Shutting Down Pennsylvania’s Puppy Mills

March 12th, 2007 by Kathy Hawkins

The state of Pennsylvania has a reputation it wants to get rid of. Thanks to an influx of commercial kennels, primarily located in Lancaster County, where hundreds of dogs are crammed into small cages under appalling conditions and used for breeding, Pennylvania is known as “the puppy mill capital of the East.” The purebred and “designer” (mixed-breed) puppies born in these kennels are sold to pet stores throughout the Northeast and through print and online advertisements. Because of poor conditions and improper treatment in the kennels, these dogs are often fearful of their new family; worse, because of poor breeding, many of these dogs have diseases or genetic problems that could be fatal.

If you’re buying a puppy from a breeder, it’s important to know about the kennel’s background so that you can be sure the dogs are treated humanely. If you’re considering bringing home a puppy from a kennel in Pennsylvania, this new tool will allow you to research the facility and make sure that you want to support their business.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania’s puppy mill reputation may be on its way out. According to a Philadelphia Inquirer article, Governor Ed Rendell’s proposed regulations for kennels include doubling the minimum enclosure size, stricter standards for cleanliness, and 20 minutes of exercise each day. Additionally, the new head of Philadelphia’s SPCA has pledged to turn Philadelphia into a “no-kill” city for animals within the next five years. Hopefully, with these measures in place, Pennsylvania will become a great place for dogs and other pets in the near future.

So, until then, what can you do to help? Do your research, and avoid buying from kennels that mistreat dogs. The dogs don’t deserve this abuse, and the business doesn’t deserve your support. Also, don’t buy a dog from a pet store unless the owner can provide you with absolute confirmation that their puppies aren’t bred in puppy mills.

If you want to help these dogs, consider adopting from one of the many puppy mill rescue groups, such as or WolfSpirit’s Toy Dog Puppymill Rescue. Such organizations are also happy to take financial contributions that will support their important mission of shutting down puppy mills, and ensuring that all dogs are bred in happy, healthy, and humane environments.

14 Responses to “Shutting Down Pennsylvania’s Puppy Mills”

  1. Sue COle Says:

    I have read your article about Pennsylvania puppy mills.You say that most of the puppy mills in Pa. are commercial businesses.Has anyone checked out the Amish that breed and raise puppys in terrible conditions in their barns on their “quaint” farms.There are a lot of them. Regardless what a lot of people think about Amish, not all of them “practise what they preach”.I have seen quite a few of these farms.When the Amish found they could not sell tobbacco for the price they wanted these kind hearted souls decided selling puppies was easier than farming and just as lucrative, if you did it on the CHEAP.I will give you an idea about their compassion, when an Amish child was run over and killed by the truck that picked up the milk produced by their cows their idea of hadling this situation was to have another child as soon as possible, they had eleven other children including a daughter.Thank heaven they had another daughter that was even prettier and smarter than the one that was killed.If that is how they handled losing a human child how would they handle a sick dog or a puppy?Not to worry, they would breed another bitch.Don’t think for a minute they would take the ailing animal to a vet, wouldn’t happen.A lot of these dogs are AKC registered.A lot of these Amish breeders can’t read, they get someone to help with AKC registeration. What I have written is true.I have seen these places first hand.Not only does the dog situation need to be addressed, so does the cruely to horses that they practise, not to mention the other animals they own.I am not against Amish, I am against puppy mills regardless of who owns them.

  2. KAREN Says:


  3. Important Video On Puppy Mills | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] of you may have seen Oprah today- she did a heart wrenching expose about Puppy Mills. For those of you who missed the show, I highly recommend finding a friend who DVR’d it. [...]

  4. Gillian Lauder Says:

    Get the laws changed and keep on the govenor of the state to change the legislation. He has been working on this matter for 2 years, WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG!!!!!!! meanwhile those animals suffer every day. I wish that Oprah could use her celebrity power and push the govenor to act faster. There has to be more exposure and even animal rights groups making visits to the farms.

  5. Horrific News from PA Puppy Mills Today. | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] was reported today that in Harrisburg, PA that the owners of 2 commercial kennels chose to shoot 80 dogs, rather than have them examined by a [...]

  6. Rem Says:

    If Pennsylvania government can’t shut down this shameful abscess then someone is blocking it, that someone is getting money to keep it alive. That it would need debate is astonishing! If Rendell can’t get this done he’s incompetent.Boycott Everything from Pennsylvania! Boycott the Amish! until this SHAME is gone!!

  7. Watch ABC’s “Nightline” Tonight - Puppy Mill Investigation | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] make sure you don’t miss the program tonight. For the first time on network television an Amish breeder is going to allow a tour of his facility – which is home to approximately 500 [...]

  8. Brenda Gallaher Says:

    I unknowing bought my dog at the Clearview Kennel. I had no idea it was a puppy mill. Now, seeing his behavior, I know he was mistreated. He is so scared of everything. We are giving him lots of love. Please, make sure to review the kennel before buying a puppy! A dumb mistake on my part, but I”m so glad that Smoke is not there anymore. Anything with is really Clearview Kennel owned by the Esh family.

  9. Breanna Fresh Says:

    I just adopted a puppy from a puppy mill in PA. I thought I was thorough with my questions to prevent the adoption from a puppy mill. I asked about the parents and the conditions and all and when I got to the PA puppy mill which was run by an amish man, which I drove 3.5 hours to get there, I was shown a black pug and then asked about another black pug. I was taken to where the babies were and low and behold I see about 40 puppies running around in wire kennels. I inquired about the parents and was shown about 30 adult animals running around the back in filthy cold conditions. They were fighting with each other and eating feces off of the ground. These were not normal outside dogs that you would think of (though I don’t believe in outside dogs I realize that some people do) these were schnauzers and pugs and puggles and shitzus.It was the most heart breaking thing I have ever seen. I wanted to take them all with me. I however couldn’t do anything at the moment other than take my little pug that I had already put a non-refundable deposit on and saved her from breeding since I was informed if I didn’t take her he was going to keep her for breeding since she was so small. She has an umbilical hernia which I was told was not an issue but if my vet wanted to fix it that he would just take her back and refund my money minus my deposit. She also has worms and an upper respiratory infection and I’m pretty sure has not had much human interaction in the first two and a half months of her life. I had to save my little precious zoe but all those other dogs are weighing on my heart. Please help me find a way to shut down this PA puppy mill.

  10. Denise Says:

    Your story is heartbreaking , but all too common. So glad you got your pup out. There are groups that can help you try to shut down this mill. You can report them and hope the state shuts them down. Could you tell me where it was?
    I live close by and could try to bring some attention to them. Write back.

  11. arianna Says:

    while it is true that dogs need clean living conditions and should be treated kindly,has anyone stopped to think how many humans have it at least as bad off? And many of them will fight and/or kill eachother over seemingly minor things,including their own fetus’ or babies! Now i believe their are some plain folks out there who don’t “practice what they preach” but how many per hundred grow up to be law-abiding, contributing members of society.Alot. I don’t think we should be condeming the whole race and dog breeding thing because of the mistakes of some.And i happen to know that it is not only plain folks who run deplorable facilities.By the way, does anyone have a child who has a dirty face,messy diaper,any type of rash on their body, suffering from a cold/infection, bumps/bruises/cuts from roughhousing,ect.? lets be reasonable. Think about supportinr/donating to the USDA to hire more inspectors instead of letting a few radicals run our lives and emotions. Because these same people will eventuallly take away your right to even own pets. consider that the HSUS has members involved in the mafia and illegal drug trafficting and has used thousands of donated $ for its own benefit and killed rather than helped millions of animals in the last year.Do your reasearch.Humane Society of the United States is as much of a criminal as any “puppymiller”! Support instead those who are working to get laws that benifit all, like NAPO, PIJAC.

  12. Susan Says:

    Two places that supply a tremendous amount of information about the incredible horrors of puppy mills and dog auctions are

  13. Sally Says:

    can we get some kind of list going from people who bought from mills and post it somewhere?

  14. leslie henderson Says:

    hi fellow anumal lovers i hate to say itbut puppymills will never go out of business cause its all about greed the almighty dollar how sad for those dogs i had pupmill flyers made up and do u think people would let me post them oh hell no i tried PEOPLE DONT CARE im sorry i do i want to put all animal abusers on delta airlines which by the way loses peoples dogs and let those people crash and burn just pray and jesus will do what he can god bless ya all

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