge them to demand that the USDA enforce the Animal Welfare Act. For your senators’ and representatives’ contact information, visit www.vote-smart.org
Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers about the horrors of the puppy mill industry and its connection with pet stores