Missouri, the Puppy Mill State

According to the Humane Society of the United States, Missouri generated the highest number of complaints about both breeders and brokers. This is consistent with research and analysis of state and federal records which shows that Missouri is one of the top puppy‐producing states.
Missouri Puppy Mill StateAfter Missouri, the top states for breeder complaints were Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, and Arkansas. After Missouri, the top states for broker (dealer) complaints were Florida, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Iowa.
The ASPCA and the Humane Society of Missouri report that Missouri is the puppy mill capital of the United States and exports more than 40 percent of all dogs sold in pet stores nationwide. It is home to more than 3,000 commercial dog breeding facilities, which represents more than 20 percent of puppy mills nationwide.
Currently the United States Department of Agriculture does not license or inspect large-scale puppy producers who sell puppies over the Internet or directly to the public. Many of these unlicensed facilities sell puppies sight-unseen to unsuspecting buyers who assume they are purchasing from a small family breeder.
Hundreds of these “direct” sellers have taken advantage of the pre-Internet language of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations (otherwise known as the “retail pet stores loophole”) to operate without any federal oversight or inspections. As a result, an increasing number of large-scale unlicensed breeders are not monitored for their animals’ overall health or for any humane treatment standards.