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The Horrible Hundred 2018: Uncovering U.S. Puppy Mills

Buying a puppy online or from a pet store? You could be supporting businesses like these.

  • A dog with a bulging eye was one of many dogs with disturbing medical problems found at Samples Creek Kennel, a Missouri puppy mill owned by Pamela Baldwin, who has been in all five of The HSUS’s prior Horrible Hundred reports (Photo: MO Dept of AG); MEDIA DOWNLOADS

If you buy puppies from the internet or pet stores, you could be supporting puppy mills. In our sixth Horrible Hundred report, we continue to shine a light on violations, despite increasing challenges in investigating them.

Over the 12 month period since we published our last report, USDA inspectors have continued to find conditions just as horrific as those in our prior reports, including dogs with open wounds, emaciated dogs with their ribs and spines showing, and dogs with moldy food, dirty water and filthy cages. The difference is that this year, we don’t always know which operators have been found with such dreadful conditions. The suffering these animals face seems even more unjust, because most of the identities of their breeders have been kept secret by the USDA– the very agency charged with protecting dogs in puppy mills and keeping bad breeders in line.

Without this information, The HSUS and the general public cannot evaluate whether USDA is meeting its charge. Additionally, consumers cannot judge whether or not they are supporting an operation which has been found employing the harmful practices described in this report.

Moreover, the lack of transparency can be a hindrance to law enforcement efforts in jurisdictions that rely on inspection reports to determine compliance with state and local laws.

For dogs in puppy mills, conditions like these are the norm—and no matter what the sellers say, breeders like these are the source of most dogs sold online, in pet stores or at flea markets.

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