No Pet Store Puppies Day Is Tuesday, July 21

July 16, 2020

a black labrador puppy

Even people who know where pet store and online puppies come from can have a hard time resisting their cuteness. In honor of National No Pet Store Puppies Day this Tuesday, July 21, we want to remind dog lovers why pet stores are not good places to buy a puppy. 

Puppy-selling pet stores keep the cruel puppy mill industry alive. Commercial dog breeders (a.k.a. puppy mills) rely on pet stores to present a spotless, wholesome image so customers won’t think about where puppies were born or how their parents are treated. 

Most pet store puppies come from facilities in rural areas of the Midwest and South (see map below), meaning that there are additional shady industries—like brokers and transporters—profiting behind the scenes. Dog brokers are middlemen who obtain puppies from puppy mills in bulk and distribute them to retailers. Transporters ship puppies long distances by truck or plane to brokers or pet sellers across the country. The transport may be noisy, crowded, filthy and too hot or cold. Puppies may also be exposed to illness and disease. 


It is the norm for puppy mill operators to care more about profits than dogs. Even in puppy mills licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the standards of care are notoriously low and violations, when they are cited, go unpunished. Current federal regulations are so weak and enforcement is so poor that breeders can keep dogs constantly caged and deny access to regular exercise, socialization and even adequate vet care. Puppies born in these facilities are prone to a host of lifelong, expensive medical and behavioral problems. Not supporting retail pet stores will help end puppy mills by cutting off the demand for cruelly bred puppies.

Help us end the cruel breeding industry by opting to adopt your next pup and encouraging your friends and family to do the same. If you do decide to use a breeder, take your time to find a good one and do your homework to make sure you don’t support cruelty. 

Even if you’re not planning on adopting any time soon, you can help America’s puppies! Sign up for updates from our Barred From Love campaign to stay informed and be notified when we need you to take action.