Puppy Mills

stop puppy mills

What do YOU know about Puppy Mills and their connection to puppies people might buy in pet stores or online?

Learning about puppy mills, how to know if a pet someone is buying may be from one, as well as the effects on the mill dogs themselves and their offspring is vital.

The Humane Society of the United States describes puppy mills as:

“…  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 U.S. Fewer than 3,000 of these are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

We look forward to providing you with insight and encouragement to make a difference!

Click on the images below to learn about organizations and their efforts to help end puppy mills!

 Background about our parent nonprofit and puppy mill efforts:

ReLove Animals Inc.

ReLove Animals, Inc has been dedicated to fighting pet stores who source from puppy mills since 2011. They have led the grassroots charge with testifying and lobbying for all puppy mill legislation over the past 6 years. They have organized numerous protests at local pet sites among other efforts, as well as being a part of a 2013 undercover investigation.  Below are some links about these efforts.

Efforts to visit each and every pet store In the state of Maryland were made, and tabs are routinely kept on all pet stores in Maryland, checking on compliance as well as keeping abreast on judicial proceedings resulting from cases against pet stores.
ReLove Animals, Inc continues to encourage power through legislation, and always is happy when new advocates get on board to make change.

Quick look at some intro info and efforts

hsus logo

Did you know that The Humane Society of the United States has a list of the “Horrible Hundred” 

According to their webpage about this list:

“The report describes terrible conditions documented by state or USDA inspectors at dog breeding operations. This year’s list includes many “repeat offenders” who were exposed in a previous report yet still fail to meet basic standards of care.”

We hope that you will check out this info and share with others in an effort to educate the public about puppy mills!

You can also take the HSUS Puppy Mill Pledge!

Then share with others and encourage them to take it too.

There’s also HSUS Puppy Mill campaign gear if you’d like to check it out!

On our site we also have some specific pages on  puppy mills.  We also invite you to email us if you would like to share info about your efforts to educate, along with personal stories about those who have purchased puppy mill dogs and the struggles they have addressed for their pup.  Just put Puppy Mill Pet in the subject line!


Harley’s Dream

Rudi Taylor, Founder of Harley’s Dream shares a great visual of beloved Harley as he would have been housed based on USDA’s formula:

USDA Cage Formula for Dogs Living in Puppy Mills

“The USDA uses a formula to determine the minimum cage size for each dog at a USDA-licensed facility (PUPPY MILL). To meet Animal Welfare Act standards, all dogs, no matter what breed or size, must have a cage size that is 6″ wider and 6″ longer than the width and length of the dog – and they are allowed to spend their entire life that way. No running, no jumping, no playing, no love. Sad, but true.”

So you want a puppy …
let the buyer beware and what YOU should know about puppy mills.

puppy mills

If you have a personal story about a puppy mill dog
you purchased or adopt we’d love to hear about it!

Click here!

What you DON’T KNOW about puppy mills could endanger thousands of dogs.  And that perfect puppy someone buys at a pet store or online could end up costing them thousands in medical bills.  How?

Learn more about the UGLY TRUTH behind that ADORABLE FACE.







PupQuest is a great place to start to learn about what a puppy mill is and WHY you should care, along with guidelines to help you find a puppy in the right way. Also check out PupQuest’s blog.


Here are other links that will help inform you about puppy mills to hopefully share with others.

Support group for owners of puppy mill dogs! donna puppy mill meet up

This is a group for people who have rescued, fostering or adopted a puppymill rescue dog.

These are special needs dogs who need our special attention. Each month we will have either a trainer or some type of expert helping those who help these special needs critters. There is a wonderful after life after the horrible life they have lived as breeders. We just need to help them adjust. This is not a group that does any protests or legislative work. We are here specifically to help the dogs we have adopted or are fostering. We do not accept anyone that is just coming to listen due to the severity of some of the dogs issues (you can listen to one of our open events without registering).


