History of Puppy Day without a pet store

Crop failures in the Midwest after World War II led to the rise of puppy mills. Although it may be hard to believe today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has actively promoted puppy mills as profitable, fail-safe businesses. The government has encouraged farmers to pack dogs into coops and hutches and sell puppies to pet stores.

According to the USDA, there are currently between 2,000 and 3,000 federally registered commercial breeding facilities in the United States, including about 1,045 in Missouri (645), Iowa (237) and Kansas (178 ). There are approximately 10,000 puppy mill breeders, according to the USDA. However, due to their small scale, most of these breeders are not properly regulated or required to be licensed. Since the USDA does not track these breeders, it is almost impossible to determine the number of puppy mills in the United States.

It is also difficult to determine how many dogs live in puppy mills because some breeders are not allowed to keep accurate records, or if the breeder is illegal, they won’t keep records on purpose. Each year, about 1,075,896 puppies are born in USDA-licensed facilities, with about 176,088 canines kept for breeding, according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The HSUS also estimates that 2.15 million puppies are sold each year. Unfortunately, the USDA has no control over the Internet, where many of these puppies are sold.

It’s heartbreaking to think that hundreds of thousands of dogs spend their entire lives in small, ratty, overcrowded cages without even the most basic veterinary care.


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