Puppy Mills on Oprah – What You Can Do To Stop Puppy Mills

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stop puppy millsWell, our worst fears about the appalling practises of puppy mills have been confirmed.

Puppy mills breed puppies for profit. Pure and simple.

Most people are aware of this fact.

But what many people were not aware of is the cruelty practised by puppy mills.

Beautiful dogs that would love to be your pet are kept, sometimes in small, filthy cages, with little or no human contact, and often with zero veterinary care. Females are bred every time they come into heat (usually twice per year). They are kept not as pets, but as breeding machines in order to stock pet stores with puppies for sale. It’s an absolute crime. Many times by the time these poor dogs are 7 years old they have given birth to more than a hundred puppies. They are undernourished, their poor bodies are completely depleted from the repeated cycles of pregnancies and nursing. And when they’re not considered sufficiently good breeding material any more (at about the age of seven or eight), they are killed to make way for younger breeding machines. During the whole of their lives they are never nurtured or treated with any dignity or respect.
The U.S. Humane Society has been fighting the puppy mills for decades.

Stop Puppy Mills

And now the truth is out.

Good on you, Oprah! Thank you for publicizing far and wide, in a way that probably no one else can, this terrible crime that is going on under our very noses. And that anyone who buys a puppy from a pet store is contributing to.

Yes, according to Oprah’s team’s investigation, 99.9 per cent of puppies sold in pet stores in the U.S. are bred in puppy mills. 99.9%!

stop puppy millsDo what you can to STOP this practice. Don’t EVER buy a puppy from a pet store, or ANY products from a pet store that sells puppies. That’s the first step everyone should be taking.

If you buy a puppy from a pet store, you free up a spot for another puppy mill puppy to fill, you put profits into the hands of a puppy mill. and you encourage that puppy mill to continue breeding puppies for profit.

If you buy any products from pet stores that sell puppies, you tacitly give approval to what they’re doing, put profits into their hands and enable them to stock more puppy mill puppies for sale.

Don’t EVER buy a puppy from an online source without visiting the breeder yourself and checking them out. Often, online stores pose as reputable breeders, with stories and pictures that warm the heart. But it’s all a front. Puppy mills are now advertising their puppies online, with totally false information about who they really are, and many people are falling for the rort and perpetuating puppy mills.

Don’t EVER buy a puppy from anywhere, in fact, unless you have satisfied yourself that you are not putting profits into puppy mills.

How do you do that?

Rescue a rescue dog. If you particularly keen to have a puppy, there are plenty of them at dog rescue shelters. And if you want a purebred puppy, they have plenty of them too, with at least equivalent credentials to those bred in puppy mills. (Inbreeding is rife in puppy mills, so although technically you may be getting a purebred dog, it’s genetic makeup may well be compromised by the inbreeding).

So, consider an adult or older dog from a rescue first. They need saving, too.

If you want a puppy, you can also look in the animal shelters and rescue him/her.

If you do want a puppy from a breeder, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable breeder. Do NOT trust what they say in their advertisement, even if it’s on the internet and accompanied by pictures of healthy dogs looking happy and well cared for and living in the breeder’s home. Visit the breeder. This is an absolute must.

And visiting the breeder is not enough. Make sure you view the dogs – the puppies, and both the parents, and take a look at where the dogs live (whether in the house with the breeder, or otherwise). And look at how the breeder and the dogs interact. Ask to see the outdoor living quarters for the dogs if the dogs are kept outside. Ask to see outside in any event, even if the dogs appear to live insidestop puppy mills the house. Is the area clean, and dog friendly?

Get a free copy of the Humane Society’s Puppy Buyer’s Guide – here – http://www.stoppuppymills.org/forms/free_puppy_buyers_guide.html
What else can we all do?

1. STOP buying ANY products from ANY pet store that sells puppies.

2. Do NOT buy ANY products from ANY online store that sells puppies.

3. Lobby your federal legislators – here – https://community.hsus.org/campaign/puppymills_oprah

4. Sign up for updates on the Stop Puppy Mills campaign by the Humane Society – here – http://www.stoppuppymills.org – Sign up is on the right hand side of the page.

Stop Puppy Mills

5. Write a letter to your local newspaper voicing your concerns. All the major newspapers should be buzzing with this information right now – Thanks, Oprah – but the small local papers may not be. – So make sure yours is!

6. Read this online flyer – and then if you can, print out some copies and distribute them outside your local pet store, or at your local park, or drop some in letterboxes in your area. Take some copies to your veterinarian – if they’re not already publicizing this, ask them to display the flyers on their noticeboard and have copies available on their counter.

We call on ALL contribute to STOPPING puppy mills.

Do YOUR part now!

Other useful links to entities that work very hard to put a stop to puppy mills:




Take a look, and then take some action yourself to halt the appalling practises of puppy mills.

About Brigitte Smith

Brigitte Smith is an entrepreneur with a love of dogs and a healthy lifestyle. Brigitte is passionate about holistic health alternatives for dogs, most of which are today suffering foreshortened lifespans in the wake of a lifetime diet of commercial pet food, and further contributed to by unnecessary over-vaccination and chemicals and poisons applied topically and internally. http://HealthierDogs.com is one of Brigitte's sites dedicated to dog health, and in particular dog food reviews.

19 thoughts on “Puppy Mills on Oprah – What You Can Do To Stop Puppy Mills

  1. Claire Rifkin

    A friend of mine bought a puppy online, much to my objection. The puppy arrived via air, and was sick from the get-go. The poor puppy finally died two weeks later of parvo. The breeder was forced to give her money back, but this still doesn`t help the poor puppy and many others suffering from poor handling and little care.

  2. debz

    The truth about puppy mills and pet stores has been out for a long time. It’s great that Oprah responded to the request to showcase the problem on her show, but there is much more graphic information available, and it has been available for years. Dateline did an expose show on April 26, 2000. This news isn’t new.

    Check out: http://www.prisonersofgreed.org and http://www.hua.org

    Also: http://www.adoptingadog.org/Shelters.htm

    The HSUS doesn’t really do much to help fight the problem of puppy mills. They just want to eliminate dogs and cats as pets altogether. Look up Wayne Pacelle’s quotes if you don’t know his stand already. They are easy to find by googling. One view of the problem, which includes at least one of his famous quotes about “one generation and out,” is here:

    If you donate to HSUS or PeTA, you will be lining the pockets of their big guns but not doing much to help dogs. Remember Katrina? Where did the money go? Why did they disappear and leave all those needy dogs behind? They got their money and then the left the building. Same with Michael Vick’s dogs. They begged for and got money to “help” them, but they didn’t have the dogs. They just lobbied to have them all put down. They never helped them. They just helped themselves. Remember the “PeTA 2?” They were the PeTA employees who went on trial, the ones who took dogs from shelters in North Carolina promising to find them homes, then put them down as soon as they got them into their van. Then they dumped their bodies in the dumpster behind the Piggly Wiggly store.

    I totally agree with stopping the abuse at puppy mills. I have been avoiding pet stores for years and telling everyone I know to do the same. I help with dog rescue work. But HSUS and PeTA and their ilk are not the answer, not if you love animals and want them to be part of your life.

    Wake up!


    I live in Chile where animal rights are still being “looked into”. Years ago, I was desperate to buy a Yorkie but there were few available. I finally contacted a pet store owner who agreed to find me one. “Abigail” flew in from the States a few weeks later. I was told not to touch her in the cage because she was nervous and snappy (he demonstrated the fact and was bitten), that her hair had been shorn because she had become dirty during the journey. I put my hand into the cage and was licked much to the amazement of her “importer”. I never ever had such a wonderful companion, devoted friend as she. I assume that she came from a puppy mill!
    Do animal lovers REALLY want to encourage this practice? I learned through ignorance that the only way to acquire a puppy is to go to the home in which it was bred and seee for yourself how the sellers other dogs behave and in what conditions they are raised.

  4. kandy

    This has been going on for ever plus a day, and now its on Oprah there going to do something about it? I’m in Canada I live next to Quebec. one of the biggest puppy mill pusher. and Ontario had mandaited that after 72 hr unclaimed dog in shelters are to be shiped to reserch lab, so ya yahoo for the Ontario SPCA what a mess. where do these people get off. it all makes me sad to call my self human.

  5. Tracy Campanaro

    Where is it all going to end? We call ourselves a society! If we can not look after the creatures that are being mistreated or cruelly victimised in our world in this century then we are also to blame. Vivisection is yet another cruelty. Puppy Mills yet another. I could go on and on and of course then there is the lack od care towards our sick, homeless, aged and mentally ill. It seems as though this is a world only meant for the rich and lucky. If there is one creature in the world that will give you their undying love and devotion and loyalty, it is the ever faithful dog. Unfortunately they give this love to some of the cruellest and inhumane people ever. I hope that this sorry excuse for help, which is my little comment gives a vote for the eradication of Puppy Milling. God Bless you for your efforts Brigitte.

  6. Bobby

    Hi Briggite,

    yes i know it is terrible how they are treated. I have a little Bichon Frise that i got from a puppy mill(at the time i did not know it was a puppy mill) I seen an ad inthe newspaper where they were giving away a Bichon. I had just lost my Bichon a few months before that. So i went to look at her (Toya) and at first i wasn’t going to take her. She hadn’t been groomed and her hair was hanging in her face and matted. But i did take her and i am so glad i did. She is a wonderful little lady.

    Since then the woman who runs the puppy mill has been turned in to the authorities and they have closed her down.

    Thank you for the info.


  7. Mary

    Hello Brigette!

    I so enjoy your articles. Puppy Mills are the scourge of our society!
    Oprah is dedicating a show on this subject, very disturbing and very sad, more should be done. Did I tell you Our Rosie my Toy Poodle was a rescue from a Quebec backyard breeder? She now has a great life with us these past 7 years and hopefully thanks to you and your great articles, She & Her Brothers will have many many more!

    I read your dog food article and am so glad I had started the Fur Kids on a Holistic diet, plus I have been cooking for them for them also and they love it, I have noticed the last year they have been healthier & more active, the immunizations I stopped 2 years ago, they had all there puppy shots and shots thru to 5 yrs so they are well covered, and poor Kane my Australian cattle Dog/Shepard mix use to get so sick!

    I will check out the site for all the updates, thank you for the Emails really insightful and I enjoy them and find them so helpful!

    You know My Cousin Doris & Her Hubby Malcolm Live in Australia, in
    Victoria! near the Beach, Australia is such a gorgeous diverse Continent, You are lucky to live there it’s beautiful & so vast! One of my Fave shows is Kath & Kim, have you seen it?

    Well we are having beautiful weather finally here in Ontario! so I
    think I’ll go for alittle walk and enjoy this sunny morning, before the Hubby & Kids get up!lol

    ~Take Care, Mary

  8. Brigitte Smith

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your comments.


    I’m sorry to hear that your friend didn’t follow your advice, and proceeded with the puppy mill puppy. I’ve been appalled for some time about the practise of offering puppies for sale on the internet.

    I could never buy a puppy that I hadn’t seen, and hadn’t checked out where it came from, and who the breeders were. But there are a lot of people who do buy puppies sight unseen. That’s why the puppy mills stay in business.


    Thanks for your comments, and those links.

    Very interesting article here –
    http://www.pet-law.com/future/whatis.html – that Debz mentioned – go ahead and read it everyone. It’s quite an eye opener.

    I have referenced the Humane Society’s website above. Please do not take this as any kind of endorsement. They have a convenient method there for lobbying the federal legislators. But if you’re going to donate money, donate it directly to animal shelters that you are personally aware of that have “No Kill” policies, or search online for them, or go to http://www.hua.org or http://www.bestfriends.org and donate to them – they both have “No Kill” policies, and will use your funds to help our pets.


    I couldn’t agree more.


    Oprah has a huge audience. That’s the benefit of Oprah’s show on puppy mills.

    That’s appalling that there was actually a law passed in Ontario that dogs that are unclaimed for 72 hours must go to research labs. Am I reading that correctly, Kandy? That’s truly shocking.


    Well said! And thanks for your kind words on my efforts to get the word out. I really appreciate it.


    Well, that’s the main thing – now you do know, and can spread the word as well. And it’s a step in the right direction that the puppy mill in your area was shut down and the owner prosecuted. About time, I say!


    Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it.

    Actually, Kath and Kim is one of my pet hates! I can’t stand it. It’s very popular here, though. I just think it’s so ridiculously over the top that I don’t find it funny at all, but I’m in the minority I would imagine, or it wouldn’t be such a popular show. I think you either love it or hate it!

    Hope you enjoyed your walk!

    Regards to everyone,

  9. Dr Audrey Harvey BVSc(Hons)

    Unfortunately, while people see a dollar in dogs, and dogs are treated like a commodity, puppy farms will continue to exist. We need tougher penalties for animal cruelty, people only seem to get a tap on the knuckles which is no darned deterrent.

  10. Dolores




  11. Brigitte Smith

    Dr Harvey,

    I couldn’t agree more. As with any type of criminal activity, if the penalty is not sufficiently severe, it won’t deter would-be offenders.


  12. Brigitte Smith


    I have to wonder whether the “private breeder” you mention is actually a puppy mill operator on a small scale. There are plenty of those around – sometimes referre to a “backyard breeders”.

    Perhaps they don’t treat the dogs too badly, but if their primary objective is profit, they’re not a professional breeder of any caliber.

    Any respectable breeder puts the breed first. Their objective is to further the favorable characteristics of the breed. And to this end they make careful choices as to the dogs that they mate together, treat their dogs well, feed them well, and provide appropriate veterinary care.

    If they skimp on any of these aspects, to my mind, they’re not a professional breeder.


  13. Cinnamon Landman

    Brigitte, Thank you for spreading the word about puppy mills, not to mention all the topics you write about, to help us help animals. Although I’m primarily a cat rescuer, and do TNR of ferals as well as finding good homes for adoptable cats (screening, references, and home visits), I’ve rescued at least 2 dozen dogs since 1991. I found homes for all except 2 pit bulls who had been abused, and I kept them.

    Our shelter is a high-kill facility, and despite the work and expense of keeping unadoptable animals, I feel it’s pointless to rescue them, then send them to their death.

    Here in Austin, TX, we have a very active rescue community. When we discovered that PetLand was putting up a new store here, we started a Petland Petition group, and do protests in front of the store every Saturday, holding large signs and handing out flyers that give consumers the truth they’re not aware of.

    I do know about the unfortunate practices and philosophy of HSUS and PETA. I’ve been on their mailing lists for many years, as well as In Defense of Animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and probably at least 20 more, as well as groups that defend wildlife and ecology. I send in so many petitions…

    I first became an activist many years ago, when I saw my hero, Cleveland Amory, on the Dick Cavett Show. He presented a video showing the slaughter of seals near the Magdalen Islands. I’ve never been able to put those images out of my mind. I wrote to then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and joined Cleveland’s Fund for Animals. Yet here we are, about 30 years later, still sending petitions and getting information about the horrors on the ice.

    I just don’t understand how it goes on. Good grief, even Paul McCartney couldn’t stop it. I think we should all write to Oprah and ask her to do a show on the subject.

    I plan to write to her to see if she’ll do a follow-up show on the subject of No Kill Shelters. Nathan Winograd gave a 3-day presentation here a couple of years ago, and we were so excited about the prospect of not killing an average of 50 wonderful, healthy animals every day. But Nathan’s premise is so true: you have to get rid of the shelter director in order to change the philosophy and methodology of that entity. Our director seems happy with the status quo, and we’re still sending tons of dead bodies to the landfill every year.

    I could go on and on, but I’ve probably written enough. One day I’ll send a picture of Amory, my beloved staffie whom I rescued off the street many years ago. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge about 2 years ago, at the age of 18. I named her after Cleveland Amory, of course. In 1992 we had a weekend Conference for the Animals here in Austin, and I was fortunate to meet Cleveland, my hero. I have his autograph, and a photo taken with him. I told him about my dog, and he was very pleased. I’m so sorry that he’s gone now, but we have the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in TX, which is a sanctuary for abused animals.

    Well, some people leave comments; I write a book! I hope soon to write some sample articles for our local newspaper, and hope to get a job as a columnist. I’m tentatively calling the column “The Animal Activist.” It would give me a forum to disseminate information on so many subjects, and broaden the impact of what we try to do in rescue. I know that many people would change their behaviors and priorities, if they just knew the truth.

    Thanks again for putting so many animal-friendly topics “out there” to help your audience become aware of the realities of our “civilization.”

    By the way, I was raised in Hamilton, Ontario, and lived there until I began college. My mom is still there, as is my brother and most of my family from my father’s side.

    Cinnamon Landman

  14. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Cinnamon,

    Thanks so much for your very extensive comments (book)!

    I’m sure everyone will find your experiences interesting.

    No doubt your protesting outside the Petland store is having an impact on potential puppy buyers in your area. Great work. Keep it up.

    Good luck with your writing career.


  15. Mary Santos

    Hi Brigitte!!Really appreciate your e-mails…Three years ago my daughter sent me a rescue dog she found on line from Broken Bow Okla. I named her Chica and she is the love of my life..She was kept in a cage for 2 1/2 years and had several litters..When I first got her she was very insecure, but now you would never know she was mistreated..Thank you for all your help..Sincerely, Mary

  16. Brigitte Smith

    Thanks for your comments, Mary.

    And I’m really happy to hear of Chica’s new life with you. I wish all puppy mill breeding dogs could be so lucky.


  17. Julie-Anne Turner

    Good on Oprah!

    Just letting you know that I have discovered that the lady who had all the poodles taken from her in QLD Australia, has a website as follows: http://www.geocities.com/neiger_poodle/index.html

    I am disgusted and her website is very deceiving.

    I have still got my petition going, which is against this breeder and others like her. Please lets get the ball rolling and get more signatures, so I can end this woman from mistreating such beautiful poodles. I am shocked she still has a website and want to shut her down for good and all those like her. My website is: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/save-our-animals-ban-puppy-mills-in-aus

  18. Erica

    I recently bought two dogs from a puppy mill. No, I didn’t realize that this is what they actually were. My second puppy was filthy dirty. My first puppy seems to be scared of everything but has developed a close bond with my fiance and I. My second puppy seems to have issues. We have only had him for a couple of weeks, but when you go to pick him up and put his nose in his pee he yelps like someone is killing him! This bothers me because I have nevber had a dog that yelps and yelps and yelps and continues for a minute. I’m not giving him away or anything because the last thing he needs is to be passed around. We chose him for a reason and he is now part of our family. Do puppies from mills act as if they have been abused? if he has been abused, I want to know what to do to help him. It’s scaring me!!

  19. kylie barrane

    i think it is deppressing that the worl had now taken ther pain out on animals. its bad enough humans. but to think that you could hurt a hopless innocent animal. its just disgusting. 🙁

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