What is a Puppy Mill?

Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities that produce purebred puppies in deplorable conditions to maximize profit.

  • Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization
  • The dogs are forced to live in cramped, crude and filthy conditions
  • When female breeding dogs reach a point of physical depletion and can no longer reproduce, they are often killed

There are seven states known as the “puppy mill states” – Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.


Published by HSUS

  • 10,000 – Estimated number of puppy mills in the United States (both licensed & unlicensed)
  • 176,088 – Estimated number of dogs kept solely for the purpose of breeding in USDA licensed facilities
  • 114,457 – Estimated number of female dogs kept for breeding at USDA licensed facilities (less than half breeders licensed by the State of Nebraska are USDA licensed)
  • 2,150,000 – Estimated number of puppies sold annually who originate from puppy mills – both USDA licensed and non-USDA licensed
  • 3,000,000 – estimated number of dogs and cats euthanized by shelters every year in the U.S.

What You Can Do to Fight Puppy Mills (Courtesy of Bailing Out Benji)

  • If you SEE something, SAY something – If you were someone that unknowingly stumbled upon a bad breeding facility to purchase a puppy, you need to report it! You can either report it to the USDA, your state agency, your local rescue or shelter, or you can contact Bailing Out Benji and they can point you in the right direction! The Humane Society of the United States also has a phone number that you can call to report these concerns to. 1-877-Mill-Tip
  • Adopt, don’t shop! When you adopt a dog from Pug Partners or from another rescue or animal shelter, you are saving a life – and you aren’t adding to the puppy mill’s profits
  • Look for a reputable breeder in your area – If you are set on buying a puppy then ask your local canine kennel club about reputable breeders. Just remember to always check out their facilities! Don’t ever buy a dog without asking to meet the parents and see where all of the dogs live
  • Be an educator – One of the best ways you can help is by educating your friends, family and coworkers.Whether you simply share a status on social media about what puppy mills are and how to avoid them could really make a difference!
  • Contact your city council about a local retail ban – There are more than 100 localities nationwide that have passed laws restricting the retail sale of pets. Most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills
  • Don’t give your money to pet stores that sell puppies – By boycotting a pet store that sells puppies, you are showing them that you can’t support their business. You can even tell the owner why you are choosing not to shop at their store anymore.
  • Use Social Media – Spread the Word. Use the hashtag#ShowMeTheMommy on social media to stress the importance of asking to see the parent dogs before purchasing a puppy. 
  • Learn more from the our friends at Bailing Out Benji or from the Humane Society of the United States about other ways you can fight puppy mills

 “All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing,”

-Edmund Burke.

Please consider donating to Pug Partners so we can continue to save the lives of puppy mill prisoners from the terrible abuse so many have endured.  Thank you!