The only way we can stop puppy mill statistics from getting worse is to educate more people until the demand stops.

If people knew where the puppies were coming from, they wouldn’t support it.

We’re here to help raise awareness. Hopefully, it will get these poor animals out of this horrific cycle of abuse and mistreatment. 

Let’s have a look at the awful puppy mill industry. 

Little Known Puppy Mills Facts

  • There are about 10,000 puppy mills in the US.
  • Over 139,000 female dogs are kept solely for breeding in USDA licensed facilities. 
  • Every year, each breeding dog has 9.4 puppies on average — that’s around 1.3 million puppies in total.
  • Mills sell around 2.6 million pups every year.
  • Only 30% of puppy mills have a license.
  • The first US state to ban commercially raised animals was California.
  • In six years, one female dog and her litter can produce over 67,000 puppies.
  • Dog breeding statistics show female breeding dogs have to reproduce during every heat cycle.
  • ⅔ of pet store puppies come from dealers, not breeders.
  • 40% of puppy mills are repeat offenders under the Federal Animal Welfare Act.

Puppy Mill Stats

1. There Are About 10,000 Puppy Mills in the US.

(Source: Humane Society)

  • Over 139,000 female dogs are kept solely for breeding in USDA licensed facilities. 
  • Every year, each of them has on average 9.4 puppies — that’s around 1.3 million puppies.
  • Mills sell around 2.6 million pups annually. Meanwhile, two million dogs are euthanized in shelters because they can’t find a home.

Let’s explore more puppy mill facts and statistics.

2. Only 30% of Puppy Mills Are Licensed. 

(Source: Humane Society)

Are these all the reasons why we consider puppy mills so bad? It’s not even the beginning.

Problems With Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are a severe problem that isn’t going away. 

3. Mills Keep Pups in Cages for Their Entire Life.

(Source: Do Something) 

  • The cages are often stacked on top of one another. That creates huge medical issues for pups’ paws, and means they can’t be seen from the ground.
  • Many puppies die caged, and they’re simply left there, creating unsafe environments for other animals.
  • No one cleans the waste, introducing a breeding ground for bacteria. That’s bad enough on its own, but coupled with the lack of vet care, these animals can die a painful death.

Unfortunately, we found a lot more puppy mill maltreatment statistics.

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

(Source: Roscoe Village Animal Hospital)

  • Once the female can’t reproduce anymore, she is killed. Usually, that doesn’t include euthanasia but rather shooting or drowning.
  • If puppies have noticeable deformities, they suffer the same fate. 
  • Mill breeders know about genetic issues but don’t say anything. The puppies often die soon after getting to their new home, leaving the family heartbroken. Mills don’t do DNA testing on dogs, so you can’t be sure what you’re getting. 

Unfortunately, we have more to say about puppy mills. 

Light brown dog looking up at the camera from behind a wire fence

Puppy Mill Death Statistics

The puppy mill life isn’t much of a life, but it gets worse.

5. Many Puppies Die Because Their Mother Can’t Produce Enough Milk.

(Source: Sentient Media)

  • Since the litters are so big and the moms are malnourished, they don’t have enough milk to keep all puppies alive. 
  • The pups are also taken away too early, usually at about four weeks. But they need to stay with their mother for the first 8–10 weeks.
  • Mills leave the puppies to fend for themselves. And they often die in transit. 

Obtaining the precise number of deaths for puppy mill statistics is impossible. Most are unregistered and illegal, meaning they report nothing.

Puppy Mill Statistics — Breeders & Dealers

There’s a big difference between dealers and breeders. The former usually just sell the puppies. It’s a way to restrict buyers from discovering where their puppy came from.

6. ⅔ of Pet Store Puppies Come From Dealers, Not Breeders.

(Source: Humane Society) 

  • There are around 3,000 licensed US breeders and about 64 dealers. If you’re getting a new dog, make sure to find a breeder with good reputation.
  • 40% of puppy mills are repeat offenders under the Federal Animal Welfare Act. The court cases take long, and the cost is huge. So most get let off without so much as a slap on the wrist for severe mistreatment. 
  • Animal abuse in puppy mills has a lot to do with the numerous puppy transporters. They’re repeatedly caught transferring tiny puppies across the US in trucks with no sanitation, water, or safety measures. 

Let’s explore some of the most common areas of puppy mills.

US Puppy Mill Statistics 

The annual Humane Society “horrible hundred” report uncovers 100 examples of puppy mills, dealers, and transporters. Here are the details on the latest one. 

