Video: Inside Look at Kentucky Puppy Mill Rescue

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 2:15pm
Puppy mill dog in dirty cage

As many of you know, earlier this week, the ASPCA joined local authorities to remove more than 40 dogs, including Chihuahuas and blood hounds, from a large, substandard breeding facility—also referred to as a puppy mill—in Nancy, Kentucky. Many of the dogs have untreated medical conditions, and are being cared for by a team of veterinarians and responders at a temporary facility, set up by the ASPCA and the Kentucky Humane Society, in Louisville.

The dogs are safe now. With temperatures dropping rapidly across the country, it was just in time. These dogs will never again suffer in extreme cold without access to food or shelter. They’ll never be stacked in tiny cages. And they’ll never be forced to breed.

donate today

Right now, the ASPCA is providing shelter, veterinary care, healthy food and much-needed attention and affection to the rescued dogs. Our work is far from over.

Please take a moment to watch and share our video.  You’ll see some of the dogs we rescued, as well as the conditions these dogs were forced to endure.

Stay tuned to for more news to come. Follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #MillsBreedMisery. If now is a good time for you to give, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA.

FIR responder walks bloodhound at puppy mill

Add new comment




It's people like you Carol that keep people like me motivated. You clearly have no idea what puppy mills are really like. Your pets are BOUGHT my pets are all rescues.

Thank you for reaffirming that what I do is right. I am vegan, eat no meat, use no animal by products because of factory farming conditions.

The Humane Society as well as every single shelter I have dealt with have small breed dogs, every pure breed of dog has a rescue.


I'd venture to say you live in Kentucky? Which has one of the worst animal cruelty laws in the United States.

Betcha didn't know that. :)


oh my, you really are not keeping up with the overpopulation/abuse/puppy mill suffering.... oh my, you are sad! and you bought from breeders and never RESCUED one from a shelter? wise up!

Ruth G

Ms. Petersen, your comments were so insulting to all of us who do puppy mill rescue, and your lack of education pertaining to this issue is overwhelming. In this day and age, to make the statements you did demonstrates the degree to which ignorance of the subject matter still exists in this country. I live in Staten Island, NY, and have volunteered for several years for a grass roots rescue organization (one of many in the NY metropolitan area), and I can tell you first hand that the animals that are rescued are NOT healthy at all, and they are terrified of the millers, as they are neglected and abused for their entire breeding lives. When they can no longer produce enough offspring to be a profit-making commodity, they are destroyed. Most of the millers don't euthanize them humanely (by a vet), either. Instead, they take them out of their cages (probably the first time they've ever been out) and do one of several things to them: drown them in a barrel, electrocute them, shoot them, bludgeon them - use your imagination, and guaranteed the miller has already thought of a creative and cheap way to kill them. They don't spend money on them from the time they are born, for shots, vet visits, etc., so why would they humanely put them out of their misery? They don't even usually provide decent shelter, heat in the winter or fans or A/C in the hot summer weather. This would take from their profits.
So far as the shelters only having mixed breeds (mutts), they also have all sized, from small to large, pedigree dogs. We have a beautiful German Shepherd my daughter rescued from a kill shelter in FL. She is the most intelligent, loyal and devoted dog you can imagine. She was scheduled to be euthanized the next day after my daughter found her in a cage. Now she frolics with our two black cats, and stations herself at our back door every night (an intruder attempted to get in several years ago, until she barked at him). No problems since!! Yes, she sheds, but the sense of security she provides all of us and the love she shows more than makes up for any hair I find!
As far as breeders go, many of them sell "mixed breeds", too - are you familiar with the Labradoodle? It is a mix of Labrador Retriever and Poodle - they are a good-sized dog, a nice dog, but they are NOT a pedigree, and people are paying a lot of money for these "designer" dogs. There are other "designer" breeds out there, too. Years ago they would have been referred to as mutts.
Most of the rescues the groups in the metropolitan area go on are in Lancaster County, PA, but we have also cooperated with other groups out-of-state on large rescues in states such as Ohio and Kentucky. There are puppy mills all over this country. The majority of puppies in pet shops come from the mills, and by purchasing them the public is condemning the "parent" dogs to a life of misery by supporting this horrendous industry. Every time a pup is purchased, it encourages these millers to breed their dogs again. Some females are bred to the point that their insides protrude from their bodies. Do you really support this activity???
Yes there are irresponsible pet owners who do not spay/neuter their animals, and they are a part of the problem. Between them and the puppy mills, we are saturated with unwanted pets. By the way, rescue groups DO NOT bring rescued animals to shelters. We get them veterinary care first; then we foster them and socialize them and do strict background checks before placing the animal in a "forever" home. On rare occasion, if a family cannot care for the animal they adopt- they can bring it back rather than taking it to a shelter. We are all volunteers, who donate our time, vehicles, gas and tolls to drive to the mills and we run fundraisers to help defer the expenses incurred for vet bills, food, etc. Do you really think we would remove animals from a healthy, happy environment? We are not glory seekers, but rather people from different backgrounds who share a common concern for all creatures.
I have also signed petitions and made donations on behalf of the carriage horses in New York, signed petitions against the slaughter of baby seals, the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, the slaughter of whales by Japanese whalers and have just written a letter to the President regarding the shipping of horses out of our country to Mexico and Canada for slaughter (the slaughter of horses in this country is illegal).
All animals should be treated with kindness and respect, and I would love to see the animals raised for meat treated kinder than they are. There will always be people who eat meat. I don't think we'll ever stop that, but at least treat the creatures well while they are alive. Yes, most people, if they were aware of the treatment these animals receive, would do what they could to change things. Education, again, is the key. All these issues, along with the puppy/kitten mills need to be brought to the attention of the public. Most people like animals and would be willing to help make changes if they were made aware. I hope I have educated you just a bit about puppy mills.
A while back HBO ran a film entitled "Madonna of the Mills". See if you can somehow see this - it explains extremely well what puppy mills are all about - you will find it very educational. I am proud to say that I know the woman who heads this organization about whom this was made. She has dedicated her life to this issue.
Just saying,...

