35 Puppy Mills Statistics

Puppy mills are profit-generating businesses that do not mind about the health of their puppies. Therefore, anytime you buy a puppy from a store or a breeder, there is a high possibility that he is from a puppy mill. However, it is very hard to know a puppy is from a puppy mill because they look healthy and pretty.

By compiling a heart-wrenching puppy mill statistics list, I believe that you will be more careful the next time you bring a puppy home and help educate others until the demand stops bringing an end to this shadowy industry.

35 Puppy Mills Statistics

The Legalities Of Puppy Mills

1. Only 30% of Puppy Mills Are Licensed

( Humane Society) 

California became the first state in the United States to prohibit the sale of commercially bred animals in 2017.

Unfortunately, the United States does nothing to control animal testing. As a result, breeders make millions of dollars by selling animals for unnecessary lab tests.

One bitch and her litter can produce approximately 67,000 puppies in six years. Unfortunately, inbreeding is a rampant problem.

2. There are 400 humane pet sales laws in place.

(Best Friends)

For now, more than 400 laws govern the sale of pets. These laws frequently aim to stop puppy mills by outlawing many practices.

These laws place restrictions on where pet stores can purchase dogs. Puppy mills may be effectively stopped in some cases by limiting them to only animal rescue organizations since they will no longer be able to sell their animals. Additionally, it establishes age restrictions on dog sales to prevent early weaning.

Many of these laws also demand that retailers disclose the origins of their dogs so that prospective owners can make an informed choice.

3. The first state to outlaw retail pet sales was California.


 Statistics on puppy mills indicate that the retail sale of pets is currently prohibited in about 300 cities and the same number of counties. Including the entire Maryland state that enacted the restriction in 2018.

Not only are puppies subject to many of these restrictions, but also rabbits and kittens.

Bills to outlaw retail pet sales are still pending in numerous other cities, counties, and states, including the state of New York. Through 2020, the ASPCA persisted in supporting the legislation.

 4. The USDA has granted licenses to facilities housing about 167,388 breeding dogs.

(The Puppy Mill Project)

The fact that the number mentioned above is constantly shifting is one of the saddest things about puppy mills. The lifespan of breeding dogs is remarkably short. They always have new purebred dogs to replace them, continuing the destructive cycle quickly.

5. One of the sad truths about puppy mills is that USDA has licensed around 300 brokers in the US


Puppy mill cruelty and fatalities are the fault of many people, not only the owners but the general pet retailers who sell them.

Puppies purchased from puppy mills are resold to pet retailers by puppy dealers, also known as dog brokers.

The biggest winners are pet stores, which quickly access a variety of puppy suppliers. Contrarily, owners of puppy mills are content since brokers typically buy all the available puppies.

6. In the 2020 report, 43 dealers from the 2019 Horrible Hundred list are repeat offenders


Every year, the Humane Society publishes the Horrible Hundred report, highlighting the worst 100 pet dealers in the United States.

Even though 43 of them were listed in previous years’ reports, they have reappeared in the 2020 report.

This implies that, although the report provides exact information on these problems, the USDA is not doing enough to warn them to change their practices.

Size Of Puppy Mills

7.There are around 10,000 puppy mills in the United States.

( Humane Society) 

It is difficult to provide an exact figure since not all puppy mills and backyard breeders are registered. Therefore, their numbers are forever changing.

The Humane Society also indicated that while many shelters shut down, many current ones open. In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture legislates lesser than 3,000 puppy mills.

8.Annually, about 2.04 million puppies raised in puppy mills are sold.

 (American Grooming Academy)

The disturbing facts about puppy mills show that there is still a lack of comprehension of what happens there. Despite the efforts of many animal rights organizations.

Even though female dogs are mistreated, male dogs receive much worse treatment because they are much less valuable and are more replaceable.

This contributes to overcrowding in shelter homes leading to their euthanization.

9. 500,000 dogs are currently housed in puppy mills(licensed and unlicensed) exclusively for breeding

(Humane Society) 

Since a single male can serve many bitches, they are fewer than females. These dogs are typically kept in bad conditions and are continuously bred. Most females do not live for very long because of the continuous breeding and poor living conditions that quickly wear out their bodies.

This means Puppy mills must constantly restock their female population. These females are typically sourced from a litter that the puppy mill has produced. As a result, interbreeding between puppies and their parents is common.

10.Around ⅔ of Pet store puppies are from puppy mills, not breeders

( Humane Society, The Puppy Mill Project) 

There are around 3,000 licensed US breeders and 64 dealers. You have to ensure that you get your puppies from a reputable breeder.