7. Between 2013–2021, Missouri Had the Most Puppy Mills.

(Source: Humane Society)

  • There were 21 dealers within the state.
  • Second on the list is Ohio, with 16 dealers.
  • Iowa follows, with 11 puppy dealers. 

Let’s look more in-depth at the puppy mill list.

8. One Offender in Missouri Has Been Reported Six Times.

(Source: Humane Society)

  • The same breeder has been an issue for over 20 years. Their breeding license was revoked in 2020. But their site is still up and full of puppies for sale. 
  • The problem isn’t lack of trying as this breeder was fined $52,000 in 2007. It looks like the money from breeding is far more. 
  • One massive contributor is Petland. They operate in over 370 cities, and 99% of their dogs come from puppy mills. They’re the only national pet store that still sells puppies. 

Breeding and selling play a significant role in some communities. 

Small light brown dog looking at the camera through a steel fence behind a plant

Amish Puppy Mills

Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are homes to Amish communities that are infamous for their puppy mills.

9. Amish Communities Host Dog Auctions.

(Source: The Puppy Mill Project)

  • These auctions treat dogs as livestock. They parade them in groups of four to show the bidders how they look.
  • Then, the auctioneer says anything they can to sell the pup at the highest price, mentioning ages, how they breed, and their litter size. One auction displays between 100–450 dogs.
  • The auctions sell the dogs with untreatable and painful diseases which cannot be cured. The animals suffer immensely. 

But it’s not just the puppies that suffer. The issue affects us, too.

Puppy Mill Health Problems Statistics

Since these dogs remain untreated, there have been serious instances of dogs infecting humans.

10. Between 2019–2021, 56 People Have Contracted Campylobacter Jejuni.

(Source: CDC)

  • Dogs carry Campylobacter, which is a bacterial infection that can transfer to humans. This recent outbreak hospitalized nine people.
  • The infection was reported in 17 states. 93% of it came after contact with a puppy. 
  • 62% had direct contact with a Petland store. 

Let’s see what you need to look out for. 

How to Avoid Adding to Puppy Mill Statistics in 2022

If you’re thinking of getting a new puppy or know someone who is, consider the following:

  • Don’t buy puppies from dealers or pet stores. 
  • Look into adoption. 25% of animals at shelters are purebred, including popular breeds like the Labrador and Cavapoo.
  • Spread awareness about puppy mills and what happens there.
  • Don’t support anyone selling animals online. That’s the number one way mills sell pups. 
  • If you can’t see where the puppy comes from, there’s a reason behind that. 

If the demand stops, puppy mills will cease to exist. Adopt, don’t shop!

Wrap Up

Puppy mill statistics show the reality of over two million mistreated, starved, and abused pups. 

These dogs have no life. They don’t know what it’s like to feel loved or show love. From the moment they’re born it’s all about how little can be spent and how much can be made. 

You can help by spreading awareness about what really goes on. Also, consider adopting a pet instead of buying one.


How many dogs are bought from breeders each year?

Breeders sell around two million dogs annually. Getting an exact number is impossible because of the illegal operations involved. Most are sold illegally and have no real paperwork. 

Why puppy mills are bad?

The biggest issue is how they treat dogs. The puppies are kept in stacked-up cages with no protection. They receive little to no veterinary care. Plus, the cages aren’t cleaned, leaving the dogs to rot in their waste. Also, females are forced to breed on every heat cycle until they can’t and are killed. 

How many dogs die in puppy mills?

The exact number is unknown as puppy mills remain unregulated. There are stories of thousands of dog bodies found close to these mills. They aren’t buried. They’re simply left out in the open and piled on top of one another.

How do puppy mills affect us?

Firstly, the puppy you get can be sickly, weak, and even die no matter what you do to help it. The puppies often have psychological issues, too. Secondly, the dogs can have an infection they can transfer to humans, like the 56 cases of Campylobacter jejuni between 2019–2021. 

In what states are puppy mills illegal? 

California was the first to introduce a law that makes buying and selling domesticated animals from a pet shop illegal. Similar laws have passed in Cook County in Chicago and Philadelphia. Thanks to the massive public outcry, more states are introducing such laws. 

How much money do puppy mills make a year?

1,000 puppies can make a breeder upwards of $300,000 a year. If mills are cited by the USDA, they’ll pay the fine, give up their license and run illegal operations. That’s why so much remains unknown about puppy mill statistics. We’ll probably never know how many animals suffer. 

  1. Humane Society
  2. Humane Society
  3. Do Something 
  4. Roscoe Village Animal Hospital
  5. Sentient Media
  6. Humane Society
  7. Humane Society
  8. The Puppy Mill Project
  9. CDC
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