‘Horrible Hundred’ Report Exposes Heartbreaking Cruelty in Some of the Worst Puppy Mills

Animal advocates have continued to work tirelessly to raise awareness about the cruelty inherent in large-scale dog breeding operations, otherwise known as puppy mills, and have celebrated some successes along the way. Unfortunately, these mills are still rampant across the U.S., and thereís a lot more to be done to protect the dogs who continue to languish in them.

For the sixth year in a row, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is shining a light on the problem with†The Horrible Hundred 2018 report, which offers a snapshot into the problems found at these mills, and highlights some of the worst offenders. This year, however, putting the report together required additional sleuthing because of the lack of information that should be available.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)†removed animal welfare inspection and enforcement reports from its website, and while the agency restored some of what it removed, it has continued to shield the identities of breeders.

In March the HSUS sued the USDA for failing to release information requested under the Freedom of Information Act, while Congress urged the agency to restore records shortly after, but nothing has been done yet.

Still, even without complete records, thereís still enough information available to paint a horrifying picture of puppy mills across the nation.

For the sixth year in a row, Missouri came in with the largest number of puppy mills, followed by Ohio, Iowa and Pennsylvania, while the conditions dogs are forced to live in at many of the facilities examined are nothing short of heartbreaking. Other states in the report that had more than five breeders listed include Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and New York.

Records exposed filthy cages, keeping puppies on wire flooring, failing to provide adequate space, or shelter from inclement weather and extreme temperatures. There was moldy, maggot-infested food, dirty water, frozen water or no water. There were emaciated dogs to the point where their bones were protruding, and dogs with matted fur, feces in their fur and no fur. Dogs were also found with overgrown nails, eye infections, ear infections, skin infections, open wounds and other injuries that were left untreated.

In May 2018, the HSUS released its sixth annual report on problem puppy mills. These photos show that the puppy mill…

Posted by The Humane Society of the United States – Puppy Mills Campaign on†Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Problems were also found with diseases. Campylobacter, for example, can spread to humans and infected 113† people in 17 states through the beginning of this year, resulting in 23 hospitalizations. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant strain was linked to puppies from Petland stores.

Despite multiple ongoing problems found, and the fact that many of these breeders are repeat offenders, the USDA didnít revoke a single license last year. Even more baffling is that this is all perfectly legal. These are licensed breeders who are supposed to have to meet standards to operate, but they can’t even reach the abysmally low threshold that’s been set for them.

While the report names some of the worst offenders, some of which are even associated with the American Kennel Club, the dogs being bred and sold by these breeders can end up anywhere in the country. Even more concerning is the fact that there are still many other facilities that are operating under the radar that are never inspected at all, and the role that others, including transporters, brokers and pet stores are playing in supporting this industry.

The problem is big, and dogs need us to give it urgent attention, but hopefully this report will help raise more awareness about the problems with puppy mills, and why buying a dog who is from a licensed breeder is by no means an indication that they didnít come from a place like any of the ones featured in this report.

As cities and states across the nation take action to close their doors to breeders like these, you can help support mill dogs and shut down this sickening industry by refusing to buy dogs and puppies from pet stores, at flea markets or online.

For more information, check out the full The Horrible Hundred 2018 report.

If you want your city or state to be one of the next to give puppy mills the boot, you can help by starting a petition.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thank you for posting

hELEN h2 months ago


Carole R
Carole R2 months ago

So awful.

Cindy S
Cindy Smith7 months ago


joan s
joan silaco7 months ago


Tom Rarey
Tom R7 months ago

2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year in animal shelters.
Please Stop cat and dog breeding!
Put idiot humans in prison and or fine the hell out of them if need be.

Cindy S
Past Member 8 months ago


Jen S
Jen S8 months ago

Puppy mills should be utterly eradicated. The USDA should be removed from Trump's control, inspections resumed, and get off its collective posterior. Right now, it is useless and expensive. This shielding of the breeders' identities makes the agency complicit but I would guarantee the AKC, and probably the UKC knows who the mill owners are; they register thousands of puppies and kittens annually. Expose these mill owners and public pressure might be more than the USDA can sustain.

ANA MARIJA R8 months ago

Thank you for sharing! :(

Ch B
Ch B8 months ago

Puppies and kittens and other species in pet stores are overwhelmingly from puppy/kitten mills. These "factory farms" for pets contribute greatly to pet overpopulation and euthanasia of innocent, healthy animals. They typically operate under extremely cruel, unsanitary conditions. Adopt, don't shop.