Home > Animal Rescue, Backyard Breeders, Pet News, Puppy Mills > Puppy Mills: The Tide is Turning

Puppy Mills: The Tide is Turning


In light of some recent disheartening puppy mill news…

Northern Minnesota authorities seize 131 dogs in animal-cruelty case

North Dakota owner of 170 seized dogs says he’s cooperating

Wheatland breeder petitions to regain custody of dogs seized by Cass deputies

Rescuers seize 169 dogs from alleged Missaukee County puppy mill

Seized dogs in alleged puppy mill being treated; suspect arrested

It’s encouraging to see some good news coming out of one of the states with the most puppy mills – Missouri.

In 2011, Missouri passed the  Canine Cruelty Prevention Act (CCPA), requiring puppy mill owners to provide better care, submit to veterinary inspections once a year, provide access to outdoor exercise areas for all their dogs and removal of kennels with wire flooring.

Despite legislative action to weaken the bill, which it did, and a lawsuit brought by  83 dog breeders, Missourians still managed to keep some major provisions that will now have the opportunity to impact puppy mills where it hurts – in the pocket-book. In fact, it already has begun.

  • The breeder lawsuit was withdrawn thus leaving the CCPA in a good position to move forward – My friend Sue over at Talking Dogs Blog provides some highlights from the breeder lawsuit and the testimony that likely led to it being withdrawn (you really must read it to understand how badly they underestimated their ability to sway public opinion). Mischief Monday: Missouri Puppy Mill Lawsuit Withdrawn

And in California, there’s more change. Several cities are taking the lead on banning puppy mill puppies sold in pet stores.

[San Diego] City Council votes unanimously to ban ‘puppy mill’ sales (Did you know San Diego is the 32nd city in North America to ban such sales?)

[Los Angeles] Ban on sale of puppies in L.A.

[Glendale] It’s unanimous: Glendale City Council to ban pet store sales of dogs and cats

Did you know San Diego is the 32nd city in North America to ban such sales? Here’s a full list of the cities choosing to ban pet sales in pet stores.

Even though Minnesota has yet to pass any bill regulating dog breeding operations (we have some of the largest puppy mills in the country), I am encouraged, because the tide is turning. It’s only a matter of time.

  1. July 23, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    The number that really catched my eye where the 1000 breeders that have stopped so far. I can’t imagine that serious breeders would have stopped because of some “simple” rules, they probably already complied to anyway. So a 1000 is a staggering number, probably going beyond the large mill operations, showing the bill is working.

    Although I enjoy the progress, I already brace for their comeback.

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 7:13 AM

      The serious breeders probably don’t treat their dogs like puppy millers do either Leo. Great point. There are thousands of puppy mills in Missouri, but hearing 1000 have quit already is very encouraging. I doubt many have the funds or the ability to pay for yearly vet care for each dog or to build outdoor exercise areas.

  2. July 23, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    Great post and I thank you for the shout out. The tide is turning, thank God. It’s about time this misery was stopped! Ending the sale of puppy mill puppies in stores is so important, because as we all know, puppy mills are all about the money. How we end online sale, I don’t know… other than educating folks about puppy mills so that they turn to responsible dog breeders, rescues and shelters. Gotta stop the demand so the supply dries up.

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 7:11 AM

      We stop puppy mill sales in stores this way and enforce online sales with facility inspections of those who sell in your state. I believe our bill had a provision that covered breeders who sold online (we all know they have been enjoying that loophole for way too long already). I hope this next legislative session makes a difference. I think demand is changing too. Not quickly, but it is changing. Social media has done a great job educating people.

  3. July 23, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    That is good news…

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Yes it is.

  4. July 23, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Great news. Keep it up. The more we shut them down, the more we free animals from that terrible life. Thanks

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 10:26 PM

      Thanks DogDaz. Amen to that!

  5. Pam
    July 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Thank you for sharing all this news! The tide does indeed seem to be turning, but it can’t turn fast enough for me. We can only pray that with continued education for the general public, these (insert not nice words here) will no longer have a market to sell to. It’s all about the money for the puppy mill operators, and as soon as their market dries up, they’ll get out of the business. I don’t think a single person would knowingly buy a puppy from a puppy mill, so we just have to continue educating so that their market DOES indeed dry up.

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      I wish it were faster, but just knowing things are changing is encouraging. I also agree that education is key. The more the market dries up the faster these places will have to look for other sources of income.

  6. July 23, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    I’m so glad to see this progress. And it’s encouraging to know that carefully written laws can make great change.

    I really don’t want to be a naysayer but I’m wondering where this business is going to go next. It’s irresistible for greedy people and has very low costs compared to profits. I’m seeing internet puppy sales almost every day. So where are the puppies to fill the demand going to come from? I’m wondering if we’ll have puppies shipped in containers from China.

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      Thank Pamela. I wonder about that too. Pet thefts is on the rise. I think we already have an inkling where some things are going. All we can do is keep fighting and educating. Internet sales are actually more of a concern for me now than pet stores. The internet sales of dogs and cats is staggering. I wrote about the numbers a couple of months ago. I want to see the laws changed to require inspections for these sales. Once that happens these folks will have to face state regulations (like Missouri’s). It’s coming. It just takes time.

      An added note: the USDA has already been looking at banning shipments of dogs from other countries. In fact, I think they may have already. I need to go check again. It’s been a while since I visited that one.

  7. July 23, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I am always so glad to see some good news on this front! Even though there may still be a long way to go, if we are headed in the right direction then that is a great start. Let’s keep getting the word out!

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Amen to that Jan!

  8. July 23, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Hooray for the good news. I’m so glad about the San Diego news (especially since the national news coverage of our sleazy mayor is so embarrassing these days)!

    But, like Pamela, I worry… The disgusting folks who didn’t mind making money at the expense of these dogs’ health and welfare are going to want/need to make money somehow, so they’ll probably find new ways to exploit others to make money. Sigh. People really suck sometimes.

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      LOL Jackie! I just heard about your mayor yesterday. I am so sorry. Yes. San Diego has something good to be proud of when it comes to animals. So encouraging to see yet another city ban pet store sales of pets. I agree with both you and Pamela, but even so, I am encouraged. There will always be those people out looking for a quick buck or looking to exploit someone. We just have to keep fighting.

  9. July 23, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Thank you so much for putting all the good news together:) I appreciate this posting very very much and celebrate with you Mel for such positive impact that all of these laws and bans can have on animals. It feels amazing to see that the efforts of so many people are changing the laws and we are seeing more puppy mill bans. Yes, there will always be a loophole to do illegal and unethical things…that happens with laws relating to humans too. These laws and bans are a step forward when it comes to animal advocacy. They educate society of the reality that has been going on for a very very long time.Some people are just now saying…”Gee…I had never even heard the term puppy mill” now they might know what is a puppy mill and see what is wrong with it. It also shows that many many people and states are willing to admit that animals are sentient beings that should be considered of their feelings.

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      I could not agree with you more Lily! Yes. There will always be people who find the loopholes and those out for an easy buck, but knowing that there is progress being made is so encouraging. Thank you for adding your thoughts to the discussion!

  10. July 23, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    This is a double edged post. It’s a feel good because things are being done to stop the puppy mills. It made me feel bad because I thought about all of those puppies suffering.

    • Mel
      July 23, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      Same here BJ. After last week’s events, I was feeling somewhat disheartened by the state of our animal welfare laws. I wanted to find something positive to counter it. Thankfully Sue gave me the impetus to go looking.

  1. August 14, 2013 at 11:06 PM

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