Uncovering national puppy mills

The Humane Society of the United States is reporting on problem puppy mills, including some dealers (re-sellers) and transporters. The Horrible Hundred report is a list of known, problematic puppy breeding and/or puppy brokering facilities.

It is not a list of all puppy mills, nor is it a list of the worst puppy mills in the country.

We provide this update annually, not as a comprehensive inventory, but as an effort to inform the public about common, recurring problems at puppy mills.

The information in this report demonstrates the scope of the puppy mill problem in America today, with specific examples of the types of violations that researchers have found at such facilities, for the purposes of warning consumers about the inhumane conditions that so many puppy buyers inadvertently support.


When Pearl the Weimaraner was rescued from a North Carolina puppy mill in late 2019, she was so emaciated that every rib was visible. She was lethargic, riddled with parasites and pregnant with seven puppies, only three of whom survived after receiving round-the-clock care. The breeder responsible for her condition was later convicted of animal cruelty. Pearl was pictured on the cover of our 2020 Horrible Hundred report, illustrating how important it is to stop puppy mills.

Pearl is finally getting the happy home she deserves, along with dozens of other dogs rescued that day who were put up for adoption.

Brent B. Clark / AP Images for the HSUS
2021 facts and figures
Sad mother dog in a small, dirty cage at a puppy mill

Bought puppies from dealers in this year’s report.


Running, Missouri has the largest number of puppy sellers on this list.


Are repeat offenders who were exposed in a prior report.

2021 Horrible Hundred

Our annual report documenting 100 of the country's known puppy mills has been released for 2021. 

MO Department of Agriculture

Featured in this year's report


  • Ohio breeder Joseph A. Miller of Horseshoe Kennel admitted he performed an invasive dental procedure on a dog instead of taking her to a veterinarian, which resulted in her dying while she struggled in his grasp. It appears Miller paid no serious penalty and is still licensed by the state and USDA.
  • An AKC “champion show dog” breeder in Iowa, Mary Brodersen of Mystical Cockers, who was convicted of animal neglect in 2012 after five dogs were found dead and more than 80 dogs were seized from her property, was granted a new Iowa license in 2020. She and many other dealers in the report are offering puppies for sale on PuppyFind.com.
  • Missouri’s Department of Agriculture recently gave a new license to a horrific breeder, Deanna Brundage, whose USDA license was revoked in 2008 after seven of her dogs were shot and killed and others were found emaciated or sick.
  • Kentucky breeder Sharon Richards, who was previously linked to a fire that killed 31 dogs and also pled guilty to felony charges in a different case after dogs were removed from her property in Wisconsin, is still in business and has been found with more dogs living in dismal conditions.
  • Creek Side Kennel in Kansas, operated by Rebecca Eiler, who provided puppies to Petland and other pet stores, was found with more than 400 dogs and cited by state inspectors for housing violations, including a trough of dog feces spilling onto the open ground; HSUS investigators photographed the kennels of other breeders who sold to Petland and documented rows of small wire cages, and one had cages so short that the dogs’ heads were touching the tops of their wire pens.
  • Missouri state inspectors found Earl Light’s Corn Creek Kennel in such disrepair that at least one dog was seen sticking their head through a rusty hole in the cage. Missouri cited the breeder in 2020 and 2021 for several issues, but the USDA has not cited him for any violations in several years.
MO Department of Agriculture
US Department of Agriculture
Buying a puppy online or from a pet store?

You could be supporting cruelty like this.

Stop puppy mills!

You can stop this cycle of cruelty by adopting your next pet. You can also donate to help shut down puppy mills and continue our lifesaving work for all animals.

Mikhail, a dog rescued from a Jefferson County, Arkansas, puppy mill on 2/27/14
Chuck Cook / For the HSUS