Protect Animals in Puppy Mills

Where did my dog come from?

As the animal welfare movement grows, more people are adopting their dogs from rescue groups, the city pound and/or humane societies and shelters. However, many people are still purchasing their pets from pet stores or breeders. Unfortunately, these people are unaware of how or where their beloved pet originated. If only they knew that approximately 3,500 pet stores in the United States are selling around 500,000 puppies a year acquired from puppy mills, they would never purchase a dog again, but rather rescue a loving family pet from their local shelter. Not only do pet stores acquire their puppies from puppy mills, but often breeders do as well.

What is a puppy mill?

Puppy mills are facilities where humans breed helpless dogs, providing minimal care to maximize their profits.

There are approximately 5,000 puppy mills in the United States! Dogs are often inbred to maximize their use, thereby saving money for the breeder. One female will often breed repeatedly until she becomes “useless” due to illness and/or injury from excessive breeding. At this point she will most likely be killed or sold to another puppy mill for further exploitation.

Dogs that are born and raised in puppy mills often have genetic disorders due to inbreeding or injuries from loose wires or dog fights. Additionally, they often live in such abhorrent conditions including, but not limited to, standing in feces, lack of air conditioning or heating and cramped quarters that cause them to become physically and/or emotionally ill.

For more information on puppy mills, please visit ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Humane Society of the United States.

Special thanks to Sabrina Nizzi for dog and cat videography.

Additional thanks to Sebastian Sparenga Photography, Caitlin Lisa, Heather Haseley, Dan Kasberger, Jennifer Girard, Malia Rae Photography, Richard Chen, Oscar Mendez, and Von Buzard for event and animal photography used on this Web site.

PAWS Chicago, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been awarded a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator, the country's premier independent charity evaluator. Contributions to PAWS Chicago are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. PAWS Chicago is only able to help homeless animals because of your donations. We receive no city, state or federal funding.

PAWS Chicago's Forms 990 are viewable at

Meet Your Match® and it's logos/colors is a program of the ASPCA®.

©2012 PAWS Chicago.   View our Privacy Policy