A puppy mill is any dog breeding facility that values profit above animal welfare. One court case, Avenson v. Zegart, cites a puppy mill as “a dog breeding operation in which the health of dogs is disregarded in order to maintain low overhead and maximize profit.”
PUPPY MILLS AND IOWA’S COMMERCIAL DOG BREEDING INDUSTRY
Iowa is home to more than 500 federally and state licensed commercial dog breeding and dealing facilities. While not all dog breeders operate puppy mills, insufficient oversight, regulations, and enforcement have led to an industry rife with bad actors. And the recent roll back of documentation, enforcement, and transparency by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has resulted in a USDA license to be considered a red flag, rather than a seal of approval. Many puppy mills are legal and licensed businesses. Unfortunately, at this time, a license does not guarantee a breeding facility is reputable or not a puppy mill.