Educate Yourself about Pet Stores, Breeders &      Puppy Mills

Animal welfare and euthanasia rates were spiraling out of control in the 1970s and a targeted campaign (HSUS) to reduce euthanasia and the mistreatment of dogs evolved. Households in the United States doubled the number of animals and euthanasia dropped by more than 60%. In the U.S. Currently 85% of all dogs are spayed or neutered.

Animal rights organizations are aggressively promoting pet store bans across the country and while these efforts are well-funded, the legislation is misguided and fails to produce any targeted results. The fact is that not ONE puppy mills has been shut down. The reality is that the statistics prove that the claims are false, and the animal rights activists and funded organizations are using the power of emotion, a powerful tool used to influence the media and lawmakers.


Fact: Only 4% of all dogs in the United States are sold by pet stores. (ASPCA verified)

Fact: $2.68 million dollars was spent buying 5,761 dogs and puppies from breeders that were labeled as puppy mills. This was reported in a 2018 investigation by The Washington Post. The bidders were affiliated with 86 rescue and advocacy groups and shelters in the United States and Canada who purchased from the same breeders that were labeled as puppy mills.

Fact: An increase in the occurrence of zoonotic diseases (rabies, tuberculosis, and brucellosis), screwworm, and canine (Asian) flu in dogs was primarily due to the growing number of imported dogs, often strays from developing countries or from breeders who breed specifically for importation to the U.S. This has risked the health of the U.S. human, pet population and agricultural animals.

Fact: As public demand for puppies and dogs increases, the shelter and rescue systems in the United States continue to look for ways to fill that need. The Puerto Rico Daily Sun wrote a story stating that about 107 puppies died of distemper on their way from the island to the New York area. This information can be found on The National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) website.

Fact: The Department of Agriculture tracks pet store and shelter dogs imported into the state of Connecticut. In 2013, Connecticut shelters imported twice as many dogs as all the pet stores in the state during the same period.* (Source: Committee Testimony) *the state of Connecticut reported shelters imported 14,000 dogs in 2013.

Fact: The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) released a policy statement recognizing the threat to humans and animal health posed by the unregulated importation of animals — rabies, in particular on April 21, 2014 (Source: NAIA)

Fact: The most recent credible study on shelter intakes was conducted in 1998 and found:
​33.7% came from friends/acquaintance
27.2% came from a breeder or stranger
22.5% came from a shelter
9.3% came in as a stray
3.9% came from pet stores
This study examined 3,772 relinquished pets from 12-shelters in a six-state area. (Source: Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 1998)


Fact: Commercial breeders are filling the demand for breed specific puppies by importing them from countries such as Mexico, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. Rescues and shelters are then purchasing these imported puppies to sell to the public. (Source: Washington Post, NAIA & ABC News)

Fact: Retail pet bans ENCOURAGE unregulated sources like puppy mills to continue their inhumane breeding practices by continuing to ignore the estimated 8,500 non-licensed and unregulated breeders who sell directly to consumers over the Internet, at flea markets and in parking lots while evading federal regulatory oversight.


Fact: The reality is that about 700,000 dogs are being euthanized annually because they are not adoptable due to sickness, aggression, old age, etc. This fact is according to a recent shelter study by the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. A statistical breakdown of Shelter Euthanizations is provided by the NAIA Shelter Project and states that almost all euthanizations are due to untreatable health problems.


Fact: The federal government regulates all commercial puppy breeders who sell to pet stores. The breeders are inspected by USDA licensed breeders and must follow the Animal Welfare Act set into law by the U.S. Congress. (Source: Animal Welfare Act).


Fact: The first 12 weeks of a puppies life are crucial to their overall health and this is why pet store puppies receive more veterinary care and oversight during the first 12 weeks of age and have fewer health problems than other puppies from other sources. (Source: Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council)

Fact: There is legal recourse in 22 states to protect people who purchase animals from pet dealers who later find out that they have purchased a puppy with a disease or defect. (The American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA))

Fact: DVM/VPI Insurance Group has reduced premiums for pet store puppies and kittens by 22% due to fewer health claims for pet store puppies. (Source: DVM/VPI Insurance Group)

Fact: Health problems affect nearly 52% of dogs and cats adopted from shelters 1-week after adoption and an additional 10% had reported health problems within the first month after adoption. Serious disease among puppies did not differ between pet stores and other sources. (Source: The Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association)


Fact: Breed specific rescues and shelters purchase puppies from commercial breeders, according to the Washington Post. Bob Hughes, owner of Southwest Auction Service, the biggest commercial dog auction in the country, says that “rescues generate about one-third, maybe even 40 percent of our income”.

Fact: Less than 5.5% of shelter pets are purebreds and if you remove Chihuahuas and Pitbulls, that number drops to 3.3%. (Source: NAIA Shelter Project). “The bottom line is that US animal shelters operate with so little oversight, it is very difficult for people outside the sheltering community to understand much about them.”

​Fact: If you look back as far as 2006, “As many as 300,000 puppies a year are being imported, based on early estimates, according to G. Gale Galland, Veterinarian in the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine…One rescue group — Save a Sato (Spanish slang for mixed breed) — has brought an estimated 14,000 dogs from Puerto Rico to the United States since its founding in 1996, according to Massachusetts volunteer Twig Mowatt…” It’s is easy to speculate that … enterprising rescuers and shelter directors could help developing countries become breeding grounds for stocking U.S. shelters,” said Patti L. Strand, president of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIS).”