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How to Stop Puppy Mills

By Dr. Andrew Jones

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) have started a petition which to date has received over 15,000 signatures. The number needed to ensure a response from the White House and the President is 5000- meaning there will be an official response.

Why the outrage and support?

It’s because puppy mills are completely unethical, and it’s time they were stopped. It’s ALL about profit OVER the health and well being of these dogs.

Most pet owners want these large, commercial breeders, who sell puppies through pet stores and online to be stopped.

Disgusting Treatment

In many cases the puppy mills are completely unhygenic; the dogs are overcrowded, and not cared for properly. Often there is inadequate food, water, and little to no veterinary care.

These pups get little to no human contact- this is a business, and it’s about profit, not care.

On top of that there is a host of genetic, and infectious disease, that are found with puppy mill puppies.

Here are just a few:

Seizure disorders ( epilepsy), organ dysfunction, Hip dyplasia, eye disorders, congenital blood disorders, thyroid disease, diabetes, knee conditions, infectious disease, parvovirus, kennel cough, distemper virus, excessive internal and external parasite ( ie fleas, lice, mange, hookworms).

So here is how you can help.

1. Don’t support puppy mills by even considering a puppy mill puppy.

2. If you are to acquire a puppy don’t be shopping from a pet store, or from questionable online ‘breeders’.

3. Go to an Animal Shelter- mixed breed pets are wonderful, and they are in need of loving homes.

4. You can always adopt an older pet- yes the puppies are cuter, but often the older pets are already trained, and they can be wonderful once they become part of a loving family.

5. If you are a resident of the U.S. you can sign the petition here:


Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM


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Topics: Dog Care, Dog Health, Pet Care, Pet health | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “How to Stop Puppy Mills”

  1. Avatar Blossom M Brower Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I have adopted two Puppy Mill rescue Pomeranians. After a lot of TLC, care and good food they are both thriving and are the loves of my life.

  2. Avatar christel fiore Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 7:45 am

    There is no end to human cruelty and greed,and we call ourselves Gods children!!

  3. Avatar Glen Nordstrom Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Time to put a stop to this cruel industry and to prosecute to people behind each operation.

  4. Avatar Felix Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Is this petition about cruelty to animals or is it about getting rid of the competition for the Humane Society so they can reap the profits once all competition is made illegal. They tug at our heartstrings with these emails to join a humane cause and we forget to question their agendas. Skepticism and research will always set you on the right path.

  5. Avatar Beatrice Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Do your homework . . . The HSUS may seem to be a worth while organization at first glance- but. . . they are good at garnering press and attention which gets them donations – which unfortnately they do not filter down ( or very little ) to the local organizations / shelters that take in the animals rescued on puppy mill raids.
    Support your local shelters through adoption and donations of time and or funds. Educate your friends to not impulse buy puppy mill pups in pet stores . . . instead if you want a purbreed dog try your local shelters, or a breed rescue organization or contact a reputable breeder( listings -through the American Kennel Club for breed rescue and local breeders- that try to optimize the health and temperment of the puppies ). Dogs are wonderful beings that enrich our lives . they should not be exploited for profit.

  6. Avatar Annette Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    We have a shih tze/pekinese female from an Amish Puppy Mill. We did not know that it was a puppy mill until we arrived there. We did NOT purchase her. She was three yrs old and had two litters, but refused to mate anymore. The man said, “So, obviously she’s of no use to us now.” He indicated she’d be shot if we didn’t take her. He gave her to us. She was filthy dirty and had probably never had a bath or toys. She gets along beautifully with our other rescue who was tossed out of a car near our local H.S. Puppy Mills should never be allowed to exist. We would have NEVER purchased a puppy from a puppy mill. We believe totally in adopting, not shopping.

    Annette and Duke

  7. Avatar Sheila Z. Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Wish I could vote to stop the Puppy Mills, but I am a Canadian Citizen. We also need to stop the Puppy Mills in Canada, seems no one is lobbying here! Very bad situation and some Pet Stores still deny that the puppies come from “Puppy Mills”. It’s just another commodity and the people that own them have no emotions and only see the $ signs.