Gail Costa

Where did you come from lady? I would not buy from a breeder, I have always had dogs from shelters, pit mixes besides, and they have always been wonderful companions. And you don't think dogs and cats are euthanized by the thousands? Every day? Of course they are, and it is because people like you need your special little poufy dogs. Every dog deserves a home, but give me a nice big dog that is a real dog.

sandy shelton

Ahem...Carol I know a "Breeder" when I hear one...just sayin......


I am sharing my life with my 5th purebred dog rescued from a county or city animal shelter. Take a walk in your local shelter, those dogs are purebred, probably puppy mill dogs in those shelters destined for euthanasia. They ARE disposing of purebred dogs. Yes, there are mix breed dogs adding to the population explosion, but they are a only part of the problem.


You need to shut the f*** up. You don't know what you are talking about. YES, the government needs to step in and shut these people down, especially the ones who are not taking care of these animals the way they deserve to be taken cared of. All these breeders are thinking of is where the next dollars will come from. They don't even pay taxes on this money that they are making. You shouldn't even be a dog owner because you call your dog dumb, no dogs are dumb, it's the owners like you that are dumb. you dumb ass...


Can someone please tell me why has there never been a petition to the leader of your country, to completely close down every single puppy mill/animal mill? We are all agreed that puppy mills and all animal mills MUST be closed down. They are the ones causing the deaths of millions of shelter animals and they are getting away with it. I live in the UK and if something as dreadful as this happens, we can write to our leader, the Prime minister. If a law is brought in here in Parliament, it is the same law for the whole country, not for just parts of it, as the US has with its different states run by governors. Obviously you're going to get good and bad governors. Some who care and some who don't give a toss. I really don't understand your politics. Why don't you cut out the middle men and go straight to the top? Pamela M. Beck writes well. Why don't you start a Care2 petition to your President, Pamela? Hundreds of thousands of citizens would sign it and share it, including me. It's no good pussyfooting around with the USDA, from what I've read over the years, they are next to useless. Please I beg you, petition your country's leader. Alert the media. An ongoing massive campaign on tv and in the newspapers will show that we are at the end of our tether and we won't be put off anymore. I hope Pamela reads this. If not, surely there is someone else in the whole of the USA who is capable and willing to compose a petition.

Barbara Smolinski

How well written your words are and said much better then I ever could. I agree with you and state the same facts whenever I can but our government see's fit to imprison and persecute any one you takes the law into their own hands and free animals unless it isa organization such as the HS. Animal Liberation member's are in jail now for just those actions. It seems to me the owners of these animal concentration places should be the ones in prison but because these creatures are JUST animals that doesn't happen. Yes we the ones who care need to take to the streets and demand change. Let us hope it happens!!!!

Donna Fisher

I totally agree with you - A few years ago, I had an editorial published after Burlington Coat factory had purchased coats to sell that were made from dog fur. They maintained that they were not aware of this practice from abroad. My editorial spoke too highly and naively on how the good old US of A was better than most countries in the way we treat animals. I was so totally wrong. Though it is critical for every animal lover to make our government aware and responsible for taking action against cruelty, I am too cynical to rely on politicians doing the right thing anytime soon. What we can each do right now is to NOT PURCHASE ANY ANIMALS FROM PET STORES - most are from mills. If everyone did that or convinced those people in their lives not to purchase from pet stores, I believe that would have a tremendous impact. For those people who are set on getting a full bred animal, there are many rescues which specialize in specific breeds. Personally, I think that with all the shelters in this country, any animal is precious, with or without "PAPERS."