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How do I report a puppy mill in my area?

SPCA International encourages you to contact your local Animal Control, rescue group, Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers’ hotline if you suspect a puppy mill is operating in your area.  These organizations will have the jurisdiction to investigate and shut down puppy mills.  Contacting your local agency will also ensure the fastest possible action.

While SPCA International also accepts reports of puppy mills and other cases of abuse, we receive too many to process them as quickly as necessary.   To receive the fastest possible action, we ask that you also report the incident or evidence to your local animal agencies.   You can find their contact information in the phone book or through an online search.


How can I help stop puppy mills (even if I’m not in the market for a new pet)?

To help stop puppy mills, join SPCA International in spreading the word about the cruel treatment puppy mill breeders inflict on the dogs in their care, and how to spot and report a puppy mill. Explain the importance of adopting one of the millions of animals currently waiting in shelters for their forever home.  Educate friends, family and neighbors who are thinking about purchasing a new pet by distributing the helpful tips below titled “How do I know I am buying a healthy dog?”

The easiest way to put puppy mills out of business is to stop purchasing purebred dogs.  There are rescue groups all over the world for every breed of animal.  If you or a friend or relative are looking to purchase a specific breed, do the research to find the breed rescue in your area.


How do I know I am buying a healthy dog?

SPCA International strongly encourages people to adopt a dog or cat from their local animal shelter or rescue group, but we know that people unknowingly will continue to purchase dogs from puppy mills. Below are some helpful tips to follow when thinking about purchasing a puppy:

  • Do your research about the pet store or individual selling the puppy. Find out if there have been any complaints filed about sick puppies from the location;

  • Never agree to meet a puppy vendor at a neutral location. Many puppy mills do not want you to see their set up, so they will arrange to meet you at a gas station, super market or other public location.

  • Ask to see the parents and siblings of the puppy. If purchasing a puppy from an individual ask to see the parents and siblings. This way you can see if they all look healthy;

  • Ask to see the puppy’s papers. Find out if the puppy has been shipped from somewhere within the United States, which will most likely indicate the puppy has come from a puppy mill. Most puppy mills can be found the Midwest; Missouri and Kansas are states were many puppy mills operate;

  • Ask to see veterinary documents. Make sure the puppy has been examined by a veterinarian and that it has received at least its first set of puppy shots;

  • Watch the puppy’s behavior. Check that it is active and not lethargic. Make sure the puppy is not coughing, sneezing or has an eye discharge.   Parvovirus or Parvo is a common virus that puppy mills animals contract.  It can be fatal if it’s not caught in the early stages.  This tends to affect puppies more than adult dogs because they do not have a strong immune system to fight off the deadly virus. Parvo attacks and kills the cells that are found within a puppy’s intestine, making it impossible for the puppy to absorb any liquids and nutrients. In many cases the puppy will appear to be lethargic, have a smelly bloody stool and have a decreased interest in food and water. 


What else can I do to stop puppy mills?

SPCA International is working to stop puppy mills through education, reporting and support for local action.  By donating to SPCA International, you will support this vital work and help expand our efforts to locate puppy mills, shut them down and rescue the enslaved animals.

This SPCA International article is intended to help further your understanding of your animal’s needs. We understand your unique bond with your pet and it is our pleasure to help you look after its welfare. Thanks to your continued support, SPCA International is able to provide you and countless others with important news regarding the safety of your pets. Thank you again for your donations – every little bit helps!

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