Puppy Mills

Despite heightened public awareness, puppy mills continue to plague communities across the nation. The Animal Legal Defense is working across the country to combat puppy mills from multiple legislative channels.

The term “puppy mill” generally refers to a large-scale commercial dog-breeding facility where the emphasis is on profits over the welfare of the dogs. The goal of puppy mills is to produce the largest number of puppies as quickly as possible, without consideration of genetic quality or the care of the animals.

The dogs are generally kept in crowded, unsanitary conditions. They often lack good food, clean water, and veterinary care. The mother “breeder” dogs may give birth to multiple litters per year throughout her adult life. They, and aging father dogs, will regularly be abandoned or killed when they are no longer “useful” to their breeders.

As a result of the breeding practices of puppy mills, it is common for puppy mill dogs to suffer from genetic and hereditary conditions, and deadly diseases. Additionally, many puppy mill dogs experience behavioral and psychological problems throughout their lives from lack of early socialization and being weaned too young.

What is a "retail pet sale ban"?

These laws make it illegal for pet stores to sell dogs and cats (and sometimes additional animals like rabbits) sourced from large-scale commercial breeders, and instead require them to offer animals available for adoption from animal shelters and rescue groups.

More than 300 cities and counties, as well as six states — California, Maryland, Maine, Washington, Illinois and New York — have passed such laws since 2011. Local laws are critical – not only do they help individual animals in your community, but they also support passing similar laws at higher levels of government.

Take Action for Puppies

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Narrated by actress and animal activist, Rooney Mara, Don’t Buy Animals Online exposes the truth about rampant fraud involved in online sales of puppies and other animals.

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Take the No More Puppy Mills Pledge

For puppy mill operators, profit is their only priority. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills. Together we can make puppy mills history.

I pledge to boycott puppy mills by not purchasing a puppy from a pet store, online, or directly from a puppy mill. I believe every dog deserves a loving home where she will be cared for and nurtured.