Meanwhile, many shelters are full to the gills - in part because puppy mills keep driving pet overpopulation.
Puppy mills also tend to falsify the information on a puppy's papers when they sell them to a pet store. Though a pup's papers may say he's old enough for adoption, that may not actually be the case. Puppy mill puppies are often taken from their mothers and siblings when they're just 6 weeks old, which can have lasting effects on their ability to socialize with other dogs.
What's the solution?
If you are looking to add a furry member to your family, consider adoption first and foremost. Even if a pet store claims that their puppies come from "USDA-licensed breeders," such a claim is meaningless: Every breeder who sells to a pet store is required to be licensed by the USDA, and most puppy mills have USDA licenses. By adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue organization, you are not giving money to or supporting the existence of puppy mills. If you are looking for a certain breed, breed-specific rescue groups are available to show you purebreds that are also in need of loving homes.