World's Largest NO-KILL
Animal Rescue
and Adoption Organization


Members get our updates on rescue alerts, league events, special offers and more.

sign up!


Facebook Instagram YouTube Twitter

Like us on Facebook  
| Share share | email | print | A A

What Is a Puppy Mill?

Puppy Mills are mass breeding operations that run solely for the purpose of making a profit. In these mills, the health, happiness or well-being of the animals are of no concern.

Animals are kept in terribly inhumane conditions, where they live in cramped and unsanitary quarters, virtually never leave their cages, do not receive any necessary medical care, and never get any affection or caring human interaction. They have very limited socialization and the poorest quality food. They never have a treat or a toy and have never heard the words, "good dog." They are basically just being kept alive.

Puppy Mill animals are bred and over-bred until their bodies give out and they can no longer physically produce litters. They are kept alive for one purpose only – to provide puppies for profit.

When they can no longer do their "job" because of age or illness, they are inhumanely put down, abandoned or sold to other mills for as little as 25 cents at auction. They are usually ill, disfigured, diseased or hurt, and are always abused and neglected.

Over-breeding and inbreeding to this extent is not only cruel to the breeding animals, it is also cruel to their offspring who are often born with illnesses, genetic deformities and behavior and/or health problems.

In addition to being sold at pet stores, mill puppies are also sold directly to the unknowing consumer through the Internet, newspaper ads and from the mill itself.

How you can help:

Every day North Shore Animal League America actively works to help end animal cruelty, including the horrors of Puppy Mills. You can help.

  • Adopt a pet! Visit your local shelter and find a four-legged friend.
  • Don't buy that puppy in the window. Most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. There are approximately 3,500 pet stores across the United States that sell over 500,000 puppies every year that have come from the unbearably cruel conditions of Puppy Mills.
  • Do not support pet stores that sell puppies or kittens. Instead, purchase your pet supplies from pet stores that hold adoption events.
  • Educate your friends and families about Puppy Mills and encourage them to adopt any of the thousands of animals that need a place to call home. Knowledge is our greatest weapon in fighting the war against Puppy Mills.

Donate Today

See Our Latest Rescues

Think of this:

  • That little doggie in the window may be irresistibly cute and adorable, but his parents have paid the ultimate price and are likely still suffering the very same moment that you gaze lovingly at that puppy. This is what you support when you purchase a pet from a pet store.
  • Puppy Mills thrive and rely on the unsuspecting public. The more you don't know, the more you can be manipulated into taking part in and supporting this horrid cycle of cruelty.


When you adopt from a shelter, you not only take a stand against Puppy Mills, you also help reduce pet overpopulation which often leads to senseless euthanasia. There are countless wonderful animals waiting to be a faithful friend and loyal pet in shelters. Adopting a pet from a shelter shows that you are aware of the various issues and that you care about animals.