 Major initiatives:



The National Mill Dog Rescue’s Quick Facts page gives you a quick snapshot of their history, mission, and successes.

Here’s a look at how it all started with a dog named Lily. National Mill Dog Rescue was established in February 2007, in honor of a forgiving little Italian Greyhound named Lily.

Theresa Strader, NMDR’s Founder and Executive Director, rescued Lily from a dog auction in Missouri. Prior to that day, Lily had spent the first seven years of her life as a commercial breeding dog, a puppy mill mom. Determined that her years of living in misery would not be in vain, Strader started NMDR, giving a voice to mill dogs across the country. During her years as a breeding dog, Lily spent all of her days confined to a small, cold wire cage in a dark, foul-smelling barn. Never was she removed from her cage for exercise or socialization. In her dreary confines, Lily was forced to produce one litter after another with no respite. Like all commercial breeding dogs, she was a veritable breeding machine whose worth was measured in only one way – her ability to produce puppies. By seven years of age, Lily was worn out.

Commonplace in the industry, she had received little to no veterinary care throughout her life, the result of which, for her, was terribly disturbing. Due to years of no dental care, poor quality food, rabbit bottle watering and no appropriate chew toys, the roof of Lily’s mouth and lower jaw, had rotted away. Her chest was riddled with mammary tumors and she was absolutely terrified of people. Theresa brought Lily and twelve others home from the auction and declares that even for a highly seasoned rescuer, the following months were the education of a lifetime in rehabilitation. That she would take up the cause for the mill dogs was never in question and National Mill Dog Rescue was promptly underway. NMDR’s mission statement To rescue, rehabilitate and rehome discarded breeding dogs and to educate the general public about the cruel realities of the commercial dog breeding industry. About National Mill Dog Rescue National Mill Dog Rescue pledged to put an end to the cruelty of the commercial dog breeding industry, more commonly known as puppy milling. Through rescue and education, NMDR continues in its life-saving work while enlightening the public about the truth of pet store puppies. NMDR has taken a national approach to their rescue and adoption efforts and they have rescued and placed over 8,400 mill dogs since their inception in 2007. These dogs are now living as cherished family members across the United States.


Lily, the puppy mill dog that started the mission of NMDR



Wednesday, April 9, 2014 the Cook County Board of Commissioners overwhelmingly approved the Cook County Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance, a proposal led by Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey and The Puppy Mill Project, joining the City of  Chicago ordinance already in place. The ordinance limits the retail sale of puppies, kittens and rabbits in Cook County pet stores to animals sourced from shelters, humane adoption centers and small scale breeders. The new law will take effect on October 1, 2014.

The vote makes Cook County the largest jurisdiction in the country to crack down on the sale of pets from puppy mills. The law will impact thirteen stores in suburban Cook County. Under the law, any pet store that continues to sell puppies and kittens acquired from commercial breeders would face a $500.00 fine for each transaction in violation of the ordinance. A big thank you went out from The Puppy Mill Project to Commissioner John Fritchy and his team for sponsoring this important legislation and to all of their supporters. On Saturday, May 10, 2014, The Puppy Mill Project will hold their annual Mothers in the Mills benefit, as they celebrate the passing of the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance in all of Cook County.

The Humane Society of the United States wants you to recognize puppy friendly stores!


Take a stand against puppy mills.  Look for this sign when you shop at pet stores.










The HSUS  puppy mill campaign is working hard on this issue.

“We can help pet stores that sell puppies switch to a more humane model. By offering puppies for adoption from nearby shelters or moving to a supplies-only model, stores can save the lives of animals in search of homes, and save the breeding dogs trapped in puppy mills.”  HSUS

ASPCA’s Don’t Shop Till They Stop Effort!




No Pet Store Puppies!   Important Link to share.

Learn more about puppy mills at: www.harleypuppymilldog.com



JuliaShadow1Check out this article by GW Law Student Julia Dreyer about Federal Regulation of Puppy Mills





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