Shedding light on the horrors of puppy mills

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.

  • 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 United States, fewer than 3,000 of which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Investigations, research and exposés
Dog in filthy cage in a puppy mill

Our puppy mill experts read hundreds of pages of state and federal inspection reports and other documents to compile our annual reports on problem puppy mills across the country.

Sad puppies sitting in a filthy cage at a North Carolina puppy mill.

Our undercover investigations, exposés and in-depth reports expose what really goes on behind the scenes at pet stores and puppy mills, and the industries that support them.

Dogs suffering in a filthy cage outside at a puppy mill in Mississippi.

Our fact sheets and resources help animal welfare advocates find the tools they need to create change, promote stronger animal protection policies and educate the public about puppy mills.

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

Adopt your next pet from a shelter or rescue, or only buy from a responsible breeder who can show you where the puppy was born and where the mom lives. And you can do even more by only purchasing pet supplies from stores that don't sell puppies.