  8. Avatar brenda Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    My name is Brenda, I rescued kisses a shih-tzu 4 years agofrom mammaroneck pet store in westchester county ny, when I got kisses, she couldnt walk, she didnt know how she was 1 years oud and in a cage the whole time sent to them from a puppy mill, this breaks my heart, but quess what kisses walks, runs plays and is the happiest baby now. Im home all day with her ,I devote everyday and nite to kisses, Im able to and this is my purpose in life, i know this know, she eats the best Dr, harvets food I add the protein and omegas, kisses loves fruit and veggies, yogart etc. The love I give her makes up for all the horrific days in the puppymill, so please im begging you close these mills down . so theses inocent babies have a better shot in life. Thank You Brenda, Kisses and Junior

  9. Avatar Gayle Chandler Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I liked the article but only Americans could sign it!!

    I am very seriously looking for a dog, have checked out my local SPCA, Rocky Mt. house shelter,
    but so far nothing that has clicked saying this is the one…

    I understand you support a shelter in Nelson,

    any photos or tips on where I could check out the dogs??

    Thanks so much, Gayle Chandler (Penticton)

  10. Avatar Marja Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Gayle, you could probably “Google” Nelson Animal Shelters. I can’t recall the name of Dr Jones’s shelter right now.

    Annette, I was amazed when I first learned about 2 years ago that the Amish run a lot of puppy mills! Shocking, considering how kind we consider the Amish. I guess I don’t think that any more.

    ASPCA and HSUS are primarily lobbying organizations. They get a lot of good laws protecting animals passed. Recently they had a success in Missouri which had been a big puppy mill state. So don’t discount them completely.

    The best way you can prevent puppy mills: DON’T EVER SHOP AT PET STORES. Tell your friends NOT TO SHOP AT PET STORES. Tell them puppy mill puppies often have congenital problems, and overbreeding has led to things like hip dysplasia [even in “cleanly bred” purebreds such as those born to breeders, b/c the gene pool is too small].

    The local pet store in my town had awful management so the animals there had problems; the animals were ill and seldom ever had vet or health checks. I know I personally told people if they were considering a pet to ADOPT FROM YOUR LOCAL HUMANE SOCIETY or SHELTER.

    I’m a vocal proponent of spaying and neutering and my local humane organizations.

    And everyone keep in mind, there are also KITTEN MILLS. So adopt a kitten [remember adult cats need homes too!] from your Humane society or shelter!

    PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT PUPPY / KITTEN MILLS: how unhealthy and cruel they are, how they sell to pet stores, and the only pet store people should go to is one that SPONSORS ADOPTIONS ONLY and sells food and pet supplies, not animals.


  11. Avatar Marja Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I do not mean to completely disrespect or discount breeders, but here are some things to look for:

    The breeder LOVES and UNDERSTANDS the breed, and can discuss with you whether that breed of dog / cat is appropriate for you and your family.

    The breeder has excellent, clean facilities and socializes the puppies / kittens, interacting with them daily.

    If you see an ad in a magazine and the breeder offers to “ship” their kittens / puppies, they [and you] are forcing a very young animal to endure a very stressful journey in the hold of an airliner. I’d say that kind of means they don’t love the breed so much as the money they can make from selling. You should be able to visit the breeder. It’s worth a drive of a few hours, especially if you’re going to pay hundreds of dollars.

    FIRST CONSIDER BREED RESCUE ORGANIZATIONS. Hundreds of them exist, so Google them and see if they have a purebred animal that you are interested. Again, research the breed to ensure it’s appropriate for your family / situation. Border collies, working dogs, do not generally do well in apartments, for example.

  12. Avatar Shirley Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Gayle Chandler. Go under petfinder.com and you should be able to find an amazing dog there for sure. I think there is another one called 1800pets. Also if you think you know why kind of dog you might one google dog rescues. Something always comes up and they can help you with getting the right fit for your lifestyle.

