PupQuest - Learn to be puppy-source savvy
About Puppy Farm Mills


where large numbers of dogs and puppies live in kennels, not in homes with families.
They can be "state-of-the-art" or they can fulfill the "puppy mill" stereotype with neglected dogs living in filthy, dilapidated kennels.

My pup will be fine if he lives in a kennel for a bit, won't he?
Regardless of how "modern" they are, puppy farms still frequently produce sick, diseased, and/or temperamentally unsound puppies. Why?

Because of the effects of...

Dogs and puppies are housed in kennels or cages.
Not inside the home. This deprives puppy farm puppies of the critical socialization they need to grow into mentally healthy adult dogs.

Parent dogs' health and temperament aren't considered when breeding.
Dogs with behavior and health issues are repeatedly bred, producing lots of puppies likely to have the same problems.

Owners often play "doctor" instead of bringing puppies to a licensed veterinarian.
As with other agricultural cash crops, veterinary standards are minimal, even if USDA licensed.

Dogs are often housed in unsanitary and crowded conditions.
The high number of animals and lack of sanitation make puppy farms prime places for the development of behavior problems and diseases.

» Animal Welfare Act requirements are minimal.
Dogs and puppies housed in total compliance with the AWA are still not getting what they need to be healthy in body or mind. "Accepted husbandry practices" are agricultural practices for raising livestock on a FACTORY farm. They are not appropriate for raising puppies to be family pets. Check out the requirements for housing and exercise.

» There is a serious lack of enforcement of even these minimum standards. USDA Puppy Mill Violations No Longer Freely Accessible.

» Early in 2010, the USDA Office of the Inspector General released a report on an audit of USDA puppy farm inspections across the country. The audit found that....

The "Enforcement Process Was Ineffective Against Problematic Dealers"
"Inspectors Did Not Cite or Document Violations Properly To Support Enforcement Actions"
The "New Penalty Worksheet Calculated Minimal Penalties."
Guidelines were "misused" to "Lower Penalties for AWA Violators.
"Some Large Breeders Circumvented AWA by Selling Animals Over the Internet."

Under the Animal Welfare Act, any business who sells animals directly to consumers is exempt from this act and from USDA licensing.

This exemption creates a HUGE loophole for puppy farms to sell their pups to people over the Internet and avoid regulation altogether.

This is why it is so risky to buy online.
USDA APHIS factsheet (Note “Direct Sales” exception on page 4)

How do I avoid getting a puppy farm/mill pup?
It's easy, just…

DON’T buy puppies sight-unseen over the Internet.

DON’T buy from a pet shop...

in expected places like the mall or unexpected places, like a private home that has puppies shipped in from elsewhere. Guess where they come from. Yup, puppy farms. Reputable breeders don't ship their puppies to retailers to be sold to strangers.

87% of people who bought their dogs from breeders said they knew about puppy mills, but 21% also said their breeder was USDA licensed. Many people don't know that USDA licensing means the "breeder" is a puppy farm! Did you?

The United States Department of AGRICULTURE (USDA) regulates livestock production. This includes overseeing puppy farms. If a "breeder" is USDA licensed, they are, by definition, running a puppy farm.

Puppies caught in the puppy farm/pet shop/internet sale cycle are getting attention from everyone:

TIME Magazine