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Puppy Mill Awareness Month - Part 3

When looking to bring a dog into your home, you should pay attention to the warning signs of where the pet is coming from. During Puppy Mill Awareness Month, BPF is aiming to educate prospective pet parents to not fall for the deception of puppy mill breeders because of their inhumane ways. Of course, BISSELL Pet Foundation believes adoption is the best option, as there are so many deserving pets looking for a forever home, right in your backyard (local shelter). You can truly find any breed you’re looking for in a shelter with a little patience and research. Today, we are sharing more from BPF Founder, Cathy Bissell’s Q&A with Janie Jenkins, Co-Founder of Stop Online Puppy Mills. Read on to find out Janie’s tips to avoid supporting the work of puppy mill breeders when searching for a dog.

Cathy: What are some questions you should ask prior to purchasing a puppy to find out if you’re dealing with a puppy mill breeder or a bad breeder in general?

Janie: We have a page of red flags on our website, but, if a breeder is willing to send you a puppy without meeting you, that is a red flag. If they won’t let you come to their home and meet the mother dog and see where and how she lives, don’t buy the puppy. Some of these breeders originally say yes to picking up the pup, but as the date approaches, they call and say they will be in the area or closer so they suggest meeting in a parking lot.

Cathy: Can you talk more about the hazards of finding a puppy online, even if it seems like a legitimate website such as Google, PuppySpot, Craigslist, or even staged as a rescue?

Janie: First of all, Google, PuppySpot, and Craigslist are NOT legitimate websites to buy dogs from. We do not recommend ever buying a puppy online or from a website that sells thousands of puppies from hundreds of breeders. We call those puppy broker websites and they absolutely sell puppy mill dogs, so you would be supporting cruelty. Not to mention, many puppy mill dogs end up having health, genetic, and or behavioral problems.

Cathy: If you had to leave people with 3 tips to always remember when searching for a new pet to add to your family, what would they be?

Janie: 1. Please consider adoption first, there are so many wonderful animals looking for forever homes.

2. Never buy a puppy sight unseen over the internet. It is very important to meet the mother, see her condition, and how she lives. It’s important because you will have your puppy for 15+ years. It’s in your best interest to know where your puppy came from, and you don’t want to support cruelty.

3. Don’t fall for the fad dogs such as mini doodles, doodles, and poos. Those dogs are absolutely bred for profit by high volume breeders.

Cathy: If someone buys a dog from a puppy mill thinking they are still “saving them” from the situation, how does this still support the work of breeders?

Janie: It’s simple supply and demand. If we buy, they will supply. I think people like to say they saved the dog they bought from a pet store or from an online puppy mill because it makes them feel good even though they know it’s bad but they don’t want to admit it.

Cathy: Do you have any tips for where/how to report puppy mill cases?

Janie: We have a tip line on our website. Actually, last November a woman made a consumer complaint to Stop Online Puppy Mills and we acted on it right away. It led to the bust of a puppy mill where over 600 dogs and puppies were living in deplorable conditions.


Later this week, BPF is continuing the conversation to wrap up Puppy Mill Awareness Month by sharing some stories of puppy mill survivors and the long-term effects of inhumane breeding and living conditions.