As a result, pet stores are the ones that keep puppy mills afloat. Unfortunately, stopping puppy mills and their abusive practices is nearly impossible unless stores stop buying from puppy mills or stop selling puppies entirely.

Puppy mills exist because pet stores essentially “feed” them, allowing them to make a lot of money. Although they make a lot of online sales, most of their business is with pet stores.

Under the Federal Animal Welfare Act, 40% of puppy mills are repeat offenders. Court cases are time-consuming and expensive. As a result, most are let off without paying for their wrong deeds.

These offenders are regularly caught transporting puppies across the United States in trucks with no sanitation, water, or safety precautions.

Female Treatment In Puppy Mills

11.Female Dogs Have to Breed During Every Heat Cycle.

 (Roscoe Village Veterinary Clinic)

When the female is no longer able to reproduce, she is assassinated. They normally use shooting or drowning rather than euthanasia which is inhuman. This happens to puppies with deformities too.

Mill breeders are aware of genetic problems but keep quiet about them. As a result, many families are devastated when the puppies pass away soon after arriving at their new homes. You can’t be certain of what you’re getting because mills don’t test the DNA of dogs.

12.According to information from puppy mills, each female “produces” 9.4 puppies annually on average.


In puppy mills, 2 million puppies are born each year.

Females typically reproduce twice a year. These puppies’ mothers are severely undernourished and worn out, which prevents them from producing sufficient milk. This explains why some puppies pass away soon after being born.

The puppies are typically taken away from their mother too soon and aren’t properly weaned. The right age to take a puppy from its mother is 8 weeks. However, in puppy mills, they are separated from the age of 4 weeks. This leads to Poor socialization, anxiety, and even despair for the pup and mother.

Living Conditions in Puppy Mills

13.Food in puppy mills is frequently contaminated, stale, and sometimes bug-infested. Owing to this, dogs frequently suffer from malnutrition.


At best, the food at puppy mills is of low quality. The meal could, at worst, be stale or contaminated. If the food is safe, it gets contaminated because of the poor state of the cages. 

The proper amount of food is frequently not given to dogs as well. Feeding a pregnant female can be expensive, and most puppy mills do not want to incur the additional expense.

14. Puppies are confined in containers without food or water for up to 12 hours for shipping.


Puppies from puppy factories, both legal and illegal, are sold to pet stores around the nation. Puppies are frequently not sold within the state. Instead, they end up being shipped across the country.  

During transit, dogs are kept in cramped conditions with no or little food and water. Because so many unvaccinated puppies are confined together, diseases are common. Also, numerous puppies pass away.

15. Many puppies die due to malnutrition as their mothers can’t produce enough milk

(Sentient Media)

The mothers don’t have enough milk to sustain all of the puppies because the litters are so large and they are underfed.

The puppies are taken away too soon, typically at four weeks. But the recommended time is 8-10 weeks to stay with their mother.

Even after taking them from their mothers, they are not bottle-fed, leaving them to feed themselves. Many die while being transported.

General Puppy Mill Statistics

16. In research conducted between 2013 and 2021, Missouri had the most puppy mills 

(Humane Society)

A total of 21 dealers operated within the state.

Ohio comes in second on the list with 16 dealers, followed by Ohio with 16 puppy dealers.

According to reports from 2020, Missouri is currently home to the most puppy mills for the ninth consecutive year. Missouri had a total of 21 dealers, which is significantly fewer than the second-place state, Ohio, which had 16 dealers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a decline in state inspections. And therefore, there might be more dealers available. Even worse, not every dealer has been forced out of business. Some of them continue to market puppies.

17. According to statistics on puppy mills, 93 pups perished in a homemade gas chamber in 2010.


A New York kennel owner made a gas chamber. In one, he used a whelping cage with piped exhaust fumes being blasted into it to kill five to six dogs at a time.

Following an inspection that mandated him to test and treat his dogs for Brucellosis, the owner admitted to having killed them.

Unfortunately, many owners of puppy mills treat the animals like mere commodities. They “get rid of them” if they ultimately spend more on them than they earn.

18. According to statistics, dog brokers spend $50 to $150 on puppies from puppy mills.


When sold to brokers, puppies can be purchased for as low as $50 (for each puppy), then transported across the nation and offered to pet stores.

Pet stores buy them for between $200 and $400 each and later sell them for $1,400.

