Do you live in one of the states with the best puppy mill regulations? We still have a long way to go when it comes to laws regarding the protection of animals and consumers, but there are some states that are getting it right! Find out if yours is one of them!
Related: How to Avoid Buying from a Puppy Mill
States with the best puppy mill regulations
What is a puppy mill?
A puppy mill is a place (any place really) that breeds puppies strictly for money, with absolutely no concern for the well-being of the dogs. Conditions are usually less than sanitary (more like inhumane). There is no care for the dogs involved and no break between breeding. Females are forced to birth one litter after another.
Do you live in one of the top 5 best states for laws regarding puppy mills?
If you live in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Hampshire or Washington lucky you! These are the top five states with the best puppy mill regulations. If you live in Mississippi, Kentucky, North or South Dakota, Alabama or Idaho, you might want to think twice before going to a breeder. These 5 states actually have the worst laws when it comes to puppy mills.
Why is regulation important?
Regulation is for the safety of everyone involved when purchasing a dog from a breeder. Not just ‘anyone’ can be a breeder. There are many people out there who are just breeding dogs for money. Then there are people who are breeding dogs safely, giving their females a healthy ‘break’ between litters, and keeping a sanitary environment. When a state lacks oversight of commercial breeders (when they are not checking up on them) and doesn’t require even a basic standard of care, neither you nor the dogs have any protection. Furthermore, you as the consumer, do not have any protection when purchasing a puppy (or dog) from a pet store. In 3 of these 5 ‘worst’ states, animal cruelty is only a misdemeanor. In the 47 other states, it is a felony (time to catch up North Dakota, South Dakota, and Idaho!)
What makes a state’s puppy mill laws ‘good’?
Laws in the top 5 states have regulation for both small and large commercial breeding facilities. They have laws regarding protection for you, the person purchasing a puppy from a breeder. The top 5 states have high standards of care when it comes to people breeding dogs. What is better than unannounced inspections of commercial breeders? When you don’t know they are coming, you will run your facility as if they can pop in at any moment. The top 5 states have a requirement of surprise visits at least 2 times per year. The limit for the number of dog breeds anyone can have at one time in Oregon, Washington and Virginia is 50. Some states don’t have this regulation!
Related: Tips for Finding Reputable Hypoallergenic Dog Breeders
If you are looking to bring a puppy home and aren’t fortunate enough to live in one of the top 5 states with laws against puppy mills, my suggestion is to see if you can get there. If not, you want to be sure to check out the conditions before purchase. Are the dogs taken care of? Would you live there yourself? How do the parents look? Also, check your own state’s puppy mill laws. You may not live in one of the top states or one of the worst, but there are so many others in between, check out what your state says. While we encourage adoption over buying from a breeder, keep in mind that even rescue dogs can have puppy mill beginnings.