Victory! Puppy Mill Dogs Win Big in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has become the latest major city to crack down on pet stores over concerns about the inhumane conditions companion animals are bred and raised in.

Earlier this year Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduced a bill that would ban pet stores from selling dogs and cats who come from commercial breeders and would require stores that want to offer animals to work with shelters and rescues instead. It also included a provision that addresses unregulated sales in outdoor spaces, including flea markets and parking lots, that would shut them down.

The City Council just stepped up in support to make Philadelphia a more compassionate and humane city by passing it.

Bill No. 160013- Banning the retail sale of puppies & kittens sourced from inhumane mills has just unanimously passed in Council!

Posted by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson onThursday, April 14, 2016

The ultimate goals are to protect companion animals from cruelty, and to protect consumers from unwittingly taking home pets with heartbreaking and potentially expensive health or behavioral problems by closing the city’s doors to commercial breeders.

Even though commercial breeders that sell in pet stores are required to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act, the bill points out that current state and federal regulations aren’t doing enough to protect puppies and kittens being sold. There are still numerous problems with “over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal to non-existent veterinary care, lack of adequate and nutritious food, water and shelter; lack of socialization, lack of adequate space and lack of adequate exercise.”

According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. churning out hundreds of thousands of dogs every year, while Pennsylvania is home to 900 of them, which makes this a big win for companion animals.

Hopefully it will also encourage more people to adopt animals who are already waiting for their forever homes. According to the bill, in 2012 alone, Philadelphia Animal Care and Control, which is just one of several shelters in the city, took in close to 30,000 dogs and cats and euthanized more than 11,000 of them.

While commercial breeders have their supporters, growing awareness about the problems inherent with large-scale breeding have led to more and more places around the country to put a stop to it.

Now Philadelphia is joining a growing list of major cities that have enacted legislation to keep commercial breeders from selling in their stores, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Boston, which passed legislation last month.

For more info on how to help mill dogs, check out the Puppy Mills Project, National Mill Dog Rescue, the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies and the HSUS’ Puppy Mills Campaign.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


william Miller
william Miller1 years ago


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Lori E.
Lori E2 years ago

This needs to happen in every state, not just cities. Good job Philly!

Neville B.
Neville B2 years ago

Marvellous news! Human over-population is bad enough without us burdening the planet with too many pets, especially carnivorous ones, and especially if they're bred and not rescued.

Veronique L.
Veronique L2 years ago

Petition signed

Veronique L.
Veronique L2 years ago

Shut all the puppy mills!

Veronique L.
Veronique L2 years ago

Great news!

Dianne D.
Dianne D2 years ago

Great news. We have to do the same for those that breed or let their cats breed.

Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

No puppy mills anywhere. Shut all breeders down.

esther w.
e W2 years ago

who's next?