Our latest HSUS special investigation reveals that Georgia pet stores are peddling hundreds of puppies each year sourced from puppy brokers and puppy mills, some with serious Animal Welfare Act violations. The dogs are then sold to unsuspecting buyers who all too often are faced with heartbreak when their beloved animals fall sick. These kinds of bad endings are the natural outcomes of keeping animals in poor living conditions and denying them proper veterinary care.
Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities that raise dogs in factory-farm-like conditions, putting profit above the welfare of the animals. According to USDA inspection reports, at some of the mills supplying to Georgia pet stores, animals have been found suffering with conditions such as bleeding sores and encrusted eyes. In some cases, there were feces in the dogs' food bowls, and some animals had untreated, open wounds, or were heavily matted. One USDA inspector wrote of one of the puppy mill suppliers:
"The animal was first observed excessively salivating. Closer observation revealed the animal did not have any teeth and the jaw bone on the left side was partially missing and detached from the gums leaving the bone exposed."