The Sad Truth About Pet Stores


A puppy mill is a mass dog-breeding facility that sells dogs to pet stores for profit. What many people do not know is that they are incredibility inhumane, and supply about 90% of the puppies in pet stores. These puppies are often sick and unsocialized, and those that are not sold to a pet store are for only breeding purposes and forced to have litter after litter.

There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in America today, and 2021 is the year we need to put a stop to them. While there are 10,000 active puppy mills in the US, only about 3000 of them are regulated. This means the majority are not being inspected for adequate food supply, veterinary care, and living space for the dogs.

Mothers in puppy mills spend their life in a cage with no attention, forced to constantly have litters until they can no longer breed and are then abandoned or killed. Also, the mills are so crowded that they are often very unsanitary filled with sick animals. Life in a puppy mill is a terrible experience that no animal should be put through.

Today, the biggest pet store chain that still sells puppies is Petland. While they claim they get their dogs from breeders, this was proven to be false. The Humane Society, the United States’ animal protection organization, received 1,400 total reports of mistreated animals from shoppers.

The humane society sent their own investigators to go undercover at Petland and see for themselves. They selected random stores across the country, yet all of them found shocking mistreatment of animals. In their reports they included some of the disturbing details:

“Very sick, suffering puppies at all eight stores, including animals with seizures, respiratory infections, diarrhea, vomiting and dogs too sick to eat. Dead animals (mostly puppies and/or bunnies) were found in freezers at all five stores where investigators were able to inspect freezers, indicating Petland sometimes lets sick and injured animals die in its stores rather than seeking veterinary care.”

After these investigations were brought to the public, one of the Petland stores was shut down and the manager was convicted of animal cruelty. This happened after 1 dead puppy and 31 dead rabbits were found in the back freezer. This is just one of the investigations that got shut down, and there are many stores like that still today.

We need to increase the actions taken to shut down puppy mills across the country and the Pet stores they profit from. These businesses should work to earn a profit in a humane and way instead of the suffering of animals.

One solution is to stop buying from pet stores that sell live animals. This means their products as well as their animals. Instead, support homeless pet adoptions or find your pet from a safe breeder that is responsible and treats their animals with care.

Stores like Petland thrive off animal cruelty and puppy mills. You can also report any suspicious treatment of animals at these stores, along with asking stores to switch their ways of using puppy mills. If they choose not to change, there are many peaceful rallies held to spread awareness and education on the topic.

Overall, speaking out in your community and using your voice will make a difference in the lives of millions of animals. You as an individual can make a huge impact and spread the word across the nation. 2021 is the year we put animal cruelty to an end and focus on humane and ethical ways to purchase pets.


ASPCA. (2021). 3 shady things pet stores don’t want you to know.