Puppy Mills & The Difference You Can Make

We’ve all seen those ASPCA commercials..

The ones that are impossible to look away from, showcasing dozens of neglected puppies that need your help. They ask for donations and leave you inevitably feeling like you want to do more. We know the feeling!

Puppy Mills are the leading cause of Shelter Overpopulation Crisis.

The Humane Society reports that if puppy mills didn’t exist, there would be 75% fewer dogs in shelters and rescues. Unfortunately, there is a lack of statistical data available surrounding the commercial dog breeding industry since much of it is unregulated. Most figures can only be an estimate. Countless dogs are bred for profit and kept in cruel conditions just to keep the puppy industry in business. A problem as complex as puppy mills cannot be solved with just a law being passed.

As of January 2020 – 10,000 is the estimated number of puppy mills in the U.S. (both licensed and unlicensed)

“Why can’t we just ban all puppy mills?”

It’s difficult to define a puppy mill in a law and to cover all the bases. Even laws that require moderate changes in the pet industry—such as requiring that all we do not want to appear “anti-business,” intense lobbying by industries that profit from puppy mills, the difficulty in getting decision-makers to agree on the definition of a puppy mill and a fear of the “slippery slope” of regulation.

But what can you do to actually make a difference?

Whether you have significant amounts of time to devote to helping dogs, or just an hour or two, there are many ways to do your part!

Be an advocate

The ASPCA is asking that you Share Your Puppy Mill Story! Anyone with information on a possible crime involving puppy mills can report it. Follow these instructions or fill out this form to do so!

There is also a petition the ASPCA has put together you can sign and donate to.

Spread the word and wear your support on your sleeve! The Shelter Overpopulation Crisis needs to be a bigger topic of conversation in order to make the changes we need. The Humane Society has a wide selection of apparel to choose from, even pop sockets too; find them on Amazon. You can also download and print these flyers and bring them to local businesses or events to help potential new pet owners avoid puppy mills.

Stop Puppy Mills [PDF] 
How to Find a Responsible Dog Breeder [PDF]
The Cruelty Behind the Cuteness [PDF] 

Help make your local pet store puppy-friendly

The Puppy-Friendly Pet Stores initiative provides a program to help their local pet stores implement puppy-friendly policies by refusing to sell puppies in their store and supporting homeless pet adoptions instead. Stores that already do not sell puppies can sign up to show that they are taking a stand against puppy mills and to make official their policy of not selling puppies. Always refuse to buy pet supplies at stores that sell puppies.

  • Contact the Humane Society with your name, phone number, city and state. They can send instructions and a copy of the invitation and pledge or you can download and print them.
    Download the Invitation
    Download the Pledge
  • Visit local pet store to explain the benefits of the program and invite them to sign.
  • Return the signed pledge to our Stop Puppy Mills campaign and we will do the rest!

 Contact your legislators

Contact your federal legislators and let them know that you’re concerned about the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills and want the issue to be a priority for Congress. Ask them to press the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act a top priority, with strong fines and penalties for breeders who don’t follow the law.

And most importantly.. ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!

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