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.

Rescued dog Pearl is reunited with Dr. Alina Soderholm, who saved the life of her and three of her unborn puppies after they were rescued from terrible conditions at one of the "Horrible Hundred" problem puppy mills.

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
2020 facts & figures
Sad dog in a cage in poor conditions at a puppy mill

In this report have a connection to the American Kennel Club.

Pug in poor conditions and a wire cage at a puppy mill

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

Small dirty, white dog with severe matting at a puppy mill

Listed are licensed by the USDA to sell to pet stores.

2020 Horrible Hundred

Our annual report documenting 100 of the country's known puppy mills has been released for 2020. 

Emaciated mother dog pregnant with seven puppies rescued from an AKC breeder in Caldwell County, NC in 2019

Featured in this year's report:

  • A dog dealer in Kansas shot and killed two dozen dogs they no longer wanted (Wendy Pets); the USDA didn’t even cite them for it.

  • An “AKC-inspected” breeder in Missouri has dodged 35 state inspections and was repeatedly found with sickly and gaunt dogs (Corey Mincey/ Puppy Love Kennel); she is currently being sued by the state attorney general, but meanwhile she’s still offering puppies for sale online.

  • Another Missouri breeder had dogs who were found severely emaciated with their ribs and spines showing (Marlisa McAlmond/ Cedar Ridge Australians); she has also been sued by the state attorney general and the case is pending, but she’s still offering puppies for sale.

  • A dealer in Florida has been linked to 26 puppy deaths (Florida Puppies Online.)

  • A breeder in Missouri had dogs out in the cold with only blue barrels for shelter (TLC Kennels). It failed several state inspections, but the USDA didn’t cite it for anything.

  • A dealer in Iowa has been found with nearly 50 ailing dogs needing veterinary care since 2015 (Stonehenge Kennel)—but the USDA keeps giving the kennel a new license year after year.

Two labradors in cramped, dirty cages at a puppy mill
WI Department of Agriculture
Small white dog in a wire cage and poor conditions at a puppy mill
WI 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.

Chuck Cook / For the HSUS