Puppy mills

furry_cushion_facebook“Like” Other Nations on Facebook!

Page updated 7/29/16 –  Charlo, MT puppy mill seizure; NJ town bans sale of mill dogs; earlier: Hawai’i mill bust of repeat offender (at ‘new’ arrow); expanded AKC section; scroll down for Montana items and a series of videos.

Unknown***MISSOULIANS: REPORT ROAD-SIDE PUPPY SALES! Click here for details.

*** CHART – PUPPY MILL LAWS by state
*** MAP – PUPPY MILLS LAWS  by state 
***  INFO from ASPCA; INFO from HSUS 

New Arrow

  • July 29 & earlier, Charlo, MT:
    “7 of 11 seized dogs returned to kennel owners in Lake County,”
    Missoulian; “Dogs seized from kennel; owners face possible felony charge,” Missoulian. “Advocates not giving up on legislation to regulate breeding kennels,” KPAX. Also:
    “Authorities remove injured animals from Lake County Kennel”
    (includes video), here; and “No Montana laws cover dog breeding operations,” here. Rip-off Report, filed 10/9/11, here.  Concerns about this operation from 2009: see letter.  LDR Kennel website, here.
    ***Continue scrolling down for more on MT puppy mills and attempted but failed legislation. Two groups are responsible for this moral failure to protect the vulnerable and powerless: those who purchase from breeders and politicians in the MT legislature who refuse to protect dogs because they’re more interested in protecting other special interests.
  • 6/15/16: “Emerson (NJ) bans sale of dogs bred in puppy mills, a first in Bergen County”here.
  • 5/24/16: “AR advocates frustrated after dogs rescued from repeat puppy mill” – a good video news segment accompanies this article here. Also here.
  • 12/22/15: “Amish dog kennels in Winona County approved amid objections” – How does one county planning commissioner characterize the huge problem of Amish puppy mills? “In my view, it helps preserve family farms, small farms.” Here.
  • 11/28/15: “Alabama…puppy mills see little oversight”here (links to story about huge mill bust 3/11/15)
  • 11/17/15: “Class action encourage- ment: Barkworks’ case brings puppy mills into focus” – here
  • 10/2/15: “Animal welfare groups urge USDA to improve…standards for puppy mill dogs”here
  • 9/22/15: “No longer caged in a puppy mill, Harley named 2015 American Hero Dog”Harley survived the horrors of the puppy mill to become a crusader against puppy mills. Article & Facebook page.
  • 8/5/15: Federal judge in AZ upholds city law that limits sales of animals from commercial breedersWill puppy mills become a thing of the past? Here.
  • 3/4/15: “Chicago’s puppy mill ordinance on hold due to court fight” (video). Check out the City Clerk–she totally rocks!
  • 11/21/14: “Ohio house bill to weaken puppy mill provisions”click;    “Dogs rescued from puppy mill ready for adoption” – (Atlanta) click; “Charges filed against accused puppy mill owners”click. Note on this last item: “cruelty, neglect and abuse” of over 170 animals…and it’s a MISDEMEANOR! “The charges carry fines but no jail time.”
  • 11/9/14: “About 100 dogs rescued from alleged puppy mill will soon know what compassion is” news item from Humboldt, TN – click.
  • 10/12/14: “Serious violations of Animal Welfare Act doesn’t [sic] mean quick removal” – So-called regulation of puppy mills really doesn’t fix much, according to this report from Iowa.
  • 7/26/14: “Animal rights group warns Missouri ballot measure would protect puppy farming” – Article here.
  • 7/14/14: “Animal advocates petition legislature for new committee” – Activists in TN look to side-step anti-animal agriculture committees in state legislature (this is why puppy mill legislation fails in MT, also). Article here.
  • 7/8/14: Is Wisconsin licensing puppy mills? A cautionary tale on state legislation meant to provide minimum standards while tracking breeders. In spite of this, dogs remain vulnerable. 

“The history of puppy mills and why you should care” – here

HSUS investigative video on pet store sales of puppy mill puppieshere.

