About “Puppy Mills”

Puppy Mill Photo from the ASPCA

Puppy Mill Photo from the ASPCA


What is a “Puppy Mill”?

A “puppy mill” is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs – who are often severely neglected – and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices.

How Can You Tell if A Breeder is a Puppy Mill?

Here are several warning signs:

    • Makes excuses why you can’t meet the parents of the puppy.
    • Tries to sell you a puppy under eight weeks old.
    • Offers to met you in a public place to sell the puppy.
    • Uses registries like American Canine Association, Continental Kennel Club, Inc. Federation of International Canines, or others you have never heard of.
    • Advertises specialized varieties of “rare” breeds.
    • Advertises “Puppies always available” or “Puppies ready for Christmas, Easter, etc.”
    • Sells puppies in pet stores, classified ads. Use hand-painted road signs.
    • Click HERE to read more about puppy mills from the ASPCA.

Good, Reputable Breeders Do Exist. A Quality Breeder Will:

    • Provide a list of specific health checks done on their adult dogs and the puppies before selling them.
    • Breeds to the standard and uses registries like American Kennel Club.
    • Participate in dog shows or other competitive events to help them determine where their dogs stand in relationship to the breed standard.
    • Provide a lifetime “take back” guarantee and will require that you return the dog or get approval for a new home.
    • Require a written application from you and a list of references.
    • NEVER allow you to take a puppy before it is 8 weeks old.
    • Provide a written health record for your puppy that includes date of whelping, health problems, date a kind of each shot, dates of worming and what drug was used.
    • Invite you to his/her place of business.
    • Specializes and will only offer one (or possibly two) breeds of dogs.
    • Be accessible. They will return your phone calls.

See Puppy Mill – Facts and Figures – 2016 (© The Humane Society of the United States 2012)