Position Statement

Puppy Mills

American Humane opposes dog breeding operations in which the health and welfare of the dogs is disregarded to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits.

We define “Puppy Mills” as the breeding of dogs in facilities where profit is clearly given priority over the health and well-being of the dogs, where there is no interest in or effort toward addressing welfare problems.

These substandard facilities do not provide for the dogs’ welfare needs and often manifest 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 reduce health issues, can result in future suffering for both adults and puppies.

These Puppy Mills (as defined here) are completely unethical. We do not support them and do not believe anyone should support them. American Humane supports working with good and humane breeders who are committed to the health and welfare of dogs and we believe all inhumane puppy mills should be shut down immediately.

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 having the resources they need to help meet public demands for a sustainable supply of healthy, ethically raised dogs and puppies.