Position Statement

Dog Breeding

American Humane supports working with good and humane dog breeders to institute and maintain science-based welfare standards and believes that inhumane breeding operations should be shut down.

Inhumane breeding operations and/or “Puppy Mills” are operations in which profit is prioritized over the health and welfare of the dogs and where there is no interest in or effort toward addressing welfare problems. 

These substandard facilities do not provide for the dogs’ welfare needs, often manifesting in filthy and unsafe kennel conditions. Dogs are frequently dirty, ill or injured, and they may receive little or no behavioral or veterinary care. For the breeding adults and the puppies born in these facilities, neglect of emotional needs due to lack of socialization, isolation and the trauma of transportation at an early age are serious problems which can lead to ongoing health and behavioral problems. Lack of knowledge and care about genetic diseases and proper breeding regimes to avoid health issues can result in future suffering for both adults and puppies. 

Ensuring that puppy mills cannot thrive depends on people being able to recognize and avoid them, law enforcement being able to regulate them and responsible breeders following independently certified science-based standards to help meet public demands for a sustainable supply of healthy, ethically raised dogs and puppies.