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December 12, 2012

Our New Investigation Put Dozens of Pet Stores on the Naughty List

Yesterday, The Humane Society of the United States released its latest undercover investigation of pet stores linked to puppy mills. The winter holidays are the busiest puppy-buying season of the year, and we wanted to check out Chicagoland pet stores’ claims that they only buy from small “private” or “family” breeders.


Our investigator visited 12 pet stores in person this fall, accompanied by a local resident affiliated with PAWS Chicago. HSUS investigators then travelled to several states to visit some of the stores’ breeders. What we found were not small family breeders, but facilities where dozens – often hundreds – of dogs were confined in small, barren wire cages, many running maniacally in circles and unable to escape. In other words, they were typical puppy mills – proof of more false claims from pet stores selling puppies. Watch the video of the undercover investigation here.

Our researchers also followed the paper trails for more than 2,000 puppies who were shipped to dozens of different Chicagoland pet stores from top puppy mill states like Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. What we found again and again is that pet stores that buy from puppy mills are not the exception, but the rule.

Local rescue and advocacy groups like PAWS Chicago and The Puppy Mill Project, along with national groups like The HSUS, have been pressuring Illinois agencies for years to do something about Chicagoland’s pet store and puppy mill problems, and we’ll continue to do so. In the meantime, our advice to puppy buyers hasn’t changed: Don’t buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site. At any time of the year, give one of the best gifts possible: the gift of a new family for a companion animal from a shelter or rescue group.

P.S. Make a commitment to help end this cruelty; sign our pledge to stop puppy mills now.

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