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, but rather a list of dog breeders to avoid.

We provide this updated report 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 bad dog breeders list 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
2022 facts and figures
A small white dog leans against the corner of its crate, appearing weak, tired, and amaciated

In this year's report are repeat offenders; some have appeared in the Horrible Hundred five or more times.

A hound dog looks pleadingly at the camera through the bars of his cage

In this year’s report sold to Petland, the only national pet store chain in the U.S. that still sells puppies.

A small dog looks at the camera pleadingly from within a confined cage

Featured in the report throughout the years closed down or lost their licenses in 2022.

2022 Horrible Hundred

Our annual report documenting 100 of the country's known puppy mills has been released for 2022. 

A dog in poor health looks at the camera pleadingly, the disgusting conditions of its puppy mill visible in the background
MO Dept of Agriculture

Featured in this year's report

  • An Iowa breeder who is a repeat offender in the report (Henry Sommers) admitted to his USDA inspector that he killed some of his unwanted dogs by injecting them in the stomach and then leaving them alone in their cages to die. His veterinarian denied providing the drug or giving approval for the procedure, but as of May 2022, it appears the USDA did not fine Sommers or suspend or revoke his license.  
  • Another Iowa breeder, Menno Gingerich (Skyline Puppies), admitted to performing a do-it-yourself procedure on a badly injured puppy with a neck wound. He admitted that he stitched the wound himself with “sewing string” and did not use anesthesia, according to the USDA’s report. It appears that as of May 2022, the USDA did not fine Menno Gingerich or suspend or revoke his license.
  • Kansas investigators looking into a complaint found a breeder (Mary Moore/ D and M Kennel) with a dead puppy on her property being carried in the mouth of an adult dog; the breeder admitted she had tossed some dead puppies into a field that morning because she was “in a hurry;” the state inspectors did not cite Moore with any violations, and the USDA also did not document any violations on her inspection report around the same time period.
  • A self-described American Kennel Club (AKC) dog breeder in Missouri, Cory Mincey (Puppy Love Kennel), whom the Missouri Attorney General sued in 2019 for failing to provide proper care for numerous filthy, emaciated and dying dogs, was found to be still operating and still accumulating severe violations within the past year; the state only fined her $4,500.
  • A puppy mill in Missouri called Smith’s Kennel, which sells to many pet stores, was found with violations during at least three state inspections between May and December 2021; issues included an underweight and limping dog, dirty conditions, and mouse feces in the kennel; despite many problems noted by state inspectors, the USDA has failed to cite Smith for a single violation over the past several years, and as of the date of our report, had not inspected her at all in about a year.
This puppy mill uses long buildings with hutches to house its dogs
A dog in poor health looks at the camera pleadingly, the disgusting conditions of its puppy mill visible in the background
MO Dept of Agriculture
Buying a puppy online or from a pet store?

You could be supporting cruelty like this.