The Humane Society of the United States has just released a report detailing the 100 worst puppy mills in the country.
It's no secret that puppy mills, breeding operations that most often keep dogs in cruel and inhumane conditions, are alive and well all over the country, and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is calling out the worst offenders in their recent report titled The Horrible Hundred 2017.
According to their website:
"The information in this report is a compilation of records obtained from state inspection data in those states that inspect puppy mills, and/or from recent USDA records that The HSUS preserved before the USDA removed the reports from their website, as well as certain available court records, consumer complaints, investigator visits and media reports."
Per the report, Missouri topped the list (for the fifth year in a row,) with 19 dealers, followed by Ohio, Kansas, and Pennsylvania, which ranked in at 12 dealers each. The dogs produced and sold from these dealers are not limited to the immediate area and can be found all over the country. Over half of those listed on the report are repeat offenders, and Internet advertising was shown to be on the rise, with many dealers selling their puppies on classified sites, as well as social media.
The conditions these dogs were found in were said to be disturbing, at best. A Chihuahua in Arkansas was found living with a broken jaw; a Boxer in Indiana was found with lacerations so deep that muscle tissue was exposed; dead mice were seen floating in drinking water at one Iowa establishment; and several puppies were found stacked in cages in a basement in Massachusetts. It is not uncommon to find dogs and puppies freezing, starving, sick, injured, cramped, and left with untreated medical conditions.
Still, puppy mills continue to profit off of the pain of innocent lives.
Purchasing dogs or puppies from stores or on the Internet can, and often does, support the puppy mill business, which is why many animal advocacy groups encourage potential owners to "adopt, don't shop" if they are looking to add a furry member to their family. To see available, adoptable pets in your area, visit Petfinder.com for a full list (which can be easily customized if you have a particular breed or type of dog in mind.)
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