7 Ways to Help Stop Puppy Mills

October 11, 2013 by Tails Magazine in Featured, Rescue with 9 Comments

By Kathy Mordini

One thing you can do to really help dogs in shelters is to step up and join the fight against puppy mills. Here are seven ways you can help:

1. Don’t purchase pets at pet stores or online. One way to cut back on the need for puppy mill puppies is to diminish the demand for them. Because an estimated 99 percent of pet store pets and pets sold online come from puppy mills, not purchasing pets from those locations will cut back on the need for puppy mill puppies.

2. Adopt a dog. When the time comes to add a new dog to the family, check out your local shelters and rescues. Looking for a specific breed of dog? Along with a variety of mixed breeds, there are many pure breeds looking for homes too—in fact, an estimated 25 percent of dogs in shelters are pure breeds. There are also breed specific rescues that focus on a particular breed of dog.

3. Don’t shop at stores that sell puppies. If you purchase anything at stores that sell puppies and kittens, you are supporting puppy mills. Look for pet stores that are operating with a humane model that either adopt out pets or work with local shelters and rescues to host adoption events.

4. Be their voice. Connect with local, state, and federal officials and encourage them to sponsor and support new laws that more tightly regulate puppy mills. Also call and write letters supporting laws that prohibit the sale of pets from commercial mass breeding operations and that provide more consumer protections.

5. Host educational activities. Invite organizations that educate about puppy mills to speak at local schools and other events or set up educational booths. The Puppy Mill Project has a variety of age-specific presentations for schools, shelters, and other organizations.

6. Speak out. Find out when local animal advocacy organizations will be marching or protesting at local pet stores and join them. If no protests are planned in your area, learn about local laws for staging peaceful protests and organize in your area.

7. Support local efforts to educate about puppy mills. Participate in fundraising for local groups that educate about puppy mills, such as the Second Annual Miles for the Mothers in the Mills on Sunday, October 20. is a fun family- and dog-friendly afternoon that includes a leisurely walk around the park, pet training demonstrations, pet trick and costume contests and so much more. The event will be at Larry Fink Memorial Park in Highland Park, with registration starting at 10:00am and the walk at 11:00am. Advance tickets are $30 per adult (including two dogs) and children under 12 are free. Funds raised from this event will help support the work of The Puppy Mill Project and their programs that help educate about puppy mills and their connection to pet stores. Register online.

Last year's Miles for the Mothers Walk

Last year’s Miles for the Mothers Walk.

For more information on puppy mills, visit ThePuppyMillProject.org.


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  1. Pam StellaOctober 15, 2013 at 4:40 pmReply

    All great advice! Come out to a “march” that the Puppy Mill Project is doing this Sunday, 10/20, in Highland Park!

    Or, join our protest on Saturday, 10/19

  2. Joan FaszczewskiOctober 14, 2013 at 12:31 pmReply

    We got our dog at a shelter in New Jersey. She was a lab mixed. We got her when she was about a year old. But she was born and fostered in Puerto Rico and then she came to St. Hubert’s in Madison NJ. Make sure to go to place like that. There are purebred and mix breeds in these shelters that need homes. Never go to a pet store that sells puppies because you don’t where they came from.

  3. CassandraOctober 12, 2013 at 8:13 amReply

    Deanna- You appear to be a responsible breeder, and I commend you for that. As a life-long purebred Dachshund owner, I admit I am hooked on the breed. When I make the decision to add to our family with another Doxie, I have always checked local shelters first. Then our trusted Vet with referrals. 2 years ago, these avenues did not have Doxies available, so I admit I went online and searched exhaustingly. When I finally located what appeared to be a reputable breeder in Illinois, I then called the Breeder Referral line and had them confirm that this is a reputable breeder. We then contacted breeder and were invited down to see the dogs at their kennel site which was located on the acreage next to breeders house. Facility was exceptional with all dogs free to run in very large fenced area, clean AC/Heated shelter, beds supported off the floor. Met the husband/wife team, met the mother & father dogs. Very impressed and went home with 2 Dachshunds. I say all this because there ARE good breeders out there, there are many people like me who WANT a purebred bloodline. This is my 2nd experience with 2 different very good breeders. They both even screened & interviewed ME! And I witnessed them refusing to sell to another customer. I also want to add that my Doxies are family. We do not breed, in fact they are spayed/neutered. We love them as our children, we just love this breed of dog.
    So…KATIE…stop being so harsh.

  4. Deanna MooneyOctober 11, 2013 at 10:43 amReply

    I think your article is very misleading. As a hobby breeder I have many people find me online and purchase their pup by seeing the pictures first and then coming to get the dog when it’s older. I take great pride in how my puppies are raised and for you to say that almost 100%of dogs purchased online are from puppy mills is false information.
    Very sad…

    • jennOctober 11, 2013 at 12:31 pmReply

      Deanna, this article is referring to the BYBs and millers who complete the entire transaction online, without actually screening the buyers.

      Locating your website, like by being listed on the Breeder Referral for your national/local breed club, and contacting you through your website is completely different

      The former way is FAR more common than the latter, as I’m sure you know.

    • KatieOctober 11, 2013 at 2:10 pmReply

      The point isn’t how “well” your dogs are bred/raised, it’s that MILLIONS of animals are killed each year that are unwanted, and you are continually adding to the problem. Everyone who buys one of your “hobby” bred dogs means another dog dies in an animal control facility or kill shelter. Congratulations on your terrific “hobby”

    • Puppy Mill OwnerOctober 11, 2013 at 10:22 pmReply

      Takes one to know one. :)

      • Cheryl HughesOctober 15, 2013 at 10:54 amReply

        I have always adopted,and have always had the very best dogs! They are free, and needy, and the world is full of suffering, unwanted pets.If we all were to adopt this attitude there wont be cruel puppy farms. Don’t forget to spay and neuter!!

      • Pam StellaOctober 15, 2013 at 4:46 pmReply

        I cannot believe you would have the audacity to even join in this conversation. You should be VERY ASHAMED of the cruelty that you perpetuate!

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