Signs a dog is from a Puppy Mill article

January 2, 2014

Although this article is specific to Wisconsin, the guidelines are applicable anywhere. 

Please see the following put together by The Wisconsin Puppy MIll Project:

Advertising: Does the Breeder —   
  • Advertise in classified newspaper ads, flyers in stores and on classified sites on the Internet?

  • Use hand painted "roadside" signs to advertise puppies or other pets for sale?

  • Advertise "Puppies always available" or "Puppies Ready for Christmas / Easter / etc.?"

  • Advertise many different breeds for sale?

  • Advertise oddball or specialized varieties or "rare" breeds?

    Sales Venue: Does the Breeder —   
  • Offer to meet you at a parking lot or public place to sell you the pup?

  • Sell puppies at a public place like a dog auction, flea market, yard sale, swap meet or pet store, or out of the back of a pickup truck, car, or van?

    Sales Pitch: Does the Breeder —   
  • Tell you that the "whole deal" can be completed with one phone call or email?

  • Make excuses why you can't meet the parents of the pups?

  • Tell you that the parents of the pups are a different location and he's just acting as an "agent" to sell the puppies?

  • Offer stud service to the general public or sells "breeding pair?"

  • Tell you that he doesn't require spaying/neutering of "pet quality" puppies?

  • Try to sell you a puppy that is under eight weeks old?

    Breeding Site: Do the adult animals onsite —   
  • Appear dirty, poorly groomed or have poor coat quality?

  • Act aggressive, vicious, anti-social or overly fearful?

  • Spend their lives in stacked cages or poorly lit outbuildings, garages or basements?

  • Lack shelter protected from inclement weather or kept from getting too hot or too cold?

  • Have no water available or water that is available is dirty or frozen?

  • Appear either too thin or too heavy or just seem generally unhealthy?

  • Seem to be more numerous than the breeder can properly care for, exercise and socialize?

    Registration: Does the Breeder —   
    Legal Considerations —   
  • Does the breeder demand cash only payment and/or does not have a State of Wisconsin Seller's Permit?

  • Has the breeder been the subject of complaints registered with local humane societies or sheriff's departments?

  • Has the breeder been convicted of a crime against animals (In Wisconsin, see

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