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Puppy Mills Research

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Current research shows that animal welfare is sorely lacking in the puppy mill industry. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

Puppy mills are inhumane commercial dog breeding facilities that may sell puppies in pet stores, online or directly to the public (in flea markets or via classified ads).

Puppy mills disregard the dogs' health—both physical and emotional—in order to maximize profits.

It is estimated that there are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. Fewer than 3,000 of these are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Humane Society of the United States presents the following reports on puppy mills for reference by animal advocates, members of the media and researchers.

HSUS research on puppy mills

HSUS puppy mills investigations and exposés

Outside research

For research and information on the puppy mill industry, please visit humanesociety.org/puppymills.

* The USDA defines a "Direct" violation as one that has a "high potential for adversely affecting the health of an animal." This chart is not a complete list of all violations, nor of all violations involving veterinary issues. The information below was pulled from USDA data on Feb. 1, 2017 by Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan in cooperation with The Humane Society of the United States. Online USDA reports only covered the previous three years; many licensees had additional older violations that are not included below. Unfortunately, due to the removal of the USDA database, all information in this document is quickly becoming outdated.

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