In January, an inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found a four-week-old shih tzu puppy lying dead -- frozen solid -- in the outdoor portion of an enclosure of a puppy mill in Stover, Missouri -- the state with the notorious distinction of being the hub of the puppy mill industry. On the night the dog apparently succumbed, temperatures overnight had dropped as low as 2 degrees Fahrenheit and there were imprints from the wire flooring across the puppy's body. The inspector noted there were no footprints in the snow to indicate someone might have checked on the outdoor portion of the enclosures that night. A dog not built for a frigid night in the depths of a Missouri winter became yet another casualty of an industry that treats adult females like breeding machines and puppies like a cash crop.
This is just one of the 101 horrific cases highlighted in our annual report, "101 Puppy Mills," that we release today for the start of The HSUS' eighth annual Puppy Mill Action Week-where we spotlight harsh truths about puppy mills and the abuses of dogs occurring on a widespread scale within the pet industry.