100 of the Worst Puppy Mills Exposed

We are a nation of dog lovers, but our demand for cute puppies and unwitting purchases are continuing to drive an industry that’s contributing to the suffering of thousands of dogsálivingáin puppy mills.

For the third year in a row, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has released its list of the 100 worst puppy mills in the U.S. The report, The Horrible Hundred 2015, has again uncovered the heartbreaking treatment of dogs that, it’s probably safe to say, no one would knowingly support.

Just a few of the nightmarish issues highlighted in this report include dogs without shelter, living in filthy conditions, starving, sick and left with untreated wounds and other serious health issues.

According to the HSUS, the report was compiled based on a number of factors, including state and federal records of violations and warnings, their severity and consumer complaints.

The worst breeders were found in 16 states, with Missouri and Kansas topping the list for the third year in a row, followed by Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas. Because these breeders sell either to pet stores, or directly to the public, puppies from these mills can end up in the hands of unsuspecting consumers anywhere in the U.S.

These breeders are all required to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). That should mean something, to both consumers and dogs, about the level of care required but as this report and other investigations have shown it really doesn’t.

Licensing only requires the bare minimum standards of care and even those are apparently too much for some breeders to be bothered with. Dogs can be kept in cages only a few inches longer than their bodies for their entire lives, cages can be stacked with wire floors and dogs can be bred as often as they can produce to maximize profits. Often they are left without adequate care in unsanitary conditions. None of those standards are exactly our idea of the kind of humane care breeders should be required to provide to stay in business.

When it comes to inspections, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Serviceĺs (APHIS) Animal Care (AC) unit is responsible for enforcing the AWA, but itá has been ineffective in terms of dealing with problem breeders and repeat offenders.

While some breeders that were identified in previous reports have since been shut down, many of these breeders continue to be licensed again despite their known violations and obvious cruelty that’s taking place at their facilities.

Worse still, as the HSUS points out, is that this report only offers a glimpse into a much bigger problem, but it’s also “a reminder not to be fooled by a cute name, a USDA license or registration papers.”

While laws and regulations dealing with this industry lag far behind what dogs urgently need now, a growing awareness about this problem isáleading theáchange as more communities act to protect both pets, and people who want to welcome them into their home, from bad breeders.

We can all also stop supporting the suffering immediately by being careful about where we’re getting our dogs. There are millions of pets in shelters and rescues waiting for a chance at a forever home and hundreds of breed-specific rescues around. There are also breeders who care about their dogs, and the quality and future of the puppies they bring into the world, and they will never sell their dogs to brokers or pet stores.

For more info on how to help dogs this Puppy Mill Action Week, check out A Puppy Is Not a Product.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

235 comments

Mark Donner
Mark Donnerabout a year ago

The USDA is a criminal organization that must be banned and put out of business forever.

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Isa JOSSERAND HURE
Isa Jabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harperabout a year ago

Noted

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harperabout a year ago

Noted

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Pablo B.
.about a year ago

TYFS

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing!!

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H M.
H M1 years ago

http://www.citypages.com/news/minnesota-home-to-americas-worst-puppy-mills-7452230

More on Minnesota's "Top 100" entries, and possibly a new offender noted in this link. http://www.trekaroo.com/activities/a-mazen-farmyard-eden-valley-minnesota

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Peter F.
Peter F1 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

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Pamela Beck
Pamela Beck1 years ago

Many blessings to all who work to make animals' lives better. We are their only voice. So I am using my voice to post this repeatedly, until it somehow falls into the hands of someone who has the authority and the courage to help us put an end to puppy and kitten mills forever.

PUPPY MILLS ARE GLUTTING THE SYSTEM

We will euthanize thousands of pets today at our animal shelters and city Animal Care & Control facilities. We will euthanize thousands of pets tomorrow too, and most every day. Unless our lawmakers put an end to the mass production of puppy and kitten mills, this pet overpopulation crisis is doomed to increase. We will never be able to "rehome." adopt, spay/neuter or even euthanize our way out of this crisis as long as these mills are churning out pets like they were food animals. This is costing our government millions of tax dollars, which are OUR TAX DOLLARS! And they are being spent to kill pets that the mills are producing. This is a vicious circle that never ends and has become a wasteful sinkhole of our tax revenues that could be better spent elsewhere. The USDA has neglected to regulate this mill production, to the point that we are glutting our own tax system. Our government must know that this can not continue. We The People must demand that our lawmakers vote with us, and not with the Ag Industries, to STOP THIS INSANITY!

I will never understand how the USDA has any business having pets under the same regul

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Pamela Beck
Pamela Beck1 years ago

I will never understand how the USDA has any business having pets under the same regulations, (or lack thereof), as poultry, slaughter hogs and beef cattle....WE DO NOT EAT DOGS AND CATS IN THIS COUNTRY! They are our pets and to some, our babies! Our government must stop allowing them to be mass produced like they were food animals! And the conditions that we accept as "USDA approved" for these animals to live in, consist of a lifetime of horrific neglect and deprivation! These pets don't even get to go to slaughter when they are old enough and fattened up. They live their entire lives in a cage, often left out in all kinds of weather, with little or no veterinary care. The female's' life is spent carrying, nursing, or grieving her lost babies, until she is bred yet again. Then about twice a year, the male shares her cage until mating is complete. Then he is returned to languish in his own filthy cage until it is time to breed again.

This only ends for them when they die, or become "no longer good for breeding". Then they just let them loose in the woods to starve or be killed by a wild animal, or eventually get picked up as a stray, which floods our shelters. What happens to the others is unknown. I don't know what, if any regulations exist for their "disposal," but dead animal carcasses have been found on the property of some of these mills.

Unfortunately, the financial influence of the Agriculture business has managed to supersede the horrific condit

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