The Humane Society Calls for an End to Abuses at Puppy Mills

With Saturday’s broadcast of the AKC’s National Championship, The HSUS is appealing to the AKC to stop obstructing animal welfare reforms and to protect dogs at puppy mills.

In the wake of one of the largest puppy mill cruelty convictions in history involving an American Kennel Club  ‘Champion’ breeder, and with Saturday’s scheduled broadcast of the AKC’s National Championship dog show, The Humane Society of the United States is appealing to the AKC to stop obstructing animal welfare reforms and to join efforts to protect dogs at commercial breeding facilities known as puppy mills, where the breeds made popular at the Championship are often churned out for sale online, through classified ads, and at pet stores across the nation.

The AKC’s National Championship is broadcast on Feb. 2 and The HSUS urges viewers who fall in love with a particular breed they see on TV to learn more about puppy mills before buying a puppy and to find out where the dog is bred and raised before buying one from a pet store or an Internet seller.  Recent animal cruelty cases have revealed inhumane conditions at puppy mills across the country, including at AKC-inspected facilities and many that sell AKC-registered dogs.

“The Humane Society of the United States urges the AKC to live up to its promise to protect the health and well-being of all dogs by supporting clear and enforceable welfare standards for dogs at commercial breeding facilities,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “The AKC has opposed more than 90 bills and proposals that would have implemented common-sense protections for dogs and puppies in puppy mills, and it’s time to turn that record around.”

At the 2009 AKC National Championships, at least one of the dogs competing was bred by AKC breeder Mike Chilinski. Two years later, Chilinski’s puppy mill in Jefferson City, Mont. was shut down with the assistance of The HSUS and local authorities. Law enforcement officers testified they found about eight dead adult dogs and numerous dead puppies on the breeder’s property, and dozens of his surviving dogs were severely malnourished. Records show that 145 of the 161dogs rescued from the property were underweight, with many severely undernourished.

Chilinski claimed during trial that the AKC had regularly inspected his kennel and found it satisfactory. Chilinski was convicted of 91 counts of animal cruelty and is currently serving a prison term. He is just one of many AKC-linked breeders who have been found neglecting breeding animals on their properties in recent years and subsequently convicted of animal cruelty. That record calls into question the stringency and effectiveness of the AKC inspections program.

The HSUS has spent about $480,000 for the care and housing of the Malamutes seized from Chilinski’s property. Legislation has been introduced in several states that would require the convicted animal abuser to pay for the care of seized animals during a court case, but the AKC routinely opposes such measures.

In 2012, The HSUS released a report documenting the AKC’s efforts to block measures to protect dogs from the worst abuses at puppy mills. The AKC has yet to respond and continues to block legislative efforts to stop abuses at puppy mills.

Families who are considering buying a puppy are urged to visit humanesociety.org/puppy to learn how to get a dog without supporting the hidden cruelty of puppy mills.  


  • Puppy mills are inhumane, large-scale dog-breeding facilities in which the health of the dogs is disregarded to maintain low overhead costs and maximize profits.
  • The HSUS estimates there are at least 10,000 puppy mills operating in the United States, churning out more than 2 million puppies per year for the pet trade.
  • Puppies from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and through classified ads.
  • Mike Chilinski, an AKC breeder of Alaskan Malamutes, was convicted of 91 counts of animal cruelty in December 2012. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison with 25 suspended.

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Vernon Victim February 09, 2013 at 03:38 PM
ASPCA will do nothing as it is not considered abuse or neglect if they have food, shelter and water, whatever the weather is like. For example, dogs were out during last 2 hurricanes, barking and whining, and now found this AM they were out during duration of blizzard. They are left alone and under continual stress (hence barking, whining). Animal officials do not consider this abuse - "dogs bark" is the continual reply that I hear. Well, yes and no. They do bark, but barking continuously is a sign of neglect. They are lonely, frustrated and bored. Leaving animals outside 24/7, 365 and only spending time with them to feed them or clean their pen is not sufficient attention.
Vernon Victim February 09, 2013 at 03:40 PM
So frustrating, as I cannot enjoy my property, cannot even GO OUTSIDE without being barked at continuously and during all hours of day have to keep fans or TV on to drown out the constant noise. I have complained continuously to the Vernon Animal Control and Police. I don't know if the police ever went over there; I am told Animal Control did, gave him warnings, which solved nothing. I am told I have to keep a log for two weeks (!) then show up in court and reveal my identity opening me up to retaliation by this pet owner, who by his actions shows he is anything but considerate or respectful. Meanwhile laws clearly state dog barking is a violation of right to quiet enjoyment of property and constitute a nuisance that is enforceable by law. Tell that to Animal Control and Vernon Police and see where it gets you. These are ineffectual (and made up) bureaucratic laws intended to obfuscate enforceable, existing and clearly stated nuisance laws.
Ronald Burke February 09, 2013 at 04:07 PM
go to you tube. type in Amish dog auctions and or Amish puppy mills
Mark February 09, 2013 at 10:14 PM
@Vernon Victim, I am not familiar with Vernons town charter, But I assume you have a Mayor or a first selectman or similar post, I would suggest making a visit to their office and informing them of the perceived lack of interest in enforcement of the noise abatement law. Yes you might have to make your identity known, But this IS in keeping with an "Accuseds" constitutional right to know their accuser. If this person steps it up and retaliates that leaves them open to harassment charges as well as civil charges. (Sue them) If you get no relief by going thru your towns chain of command the next step is contacting your state representative. "The squeeky wheel gets the oil" Squeek louder. Good Luck.
Mark February 09, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Further I would suggest keeping that log AND video recording the ruckus, fill up discs or SD cards with hours of the dogs barking combined with visual images if you can see them. Another idea is contact WTNH and WFSB both of them have investigational journalists that might be interested as this not only shows lackadaisical town management but animal abuse..both of those these particular news stations take a ravenous interest in.


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