  • 9/10/13: The ASPCA applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture for issuing a final rule establishing greater federal oversight of puppy mills and online dog sales. The new rule closes a regulatory loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA)…continued here. Also see the HSUS blog.
  • Puppy mill congressional district: Do the dogs get to vote?   A Missouri puppy miller is attempts to move from the state legislature to the U.S. Congress in a special election on 6/4/13. Read more here. “Show me” some justice for dogs, Missouri! UPDATE: The odious puppy miller won the race. Grrrr…
  • Loophole lets accused puppy mill operator sell dogs online: After run-ins with Seattle area authorities, this puppy miller then moved to Missouri, puppy mill capital of the U.S. (with Montana close behind–see item below on MT legislature). “The internet is a puppy miller’s best friend,” says one expert. Story and interesting TV news video here.


HB 608: Revise commercial pet breeder laws (PUPPY – KITTEN MILL BILL). 
Here we go again! As a largely rural and isolated state lacking regulations, Montana is fertile ground for puppy mills. The Montana Commercial Pet Protection Act will: establish an oversight board of commercial pet breeders; require commercial breeders to be licensed by the board of commercial pet breeders; require breeding facility inspections; and establish civil and criminal penalties. UPDATE: The exploiters win again–the bill died in committee (House Business & Labor). The American Kennel Club (AKC) lobbied against it. Want to thank the bill’s sponsor? Reach her here.

Past effort: MONTANA LEGISLATURE 2013: House Ag Committee strikes again; puppy mill bill fails. House Bill 439 (text only) would have created the “Montana Commercial Pet Protection Act” in an effort to ensure that commercial pets that are bred, sold, exchanged, or made available for adoption in Montana are healthy. It also included requirements for recordkeeping, inspections, and fees. The bill was supported by the Montana Veterinary Medical Association, among others. HB 439 was introduced on February 11th and sent to the House Agriculture Committee. The bill was tabled (killed) in executive committee action on March 7th (click here to watch video; discussion of this bill starts at the 2:53:00 mark). Rep. Krayton Kerns, the veterinarian who moved to table Montana’s attempt to criminalize attendance at dogfights, also moved to deny humane treatment for puppy mill dogs. The exploiters won’t risk allowing these bills to proceed to the full chamber for discussion–where compassion and justice might overrule greed and special interests. 

Scroll down to “Montana puppy mill justice” to understand why oversight is needed for these cruel and irresponsible breeders. According to ASPCA, 18 states have no laws regulating commercial breeders. Breeders regulated by USDA under the federal Animal Welfare Act must provide “merely survival standards for dogs” (according to ASPCA) and “violations often go unpunished.” To see some photos from USDA-licensed puppy mills, click here.

***“Something Stinks: The need for environmental regulation of puppy mills”: a researched and footnoted paper from Villanova University. Find it here.

  • Last Chance for Animals: Ban puppy mills – click
  • Puppy Mill Awareness on Facebook
  • The Puppy Mill Project – click
  • Prisoners of Greed:  Puppy mills breed misery – click
  • Puppy mills thrive thanks to internet loophole – includes video – click
  • Puppy Mill Rescue – click
  • ASPCA’s Puppy Mill FAQsclick
  • National Mill Dog Rescue – click


  • AKC: The puppy mills’ champion? here.
  • “Why the AKC fights for puppy mills” here
  • Today Show segment: AKC registered puppy mill puppy
  • “Rally against the AKC’s support of puppy mills” here
  • AKC has lobbied against Montana bills–scroll down to section beginning, “Why are puppy mill regulations so hard to pass?”)

 4/10/14: Cook County follows Chicago’s lead, passes suburban puppy mill ban! Find it here. Chicago bans puppy mill sales in pet stores!  Article

In North Carolina, overwhelming support for puppy mill rules:  “A growing movement to end puppy mills has been sweeping the country, and it has landed in North Carolina, where an effort to enact common sense legislation to regulate the state’s commercial dog breeding facilities has taken hold.” 3/6/13 NewsObserver.com

Ohio sends puppy millers a message with new law! “Ohio, one of the epicenters of cruel “puppy mill” style dog breeders, passed a landmark bill on Tuesday (11/28/12) restricting the ability of breeders to mistreat the dogs they are raising for sale. Because Ohio had virtually no legal oversight of breeders, it became “one of the biggest unregulated states” for puppy mills…” Read more at Think Progress.

