Do rescue groups PAY puppy mills for the dogs?

Do rescue groups actually pay puppy mill owners money to “rescue” the dogs? If so, how much do they pay them and how is that any better than people that buy the puppies from them?

Hard question. It depends on the group. Some rescue groups frequent the puppymill auctions and will buy any dog/pup under a certain price they can afford. There is a lot of controversy over this – the pro argument is that it keeps the dog/pup from being the dam/sire of the next puppymill generation as these auctions are meant for “professional breeders” to buy breeding dogs (and they are often not cheap ). The con is enabling the puppy mill to sell dogs/pups at the auction encourages more litters, so is no better than buying at a pet store or the internet (although rescues can seldom afford anything but the older or sick dogs/pups – they seldom pay full price like a pet store).

Some rescues have worked a deal with some puppymills to take sick or deformed pups off their hands – usually for free – instead of the pups being clubbed ot death or drowned or shot. Because such programs have gone well, more puppy mills are offering up breedeing dogs they are retiring instead of killing them and a few have voluntarily given up their stock to rescue if they decide to quit the business or quit a breed.

So it’s a mix that depends on the rescue group and it’s funding. It’s also a controversy even within the rescue world.

I guess the differenec is that when rescue groups buy/get a dog or pup, it is guaranteed to get spayed or neutered and a responsible home – breaking the cycle of breeding for at least that dog. When dealers or pet buyers buy from a puppy mill, some dogs will get responsible homes (with spay/neuter) but many will have accidental litters or continue producing pups for other puppy mills or BYBs.

When you see a big puppymill bust for neglect or abuse – no, the rescues do not pay the puppymiller for the dogs/pups, the animals are surrendered to animal control or awarded to the rescue groups by court order. Often rescues have to treat and foster those animals for months and months while the case is in court and sometimes the millers even get some dogs back – and no one necessarily re-imburses the rescues for the care.

Some special circumstances warrant this, but most do not. Previous answers are all sufficient.

But when I was younger I knew this woman who could go to these puppy mills every other week and simply ask and plead and beg the puppy mill owners to give her the dogs. Any dogs. Dogs who were old and couldn’t breed anymore, or puppies that weren’t sellable. She would take the pets and get them all the vet care they needed and adopt them out to families for a small fee which would in turn would pay for the vet bills of the next animal she obtained by begging the mills.

What was most disturbing about these stories was the way that getting the dogs was a lot like riffling through someone else’s trash bin. The millers would say things like ” I don’t know why you’d want that old thing” and ” its no good anymore” as though they were objects.

So some people even though they spend money to attempt to make lives better for these pups are also working against these mills at the same time. Someone has to work at each level of the chain to really close them down for good.

No. These puppy mills would dump the dogs when they were 5 or so regardless of whether a dog rescue center was there to take the dog or not. And they wouldn’t feel guilty about dumping them in less-desirable situations. There is only one thing that keeps puppy mills in business and that’s MONEY. Since rescue centers do not in any way give any sort of money to puppy mills they are NOT supporting or perpetuating them. In fact, many rescues these days actually require a donation if someone is surrendering an owned dog to them (at least in my area), so most puppy mills are still just dumping their unwanted breeders on the side of the road. If you want to adopt a dog from rescue but still feel like you would somehow be supporting and perpetuating a puppy mill (which you wouldn’t be doing) then simply make it clear to the rescue you are working with that you do not want to adopt a dog from a puppy mill. Yes, unwanted puppy mill breeders do end up in rescue centers. But so do hundreds of pets that people simply got tired of or realized that they were not capable of properly providing for. Personally I wouldn’t want to adopt an ex-puppy mill breeder either but for totally different reasons (the lack of socialization and constant confinement more often than not leads to severe behavioral problems that require more work than I’m interested in doing…it’s a personal choice that I am not even a little ashamed of).

No. Normally those dogs are confiscated after the proper research has been done and warrants issued. Or, sometimes, puppy mills will either sell their old breeding dogs for about $10. It’s better than those “useless” dogs to be shot, hung, or poisoned because they are old and useless. However, there are also “auctions”, where puppy mills sell their dogs to other puppy mills and some people will go and buy these dogs out of their own pocket money and pay for their vet care and then turn around and adopt the dogs out to families for free. It’s a cruel industry and that statement about “how is that any better than people that buy puppies from them,” hurts people that genuinely care about an animals’ well being. They don’t deserve to be locked away in a cage and bred several times a year to turn a profit. How is any of that fair? And it is better because normally, they buy the older sick bred out dogs, the dogs become evidence, which leads to an arrest.

They don’t. When a mill is raided the animals become evidence. Said evidence is taken to shelters/rescues/fosters. All medical and physical states are recorded and the owners of the mill either sign away their rights or simply lose possession via the courts.

I have only heard ONCE of the scenario you brought up happening. The Wisconsin SPCA bought out Puppy Haven or Haven’s Puppies(something like that). On the condition of course that the owner never go into business again.

SOME will go to puppy mill auctions and purchase dogs there to “save” them… No particular price.. they try to obtain dogs as cheap as possible.

many rescues will not do this tho.. they take dogs in when the puppy mill is busted and the local authorities need someone to take the dogs.

This is a debate.. on one hand they are paying the puppy millers money.. but they are often obtaining old dogs that would have likely ended up destroyed– BTW, puppy mills often wont put up the expence to have a dog euthanized either.

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Rescue groups swoop in after the law has shut down the disgusting puppy mill. That’s why you should always get a dog from a rescue group (, because you’re getting the same dog they’d charge you $1000 for at the pet store…for free.

no they wouldn’t because then they would be rewarding them for breaking the law. They seize them, thus the puppy mills lose them as part of their punishment for breaking the animal laws.

No animal control seizes all the dogs and give then to the rescue.


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