Puppy Mills

PUPPY MILLS – Does Your Life Partner Come From This Cruel World?


The word “mill” is defined as this: a place of business for making articles of manufacture and in this case, puppies!

The concept of puppy mills has been used by the media for several years now. In summary, these mills or farms are characterized by the massive reproduction of canines were the females are required to have two litters per year, an accelerated rate of reproduction, this being a very physically difficult task for the dog. The conditions in which puppies are born, and where their parents live, are horrible. Inspectors that routinely verify these mills report these factories as unordinary and unhealthy places in which very strong nauseating odours emerge. Dogs here are tied up and kept imprisoned in tiny cages where they have to struggle even to turn around. They sometimes succumb to extreme weather conditions from which they are inadequately protected (summer heat or winter’s cold) or to the harsh conditions of transportation (between puppy farms and the pet stores, for example). The animals are malnourished (quantity and quality of food, low water availability) and abused. Over time, the dogs from these farms often show behaviour problems.

These unsanitary conditions (the fur sometimes covered with excrement) cause many diseases in dogs: skin diseases, eye infections and ear deformities, parasites and viruses. These dogs usually do not receive any veterinary care.

For these farmers, profit takes precedence over the living and well-being of the dogs!

The ultimate goal of puppy mill operators is to produce more puppies which have the least possible cost for a maximum profit.

Quebec, winner of the Golden Palm for cruelty!

It is estimated that between 1500 and 1800 puppy mills are in operation in Quebec. These generate the birth of about 400 000 puppies per year. However, it is very difficult to estimate the exact number of these cruel plants for several reasons. One of these is the remote location that operators of these farms usually choose. These “farmers” prefer to settle in sparsely inhabited areas, preserving a significant distance from other neighbours, as they could possibly complain about noise or odours. It appeared that a significant number of these farms are located near the U.S. border.

Ontario law is strict: fines can reach $ 60 000, prison sentences up to two years and the law foresees a lifetime ban from owning pets to any offenders.

In Québec, the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) has the mandate to inspect breeders and to apply the Section IV.1.1 Animal Safety and Welfare of the Animal Health Protection Act (L.R.Q., P-42). Despite this government initiative, it remains excessively complex to take to court a puppy mill operator and punish him in an appropriate way. Only extreme cases of cruelty to animals are considered, notably by the Criminal Code of Canada. Few prosecuted cases result in penalties.

According to a Radio-Canada  article published on September 29, 2018, “the MAPAQ informed its inspectors in the fall of 2017 that they should no longer inspect breeders of 14 to 49 dogs and cats before giving them a license. Those with fewer animals did not require a permit and those with 50 or more animals remained under pre-inspection. (…) The MAPAQ reminds that the law does not oblige the preliminary inspections, even if it was the practice.

According to the Animal Welfare and Safety Act (CQLR, chapter B-3.1), an offending person may be subject to:

  • A variable fine of $ 250 up to $ 250,000 for a first offence (double fines in a repeat offence and triple in multiple repeat offences).
  • Imprisonment for up to 18 months (if there is a repeat offence)
  • A limitation of a number of animals that can be kept, or even a ban on the possession of animals for life.

Do you really want to encourage this type of operation?

No? So, beware of free classifieds sites on the Internet, ads in newspapers or even pet stores. Puppy mills sell their first “production” to the pet shops, where ethics is not a priority. Some store owners do not take the time to visit or meet the farmer from which they got their pups. It is through a broker that the shops receive their animals. These shops buy and then resell them to unscrupulous pet stores. This is a recurrent practice for these cruel farm owners as they do not want to deal directly with the public.


SPA Canada has collected hundreds of thousands of names for a petition to make puppy mills illegal, has organized many events that we held in different contexts outside classrooms where puppy mill owners had to answer charges of cruelty to animals outside the offices of Prime Minister of Quebec to demand the total abolition of these farms; before several animal Quebec and Ontario that sell animals, to educate customers and owners, and to strongly encourage these shops to stop selling animals.

In summary, the campaign against Canada SPA puppy mills is evidenced by:

  • Face-to-face discussions with the public to inform about the reality of puppy mills;
  • The signing petitions;
  • Protests and boycott against businesses profiting from the cruelty to animals from puppy mills;
  • Sensitization of policy-makers to legislate against puppy mills.