Philadelphia Says “NO” to Puppy Mills, “YES” to Rescues!

Today the Philadelphia City Council passed a bill banning the retail sale of dogs and cats procured from puppy mills. The bill also requires that pet stores source their pets from shelters and rescues!

Thank you Councilman Kenyatta Johnson for championing this bill!

In the United States it is estimated that there are 10,000 puppy mills. On an annual basis, these animal producing factories pump out over 2,400,000 puppies. The animals are subject to overbreeding, minimal veterinary care, and a lack of access to proper food, water and shelter. (Source: HSUS)

Almost all animals sold in pet stores across the United States come from puppy mills. The industry has thrived because we’ve allowed it to.

Today marks a turning point. Philadelphia’s decision is a massive victory for animals and their advocates. Here’s why you should celebrate:

  1. Increased Adoptions

In the United States alone 7.6 million animals enter the shelter system each year. Many never make it out. By showcasing homeless animals in pet stores – the most common place for Americans to go when in search of a pet – we are dramatically increasing their chances of adoption. (Source: ASPCA)

  1. Controlling Pet Overpopulation

Many large cities have a pet overpopulation problem. This is a function of a number of things – but controlling the supply by NOT allowing puppy mills to flood the market (when there are literally MILLIONS of healthy animals looking for homes) can help mitigate the problem.
In fact, this argument was a large part of Philadelphia’s Bill. Councilman Johnson said in her document,

“In 2012 the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control, just one of several shelters in Philadelphia, took in nearly 30,000 dogs and cats and euthanized more than 11,000. Restricting the retail sale of puppies and kittens to only those that are sourced from animal shelters and rescue organizations will likely reduce pet overpopulation and thus the burden on such agencies and financial costs on City taxpayers.”

  1. Creating a New (Sustainable) Business Model

“Across the country thousands of independent pet stores as well as large chains operate profitably with a business model focused on the sale of pet services and supplies and not on the sale of dogs and cats. Many of these stores collaborate with local animal shelters and rescue organizations to offer space and support for showcasing adoptable homeless pets on their premises.” (Source Bill 160013)
The more cities adopt a “no puppy mill” stance, and require pet stores to shift their business model, the more data we’ll collect showing that pet stores don’t need to rely on the sale of puppy mill animals in order to be successful.

  1. Keeping us Healthy

“Puppies raised in poor conditions without veterinary care often suffer from illnesses or parasites that are transmissible to humans, and these diseases can spread rapidly.”

By partnering with shelters and rescues, and ensuring that the animals have had proper veterinary scans, we can protect ourselves (and our pets) from unwanted illnesses.

  1. Fostering a Humane Environment within the Community

By showcasing animals from rescues and shelters, pet stores are helping “foster a more humane environment” and raise awareness about the importance of animal rights. (Source Bill 160013)
The decision by Philadelphia to ban the sale of puppy mill animals is huge – and it’s the future. Way to go Philadelphia – thank you for fighting for the animals!
Questions, comments, concerns – send us a message at
By Bailey Schroeder, ResQwalk Founder

Want to join the fight against puppy mills? Download the ResQwalk app and start walking for National Mill Dog Rescue!



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