By purchasing puppies from pet stores, you are fueling the insensitive puppy mill business. You support the whole chain, and they will continue breeding dogs with cruel, barbaric living conditions.

19. As per data and statistics about puppy mills, animal neglect, unlicensed breeders, and puppy mills cost Snohomish County about $80,000.


Most funds were used to house 50 rescued dogs from a single puppy mill at the county’s expense, costing over $41,000.

 Furthermore, an unlicensed breeding kennel caused an additional cost of $26,000 in another case. Housing these animals for the first 10 days is $170 per day. After that, the price drops to $20 per day.

20. Animals used in laboratories for animal testing are bred in puppy mills.


Many people are unaware that puppy mills produce lab-testing animals. These facilities rely wholly on puppy mills for the supply of dogs (and infrequently cats) required for testing.

Richland Center City Council managed to pass the first-ever ban on research puppy mills and cat and dog experimentation nationwide.

The new law now prohibits transporting cats and dogs for experimental reproduction outside Richland Center.

21. Mills confine puppies in cages for Their Entire Life.

( Do Something) 

Cages are most often piled on top of each other. Unfortunately, this causes major health issues for pups’ paws and prevents them from being seen from the ground.

Countless puppies die in cages and are abandoned, creating dangerous environments for other animals.

Nobody cleans up the mess creating a breeding ground for bacteria. They also lack veterinary care. These dogs can succumb to their pain.  

 Health Effects Of Puppy Mills

22. 56 people contracted Campylobacter jejuni between 2019 and 2021.


Dogs are carriers of the bacteria, which leads to Campylobacter disease, which can spread to people. People can also be at risk from puppy mills. Puppies sent to pet stores can infect anyone who comes into close contact with them due to inadequate hygiene and a lack of veterinary care.

The previous outbreak led to the hospitalization of 9 patients. The disease spread to 17 states, and 93%occured after being in contact with puppies.

62% of the patients had interacted with a Petland store.

Amish Puppy Mills Statistics

The Amish community was greatly criticized after disclosing that many depend on puppy mills for their livelihood.

Contrary to widely held misconceptions propagated by the media, this is not true of all Amish households. Many Amish breeders care for their animals or generate income from ventures outside puppy mills.

23. Amish puppy mills are allegedly 20% of all puppy mills. However, a quick fact check reveals that it would be difficult to verify this claim.


It is common knowledge that living conditions in puppy mills are appalling. But did you know that most puppy mills are found in regions of the nation with a high concentration of Amish populations?

It is only a sneaking suspicion that they operate about 20% of puppy mills. However, this assertion cannot be verified due to the lack of regulation at most of these facilities.

Not to mention the fact that the USDA does not specifically gather data on the people who run puppy mills, such as their religious background.

24. Stats from puppy mills indicate that the Amish economy heavily depends on dog farming.

 (The Puppy Mill Project)

 Amish communities have a negative side that many people aren’t even aware of.

Shipshewana, Indiana; Holmes County, Ohio; and Lancaster, Pennsylvania are home to most puppy mills. In addition, Amish communities populate these areas.  

These regions have puppy factories ranging from 10 to 1,000 dogs, all of which are almost certainly going to live their whole lives in confinements.

25.According to data on puppy mills, the Amish control more than 98% of the facilities in Ohio.

(Bailing Out Benji)

Researchers searched far and wide to find out how Amish families operate many USDA-licensed puppy mills and how many are located in states with sizable Amish populations. The figures are unbelievable.

In Indiana, Amish people run 97% of the puppy mills as of 2016. The Amish operate 63% of the puppy mills in Pennsylvania. Comparatively speaking, other states with significant Amish populations, like Iowa, show that Amish families only control 22% of puppy mills.

To be clear, not all Amish are participating in this, but there are many states where they predominate.

26. According to statistics on puppy mills, one Amish puppy mill owner sold 1,293 puppies in just one year.

(Michigan Puppy Mills)

The report reveals that these ailing puppies have earned them an estimated $290,000.

Following federal inspections, it was discovered that the farmer had committed several offenses since he began operating this exploitative business in 1992. But it is still open.

A few violations include poor cleanliness, incorrect feeding and watering of the animals, overcrowded cages, and a lack of pest controls.

27.According to statistics on puppy mills, the Amish engage in four different types of animal breeding.

(America’s Amish)

There is a whole chapter titled “Tinkering with Creation” in David L. McConnell’s book “Nature and the Environment in Amish Life.” It offers alternative animal-related business concepts for Amish families.

Many Amish are said to run whitetail deer farms, horse farms, zebra farms, exotic animal and bird farms, and puppy mills.

Given the condition of their puppy mills and the absence of supervision, we question the general conditions on these breeding farms.


28. Does PetSmart Use Puppy Mills?

No. PetSmart mostly uses pets rescued locally. Often the animals in their stores will have the name of the rescue center listed so you can identify the animal’s origin. Before making a purchase, it is advisable to enquire if it isn’t listed.  

29. How many dogs die in a puppy mill?

It is impossible to give the actual number because the operators kill thousands of dogs annually. Mostly puppies die a few days after birth.

Female dogs are permitted to live as long as they continue to produce puppies. If they can’t reproduce, they are either put to death (using inhumane ways) or sold at auction for as little as $1 per animal.

Nevertheless, most of these animals pass away from disease, malnutrition, and a lack of veterinary care.  

30. Are puppy mills illegal?

 Puppy mills shouldn’t be legalized because they handle dogs like livestock and are poorly regulated. They also kill them when they cannot generate the required profit.

They also contribute to a huge increase in shelters and rescues yearly due to a lack of space and resources. There is no need for many puppy mills with many animals already looking for homes.

As we have discussed earlier, 30% of puppy mills are licensed, making them legal.

31. How do puppy mills affect us?

If you get a puppy from puppy mills, regardless of your effort to help the puppy, he could still be sickly, frail, or even end up dying. There are psychological problems with the puppies as well. Furthermore, dogs may carry diseases that humans can contract from them. For instance, there were 56 cases of Campylobacter jejuni between 2019 and 2021.

32. Where and Whom Do Puppy Mills Sell To?

Puppy mills mostly sell to pet stores. Therefore, many puppies bought by pet stores are from mass breeding operations.

This is due to a simple and direct fact: Profit maximization by pet stores and low-cost puppy mills. The owners of pet stores view the dogs as merely dollar signs rather than actual living creatures, and the lower the price, the ‘luckier’ they will be.

There are hopes that this will come to an end as a result of public pressure. The sale of mill puppies is already prohibited in California, and other states will probably follow suit in the future.

However, it is important to know that smaller mills conduct direct sales to customers. They sell their animals at a very low price because they do not incur the veterinary cost and proper nutrition. 

33. How Can I Distinguish a Good Breeder From a Puppy Mill?

 The first red flag should be the low price. They cannot charge more because they have gotten the puppies at a throw-away price.

By requesting references, you can avoid shady breeders as well. Long-term customer satisfaction is essential because most trustworthy breeders rely on word-of-mouth marketing to grow their businesses. They might even monitor the progress of their puppies after they are sold.

On the other contrary, puppy mills are only eager to sell their puppies. They are not interested in what happens after that so they won’t provide any testimonials from previous clients.

You can also visit their facilities if possible to examine their conditions. Asking for the puppies’ parent history and supporting documents will be crucial. 

After all, you can entirely avoid the problem by adopting a dog from a nearby shelter or rescue organization. These dogs work quite well, and you can take comfort in the fact that you’re helping to save someone’s life.

34. What Is So Wrong With Puppy Mills?

 Puppy mills are businesses that exist exclusively to generate profit by breeding and selling puppies. They do not consider the welfare of the breeding animals, and after the pups have been purchased and paid for, they are not particularly concerned about their long-term health.

The living conditions for dogs in puppy mills are often sickening. They are kept in stacked wire cages that are rarely cleaned, receive no exercise or fresh air, and are susceptible to various illnesses.

 Additionally, dogs from puppy mills contribute to the increased population in shelters. While millions of animals from puppy mills are sold in pet stores every year, millions of animals in those shelters are put to death every year. More animals in shelters would definitely find homes if the mills didn’t exist.

 35. Do Amish Communities Host Dog Auctions?

Yes. Dogs are treated as livestock at these auctions. To showcase their appearance to the bidders, they parade them in groups of 4.

The auctioneer then mentions the pup’s age, breeding info, and litter size to sell it for the highest price. A single auction features 100–450 dogs.

Dogs with incurable, painful diseases that cannot be cured are sold at auction. Dogs suffer a lot. (The Puppy Mill Project)


With the above statistics, we can all agree that puppy mills must be stopped the soonest as possible. All dogs have a right to veterinary care, good shelter, and nutrition.

It is wrong to see puppies as a money-generating tool and finally kill them when done benefiting from them. You can help spread awareness so that together we can bring an end to this destructive business. Also, it is advisable to adopt a dog instead of buying from deceitful breeders and help reduce their population in shelters.


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