LA to become largest city to ban pet shop puppy mill sales: “The new law will require retail pet stores to only sell rescued animals.” Read more at the Los Angeles Times, which also offers a brief news segment video. Care2 also reports this story, with additional links.  A related item: Last year, mall developer Macerich Properties banned the sale of live animals in more than 70 malls nationwide.

BigSkyMontanaPostcard-28012/8/14: “Thompson Falls animal shelter rescues 30 dogs from alleged puppy mill” in Plains, MT; article at the Missoulian.

***Close down Jack’s Pet Center community Facebook page (Great Falls) – here
***End puppy mills in Montana community Facebook page (Helena) – here

MONTANA PUPPY MILL JUSTICE! (A state law mandating inspections would’ve likely prevented this terrible suffering.)
***7/8/14 UPDATE: MT Supreme Court denies appeal here (see item below for previous update)
***2/6/14 UPDATE: Missoula Independent “Stuck in the doghouse” covers this breeder’s appeal to the MT Supreme Court, here.

HSUS photo

“The wheels of justice turn slowly, but in this case, they turned correctly. This was one of the most egregious cases of animal abuse I’ve seen in my 16 years in the business. A year ago the dogs were in terrible shape – sick, emaciated, infested with parasites. Several had open wounds when we got them off the property. It was sickening. They are now healthy and happy. This conviction will hopefully send a message to other puppy mill operators that this kind of neglect and abuse will not be tolerated.”
~ Director, Lewis & Clark Humane Shelter (read more at that link)

A puppy miller has been brought to justice (10/18/12) in a jury trial. Rural, isolated states with lax laws (Montana fits the bill on all counts) allow this cruel industry to fly under the radar and flourish. Isn’t it about time we change that? Read on…

“A malamute breeder has been convicted of 91 counts of animal cruelty a year after officers raided his kennel in southwestern Montana and seized 139 dogs and 23 puppies. …Veterinarians testified that most of the dogs were severely underweight and malnourished and that some adult dogs that should weigh about 85 pounds weighed 40 pounds. Jurors were shown video of the kennels taken the day of the raid and a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy testified that investigators found the remains of eight dogs and two dead puppies on the property.”  Read the full article at the Great Falls Tribune (article no longer online). Photo gallery of rescued malamutes at the Helena Independent Record, along with article, “Chilinski gets 30 years, 25 suspended, in malamute abuse” and article, “Chilinski malamutes can be adopted soon.” Continued below video screen.

The convicted breeder, rather than take responsibility, blamed 1) animal rights groups for harassing him out of Utah, and 2) the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), whose “heavy handed” tactics “made his kennels appear worse than they really were.” (OK, so how do you make dead and starving dogs appear worse than they really are?)

For more on this story, see the Lewis & Clark Humane Society; the Dog FilesAlaskan Malamute Assistance League; and a post-rescue news release from HSUS.

SEE ALSO: 2008 puppy mill bust in Yellowstone County, MT– Details here.

Why are puppy mill regulations so hard to pass? Because money and power come down on the side of exploitation. Montana’s previous attempts to regulate puppy mills–House Bill 515 (to provide minimum standard of care for a maximum number of dogs) and HB 390 (to require inspections)–died when they were tabled by the House Agriculture Committee in the 2011 legislature. Farmers and ranchers fear that any animal regulation will eventually impede their ability to make money off of their own sentient animals, while profit-driven pro-breeding groups like the AKC actively lobby against bills to regulate breeding in Montana and elsewhere (see also “AKC fails to oppose puppy mills“). Meanwhile, shelters kill “excess” animals by the millions. Click here to learn what you can do. Learn more: PuppyMillRescue.

Two of our paws-down favorite commercials use humor to make the point…
and both are well under one minute. We can’t install the YouTube screen on our website, so you’ll have to click here and here. (Added: Cats Against Puppy Mills!The Pet Stop, located in Southgate Mall (Missoula, MT) sells puppies. Customer reviews are available online here. (UPDATE: The Pet Stop is no longer at the mall.) Are puppy mill dogs sold in a mall near you?

Black Eyed Peas ask: “Where is the love?” (Hint: You won’t find it in puppy mills!)