Puppy Mill Investigations
How can you know that a puppy store is getting their from puppy mills? It’s a fair assumption when a store has many puppies for sale and they receive stock on an ongoing basis. These stores get shipments of puppies like any other product they sell. This has been going on for too long and the problem is getting worse. Puppies in pet shops might look cute, but people who purchase puppies from pet shops are products of horrible circumstances. They might look fine, but they are subjected to cruel treatment (from birth up until they are sold from the pet shop). Their mothers are horribly neglected and abused beyond imagination. Puppy mills refuse access to veterinary care so prenatal care and nutrition is abominable and the puppies are born are at a huge disadvantage. Pet shops who deal with puppy mills are lacking compassion, hungry to rip off unsuspecting consumers and void of any sense of ethics. Please feel free to read my article Do You Know Where Puppies REALLY come From? and The Truth About Pet Shops & Puppies to learn about puppy mills.
The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy Animal Studies Repository has performed puppy mill studies and campaigns. One campaign is The Horrible Hundred which is updated each year. You can also read 101 Puppy Mills: A Sampling of Problem Puppy Mills in the United States to learn about the basics of puppy mills and their impact. Another exposé about New York puppy stores (a great majority of which carry puppy mill dogs) is called, HSUS Investigates New York Puppy Stores. It actually names stores in New York. The stores were visited with hidden cameras. Here a video and the results:
1. American Kennels
798 Lexington Ave., Manhattan
Refused to give breeder info; linked to puppy sources with problematic USDA reports, including Ruth Zuspann/ Zuspann’s Kennel in MO (see HSUS’s Dirty Dozen report update).
2. Le Petit Puppy
18 Christopher St., Manhattan
Gave one breeder name; linked to suppliers with problematic USDA reports.
45 Christopher St., Manhattan
Gave breeder names and falsely stated that puppy miller/broker Sandra
Blake has “wide-open spaces” for her dogs. Linked to puppy sources with problematic USDA reports, including Ruth Zuspann/ Zuspann’s Kennel in MO (see HSUS’s Dirty Dozen report update).
4. Metro Puppy
103-23 Metropolitan Ave., Queens
Owner told the “shopper” that “legislation shut all that (puppy mills) down long ago.”
5. Raising Rover & Baby
1428 Lexington Ave., Manhattan
Avoided questions about breeders; review of health certificates and USDA reports show they use some of the worst puppy mills, including Brandi Cheney.
6. Pets on Lex
1109 Lexington Ave., Manhattan
Info on breeders obtained from health certificates; bad USDA reports.
7. Puppy City
2539 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn
Info on one breeder obtained from salesman; bad USDA reports on suppliers (see Lone Sycamore Kennels and others).
8. Puppy Petite or The Puppy Boutique
They have two different names, two different websites, same location address
8002 17th Ave., Brooklyn
Gave one breeder name – “It’s not a puppy mill or anything like that – we only work with private breeders;” linked to MO broker that buys from numerous kennels with bad USDA reports.
9. Yipity Yap
1802 East Jericho Turnpike, Huntington (Long Island)
Refused to give breeder info – “I have nothing to hide,” said the salesman three times as he refused to give breeder info; the store has purchased more than a dozen puppies from Brandi Cheney this year.
10. Vanity Pups
38-13 Bell Blvd., Queens
Gave one breeder name after telling the “shopper” that the humane society tells everyone that all puppies are from mills because “they want the money.” Bad USDA reports for suppliers, one of which is Lourance in Oklahoma, who has some of the worst USDA reports The HSUS has seen.
11. A World of Pups
540 86th St., Brooklyn
The HSUS has received more consumer complaints about sick puppies purchased from this store than any of the stores investigated; problematic USDA reports for many of the puppy mills it uses.
Some of these puppy stores are located in very exclusive areas and sell their puppies for top dollar. I know of people who have asked for my advice. Despite, they have chosen to purchase for a couple of the stores mentioned above. I practically beg people to look at my articles about puppy mills. I give them the actual links. For goodness sake, can’t people just take a moment to check? Why not? I just don’t get it. If you would like to read more of my puppy mill articles, check out The Truth About Pet Shops & Puppies and Do You Know Where Puppies REALLY Come From?
WAIT!!! Let’s back up. What is a puppy mill? The following video features Charlize Theron describing exactly what a puppy mill is:
The Humane Society recently published The Horrible Hundred 2015 – A Sampling of Problem Puppy Mills in the United in which the worst puppy mill offenders are cited for shocking violations.
So the most reasonable question to ask is: Why aren’t these puppy mills allowed to go on? The pet industry lobbyists, the enormous profits, payoffs to provide incentive for violation to be overlooked, payoffs to vets to discourage visiting, treatment, and reporting, and the list goes on. When penalties are imposed, the fines are mild and have no impact.
So where can you get a dog? Try Petfinder which is a wonderful website where I have found my dogs. It is basically a database that has listings of dogs (and other pets) from hundreds (maybe thousands) of different rescue organizations. You can type in your zip code, the breed, size, and the age of the dog you would be interested in. You can also fine tune your search by checking off other options to make a good fit. For example, if you have young children, there is a checkbox which will provide results showing dogs who are good with children.
PLEASE do NOT buy dogs online or from other advertising sources (even in vet clinics) – especially if the seller is not willing to allow you to meet the parents of the puppy at their home. Reputable breeders do not sell their dogs to strangers. If a breeder is truly an ethical, reputable, and skilled in breeding, there would be no need to advertise. I strongly recommend saving a dog from a shelter as opposed to contributing to the atrocities of unscrupulous breeders. Reputable breeders will require that you spay/neuter the dog that they sell to you and will not sell any dog without a written contract to do so. You can find virtually any breed on the Petfinder website. Before adopting dogs, rescue organizations have their dogs examined by qualified veterinarians, who vaccinate, microchip, and spayed/neutered so the dog dogs are all set to go. This is the reason why they charge adoption fees. Dogs from puppy mills who are sold in puppy stores are not provided with even close to the amount of attention an healthcare as shelter dogs.
If you MUST get your dog from a breeder, the best way is to find the official American Kennel Club website for that particular breed. They have rescues that need to find homes and they have lists of breeders. If a person is going to purchase from a breeder, there should be AUTHENTIC historical information that can be verified as well as genetic testing to ensure the genetic health of the dog. This is testing and process of breeding over 3 or more generations of the dog is VERY costly. Such professional breeders are few and far between and will interview you and grill you to make sure that one of their dogs will go to an appropriate home. They absolutely will ask for references and they might require a home visit to determine if your home meets the appropriate standards. In light of this, why not just rescue a dog?
The Humane Society of the United States, “101 Puppy Mills: A Sampling of Problem Puppy Mills in the United States.” (2014). The Humane Society of the United States Puppy Mill Investigations and Exposés. Paper 7. <http://animalstudiesrepository.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=hsus_pmc_iae>.
The Humane Society of the United States, “A Horrible Hundred: Problem Puppy Mills in the United States” (2013). HSUS Puppy Mill Investigations and Exposés. Paper8.
The Humane Society of the United States, “HSUS Investigates New York Puppy Stores.” (2011). The Humane Society of the United States Puppy Mill Investigations and Exposés. Paper 4. <http://animalstudiesrepository.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=hsus_pmc_iae>.