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New Puppy Mill Legislation: How You Can Help

by Mel Freer on September 9, 2011

in Dogs, Rants

puppy mill legislationShe was a Yellow Lab. White in color. Born with a beautiful face, she was ideal for breeding. A money maker.

Years later, she would have a belly that hung down, like she had been born with extra skin. Lots and lots of puppies had been carried in that belly.

Her face bore the scars of a dog squabble or two, perhaps a fight over food? The scars on her feet were all that remained of what had once been her dew claws. They had been torn out, probably with a pair of pliers. Only one disfigured, twisted dew claw remained, but that wouldn’t matter. All that mattered was how many puppies she could provide to feed the hungry human masses, all starving for a puppy.

Her name? Her right ear held that information. She was dog number 201. It was tattooed inside.

This description sounds horrendous, but actually is my dog, Daisy, a puppy mill breeding dog. I adopted Daisy almost 4 years ago. She was unsocialized, scared, shut down, and completely lost inside her own frightening little world. It took a lot of patience, persistence, and hard work to rehabilitate her; to give her a sense of confidence. She’s an amazing dog now, with a lot of love in her heart, and I am lucky enough to be the recipient of that love.

Meeting Daisy changed my life. She’s why I am so passionate about educating people about pet stores and puppy mills (did you know 99% of all pet store puppies come from puppy mills?). I am also passionate about stopping puppy mills and closing down pet stores that sell puppies.

To be honest, it’s frustrating work. But I feel that I have to do it… for Daisy’s sake, and for the many dogs like her who are still stuck in puppy mills across this country.

I can report that progress is being made. Just a couple of weeks ago, PJ’s Pets and Pets Unlimited announced that they will stop selling puppy mill puppies, and in the past year, several Petland Stores have closed down or stopped selling puppies altogether.  It’s only a drop in the bucket, but for every store closed and every puppy mill that is shut down, progress is made, slowly but surely.

But there is a new problem on the horizon, well actually, it’s already here. Puppy millers have started turning to the internet to sell their wriggling masses of puppies… and they’re completely unregulated. You can now buy their puppies on Ebay, pet product websites, online pet stores, and even from the puppy mills’ own websites (yes, they even have their own websites). The USDA doesn’t inspect these places because they sell directly to the public. Hard to believe isn’t it? It’s a loophole as big as the Grand Canyon.

That’s why I am writing this post and asking for your help. A new bill was introduced in Congress in March, and it will soon be up for a vote. It’s called the  Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act . The PUPS Act will stop puppy mills who avoid licensing and federal inspection by selling directly to the public. It is designed to specifically address the gap that exists today when it comes to inspecting puppy mills. It requires that puppy mills who sell directly to the public via the internet and the paper be inspected. No more hiding behind the internet and those cute puppy ads you see in newspapers everywhere. With this law, they will be subject to the same care requirements expected of puppy mills that sell to pet stores and they will have to be inspected by the USDA.

I’m not going to lie. This is only a drop in the bucket when it comes to puppy mills. Real legislation is needed to close them down, and I believe that legislation will come some day soon. This bill is only the beginning and it’s national legislation. It will force those puppy mills who hide behind the internet to comply with current law.

Helping out is really simple. Go here and ask your state congressmen and senators to support this bill. You don’t have to write a personal letter or email. No postcard is needed. No phone calls need to be made (although phone calls are great!). You don’t even have to look up who your legislator is for your district. You simply add your name and mailing address and click “Send Message.” That’s it. the ASPCA does the rest. You even get a confirmation of who your email was sent to.

Daisy and I thank you.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

marianne September 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

Let’s get the PUPS Act passed right away, please.


Savannah September 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Let’s never let this happen again!!!!


Amanda Jane Finnell September 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Agreed. The law must get involved when it comes to ethical breeding. I believe in upholding standards in breeding and if people are going to use it as a business than it should it should be regulated and checked by outer authority. Many responsible breeders exsist who maintain the highest standards of the breed. This reduces the number of dogs with genetic diseases to pass down. A responsible breeder will not use dogs with genetic issues. Puppy mills generally are non discriminatory and do not let the mother’s body have time to rest in between litters.


Debbie September 10, 2011 at 12:42 am

I’ve been an animal shelter volunteer for 7+ years and also help with rescue. I HATE puppy mills and irresponsible backyard breeders. I will help spread the word and collect signatures. God bless you for giving Daisy a life!


Melinda September 10, 2011 at 2:22 am

Puppy mills are very cruel. Inbred & sick, sold to unsuspecting
people. Usually these poor animals end up dead. Please lets stop the madness!


Lois Jackson September 11, 2011 at 1:45 am

The people that run the puppy mills should be closed down immediately! It’s past time for new laws to be enacted to protect our little ones from such heartless, greedy, predators!


Sheila March 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I have reason to believe that a puppy mill is being run in a home in Bastrop County.
If someone from your organization inspected the house and found this to be so,
would the dogs/puppies be removed? What would be the consequences to the person running such an operation?


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