  13. Avatar danielle Says:
    October 15th, 2011 at 3:36 am

    nicejob blossom you stand for everything every one here is trying to get ride of i whould never buy a dog from the petstore because i know they are from puppy mills did my senor proget on puppy mills it was so sad to see all the dogs in the chages and looking sick or fillthey it was hart brakingand if i could do something i so whould do it but ther is nothing i can do

  14. Avatar Jo Ann Juneau Says:
    October 16th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    This is something I will never umnderstand. It is a sin to mistreat God’s creatures. These people should be shut down for good and prosecuted. Some time in prison might get their attention.I just wish there was something I could do to help.

    Thank You,

    Jo Ann+

  15. Avatar carol Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 4:58 am

    i just don’t understand…i’m a canadian citizen and i don’t understand the humane society and spca and the government know and aware of these pet stores selling puppy mill puppies and lettinf it happen.why can’t they eradicate this issue?or are they all gettin a piece of the pie?

  16. Avatar carolyn Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Puppy Mills and Kitten Mills both need to be stopped BUT giving any more power to HSUS and ASPCA is wrong. They are WRONG. Not much better than PETA.

  17. Avatar Katie Says:
    October 18th, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Puppy/kitten mills not only exist in the US, we have them here in France too. We closed one puppy mill down only three years ago, with the help of the police and the spa. The spa is the equivalent of the ASPCA and this as well means big business. In order to stop the spa to euthanize dogs which can’t be adopted, the German Tierschutzverein buys a lot of dogs over here in France for adoption in Germany. In Germany it is illegal to euthanize a healthy dog or cat. In dog/cat breeding and rescue there is a lot of money involved, as people buy cute puppies or kittens or out of their good heart rescue dogs or cats to give them a new lease of life. Millions of dollars are being made in this business, mill or rescue. In France dog/cat rescue is expensive as the spa takes money from the previous and the new owner, a very profitable enterprise for the society. Where ever there are animals involved in connection with a human heart, there is big big business. The law is not very helpful in these cases so the consumer will have to take action like involving the local press for example to take pictures and write a report about a puppy/kitten mill and open the eyes of the innocent “bystander”, this way the mill’s activity will be undermined and where there is no profit there is no business.

  18. Avatar andrea taylor Says:
    October 18th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I am in New Zealand and have been to the States 3 time’s,saw first hand the effect of puppy mill’s,dog’s bred so much there uteru’s hung out,di=og’s with the sadest eye’s,do you know that dog’s are auctioned off like cattle,mainly in the mid west,these dog’s are purchased by puppy mill owner’s pretending to be loving pet owner’s surrounded by 1 or 2 dog’s sitting in the family living room,do genuine caring breeder’s know where they’re dog’s are going to end up?i don’t think so.So very sad,and let’s not forget the poor dog’s in China killed for thery’re fur and meat and skinned alive while semi conscious because they haven’t been thrown to the ground hard enough,no wonder the Lord punishe’s us with flood’s and disaster’s,DO SOMETHING,ANY THING,BUT DON’T WAIT FOR OTHER’S,GET OUT THERE AND DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO,PROTEST WITH FRIEND’S AT THE PET SHOP’S,MALL’S,ANYWHERE YOU CAN THINK OF,AND DON’T FORGET THAT THE PERFUME,LIPSTICK OR ANYTHING YOU USE ON YOUR BODY IS TESTED ON THE POOR ANIMAL’S FIRST,SO GO ORGANIC AND LET THE SHOP’S KNOW WHY YOU WON’T BUY THERE PRODUCT’S ANYMORE,FOR GOODNESS SAKE,START SOMEWHERE. ANDREA

  19. Avatar luana rodriguez Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I agree with just about all of the above do not think there is anymore to add less talk and more action

  20. Avatar Westchester Veterinarians Says:
    November 9th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    i think its time to put a stop to this cruel industry and to punish these people…

  21. Avatar Matthews Says:
    February 21st, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Oh that’s really bad to see them locked inside


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM