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Puppy Mill Awareness Day 2024: What It Is & When It’s Celebrated

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Dogster Team

puppies in a puppy mill

Puppy Mill Awareness Day 2024: What It Is & When It’s Celebrated

Puppy mills are a serious problem in the United States and around the world, and Puppy Mill Awareness Day is about shining a spotlight on these inhumane facilities. There are roughly 10,000 puppy mills in the United States alone,1 and they’re responsible for the death and maltreatment of millions of dogs.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day falls on the third Saturday of September each year, and it’s an important tool in combating puppy mills.

What and When Is Puppy Mill Awareness Day?

Puppy Mill Awareness Day is the third Saturday of September each year. Because of this, it doesn’t always fall on the same day each year, but it will always fall on a Saturday.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day is all about raising awareness about the inhumane conditions many breeding facilities put dogs through. Many of these breeding facilities keep dogs in small, enclosed spaces where they can’t move around, and the puppy mills fail to meet basic care standards.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day is all about raising awareness about these facilities and what you can do to help.

How Many Puppies Come from Puppy Mills?

According to the World Animal Foundation, over 2.6 million puppies come from puppy mills each year.2 Often, puppy mills will sell their puppies directly to the consumer, but it’s also common for them to sell directly to pet stores so they don’t face as much scrutiny.

Because of this, you should avoid purchasing puppies from pet stores and always inspect the breeding facilities the puppy you’re purchasing is coming from.

two puppies ini a dog cage in puppy mill
Image Credit: KITSANANAN, Shutterstock

How to Observe Puppy Mill Awareness Day

Now that you know a bit more about Puppy Mill Awareness Day and why it’s so important, all that’s left is for you to find a few different ways to observe the day. We’ve highlighted three of our favorite ways for you here, but there are plenty more options out there for you to consider!

1. Donate

Local dog shelters and rescues need resources to operate, and one of the best ways you can support these shelters is by providing them with the necessary resources. This could be as simple as writing out a check or you donate by giving them supplies that they need.


2. Volunteer at a Shelter

Another way you can get involved is to spend some time at a local shelter to help them out. Shelters are often looking for people to walk dogs or perform other tasks for them, so simply spending a day helping them out can go a long way.


3. Start a Fundraiser

If you want to take donations a step further, you can set up a fundraiser to help. Not only can fundraisers help raise more money to help shelters and other groups trying to combat puppy mills, but they also raise awareness about the problem. Ensure you’re following all the local laws and regulations when setting up a fundraiser though.

shelter volunteer feeding the dogs
Image Credit: ALPA PROD, Shutterstock

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The 4 Ways to Ensure You Only Use a Reputable Breeder

The last thing you want to do is support a puppy mill without realizing it. But the only way you can avoid this happening is if you know what to look for and how to find a reputable breeder. Keep reading and we’ll highlight a few things you can do to help you avoid accidentally supporting a puppy mill.

1. Visit the Breeder

Whenever you’re purchasing a puppy, you need to visit the breeder. This rules out all pet stores since you can’t inspect where they get their puppies from. When visiting the breeder, you should be able to meet both parents and assess their living conditions.

If you can’t, this is a major red flag and you should consider adopting from somewhere else.


2. Get Health Checks

Puppy mills are far less likely to offer health guarantees and full medical backgrounds of the parents and puppies. This isn’t a foolproof way of ensuring you’re not adopting from a puppy mill, but doing this while visiting the breeder can dramatically reduce the likelihood.

Scottish Collie puppies
Image Credit: Zuzule, Shutterstock

3. Adopt From a Shelter

One way to completely ensure you’re not supporting a puppy mill is by adopting directly from your local shelter. Shelters are non-profits that rescue animals, so by adopting from there, you’re not supporting any breeder.


4. Check How Often They Sell Puppies

If a breeder is constantly churning out new puppies to sell, that’s a really bad sign. The best breeders will typically only have a few mothers breeding, and they give them plenty of time to rest in between litters. If they constantly have puppies for sale, they might be running a puppy mill.

two women at an animal shelter
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

While you’re not going to be able to shut down puppy mills overnight, you can do your part by helping out local shelters and rescues and by refusing to get a puppy from a puppy mill. It’s a small step, but if enough people take the necessary steps, it can make a big difference.


Featured Image Credit: 2690457, Pixabay

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