Puppy Mill Awareness Day: Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Since 2004, the 3rd Saturday of September is National Puppy Mill Awareness Day!

Cities throughout the United States will be hosting events on September 21st highlighting the critical need to end all inhumane commercial dog breeding facilities known as puppy mills or puppy farms.

The Ugly Facts

According to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there are an estimated 10,000 active puppy mills in this country.

According to the National Puppy Mill Project, there are:

  • 800,000 breeding dogs in puppy mills today.
  • 40,000 puppies being born every seven days (2 million puppies each year) in these breeding “factories.”


The Horrific Truth

The breeding dogs and their puppies live without the basics:

  • Proper/safe housing (small cages are often stacked, exposed to the outside elements and often contain dead/dying dogs);
  • Proper food/clean water;
  • Proper socialization;
  • Proper grooming/cleanliness;
  • Proper veterinarian care; or
  • Proper exercise. Most dogs will only leave their cages to be bred.


Did You Know?

  • Small Puppy Mill99% of puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills according to an undercover HSUS investigation.

Don’t be fooled. These puppies are not better quality or healthier! In fact, they are often sold with false paperwork concealing any health issues.

  • The Amish operate some of the most prolific puppy mills in the U.S. as a large part of their community’s economy.
  • Over a 5-year span (2007-2011), over ,479 complaints were received by the HSUS!

Shockingly, these complaints revealed 40% of puppy mill puppies contracted diseases like pneumonia and parvovirus; and 34% had inherited defects! Even sadder, the HSUS believes these complaints are only a small fraction nationwide.

buyer complaints puppy mills

Source: The Humane Society of the United States

  • The most common illnesses reported in puppy mill puppies:
    • Intestinal parasites (worms, giardia and coccidia)
    • Respiratory issues (bronchial infections and pneumonia)
    • Infectious diseases (parvovirus and canine distemper)
    • Ear issues (infections and mites)
    • Mange
    • Urinary infections and bladder issues
    • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

most common illnesses reported in puppy mill puppies

  • The most common inherited defects reported in puppy mill puppies:
    • Seizures
    • Heart and liver defects and diseases
    • Hip, elbow or knee disorders
    • Blindness, cherry eye and cataracts
    • Deafness
    • Spinal disorders
  • The most common temperament issues reported in puppy mill puppies:
    • Fearful behavior from being unsocialized (hiding, shaking and running away)
    • Aggressive behaviors (biting or snapping)
    • Abnormal behaviors (repeatedly walking in circles, eating feces and more)


7 Things You Can Do TODAY!

  1. NEVER buy from a pet store! When you do, you are actively supporting and perpetuating this inhumane, multi-billion-dollar American industry. The reality is, as long as there is a demand for these puppies, the horrific puppy mills and farms will continue to exist.
  2. Petition your lawmakers (local, state and federal) to legislate stronger laws and oversight to stop the cruel treatment happening every day in our nation’s commercial puppy mills. Call or email your:
    • Senators;
    • Congressmen;
    • City Council Members; and
    • State Attorney Generals

7 Things You Can Do TODAY!

3. Educate your friends, family and neighbors. Encourage them to adopt a homeless dog instead of buying a puppy from a pet store, irresponsible backyard breeder, internet websites, flea markets or newspaper ads.

4. If you suspect a puppy has come from a puppy mill or farm, contact your local law enforcement or animal charity immediately and make a report.

5. Don’t buy any products at pet stores that sell puppies.

6. Donatefundraise or volunteer with a local animal welfare group.

7. And always, Adopt Don’t Shop!


Additional Reading:

Image Credits (Shown in Order):

  1. Image by birgl from Pixabay
  2. Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
  3. Image from The Humane Society of the United States
  4. Image by Isa KARAKUS from Pixabay

Image by Jowanna Daley from Pixabay




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