An operations manager reached at Petland's headquarters confirmed that Petland works with Choice Puppies, although he was unable to say exactly where the white puppy came from. He told The Dodo that Petland does not associate with any puppy mills, saying, "We got all USDA reports on all the breeders that the stores use." In fact, being licensed by the USDA means nothing - puppy mills must be licensed in order to sell dogs to stores. USDA standards require only that dogs' cages be 6 inches longer than the dog, and allow puppy mills to keep dogs in those tiny cages, stacked on top of each other, their entire lives.
Dogs who come from puppy mills often end up having health issues like giardia, distemper, parvovirus, respiratory infections and intestinal parasites, Gina Moraz, manager of the ASPCA Puppy Mills campaign, explained to The Dodo. The mother dogs are forced to give birth to litter after litter, only to have their puppies taken away from them shortly after birth. When the mothers can no longer produce, they're usually deposed of or euthanized.