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Oprah on Puppy Mills

Written by PETA | April 4, 2008

Oprah Winfrey is going to be tackling puppy mills on her show today, so be sure to check it out (or Tivo it) if you get a chance. Puppy mills, which keep large quantities of purebred dogs in overcrowded, often shockingly inhumane conditions, are a well-kept secret of the pet-trade industry, and the animal protection community is extremely grateful to Oprah for exposing this major cause of pet overpopulation to a wide audience.

It’s standard practice for puppy mills—which supply animals to pet stores and purebred enthusiasts, without any concern for the millions who will die in shelters as a result—to keep animals in constant confinement, without proper veterinary care or socialization. It’s common to hear stories of puppy mills that are shut down on cruelty to animals charges (I posted about one a couple of weeks ago), but it’s nowhere near common enough—and these sordid operations will continue to thrive for as long as people support them by purchasing animals from pet stores or seeking out purebred animals from breeders.

You can find out what time the show will be airing where you live on Oprah’s site, and there’s more information about puppy mills, and you can learn more about PETA’s campaign to help companion animals here.

Charlize Theron on Puppy Mills for PETA

Commenting is closed.
  • mrjugger says:

    Your life is worth living.

  • kelly says:

    Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah does NOT take all animals They turn animals away every day!! No Kill is a fake

  • kyle says:

    just to even think about harming these animals is just plain Disgusting!!!!!! how can they live with themselves! Someone should do that to them!!!

  • cheryl albright says:

    I will never buy a puppy or dog from a puppy mill. I actually would love to adopt all cats and dogs who need homes but I realize I cannot do that. I support many humane societies and helpers of animals. I truly like animals more than most people. They are so grateful for whatever love is given to them and are such wonderful companions. I took a Chihuahua puppy from a friend of mine that could no longer care for her. We love that dog soooo very much. If we had not taken her who knows what would have happened to her. I have seen some of the terrible things occurring at the puppy mills and it absolutely makes me sick. I wish there was a way to close all illicit puppy mills close. I heard on Oprah today that one owner of a puppy mill shot 80 of his dogs because they were ordered to have flea control. How sick is that? I believe these people that have these type of puppy mills are very evil people and who knows what they may do to human beings. Anyway I can help to close a puppy mill I will be more than happy to help. I do support a group called Best Friends in Utah that takes all unwanted and special needs animals and has a nokill policy. These animals will live there happily even if they do not get adopted. Thank you for letting me vent as I believe all animals should have a good loving home.

  • jessie says:

    Oprah makes me smile but this makes me still very sick and mad. it shouldn’t be like this. this is insanity how can people get away with this over and over again? have people no hearts? I wish every animal had harmony in their life. and will do anything I can to help as much as I can to make their lives more joyful. this isn’t life it’s prison made by humans! join us in the fight and don’t loose your patient we got a long road to walk.. but I’m not hesitating… no way!

  • Ezequiel says:

    Oprah ROX… And Anyone who wants to help animals is Welcome!!!!!!!

  • Vic says:

    Hi I am a dog groomer and through the last few years i have seen the popularity of these xbreed pups increase. Sadly the result being puppy farming also bad breeding practices. Dogs that have bad jaws and joints being bred with others also in some cases related dogs. Money money money and fashion seem to be the ruler at this time. when people come in with dogs that are poor in form we tell the owners to reconsider breeding and explain why. What makes a great and loving pet does not always make a good sire. P.s so many great pets end up in pounds also they would love a second chance at happiness. So stop the crazed money breeding . Think twice everyone.


    hi oprah what a sad day for me sad dogs so hurt and the look in their eyes. Those people need to be stopped. please help america i’m here in south africa so far but never to late to help thx oprah please do it every month on your show thx oprah sophia xx

  • Carien Oosthuizen says:

    Dear Oprah. HiI am a 12 year old girl and live in south africa. For theese past week I have Trying too get every dog off the street!and the show was my breaking point. I was so devestated and realy dont known why they even let theese puppy mills is aloud. in africa here no puppy mills but just alot of animals that are the streets.I realy dont known what to do so can trie to help me save most of the animals in need here in africa.Regardes Carien Oosthuizen.

  • Lorraine Freund says:

    I live in NSW Australia and am a breeder of Jack Russell Terriers. I watched your show today 4th June and was absolutely horrified at what I saw. We are campaining here in Australia to stop exactly the same thing but compared to your country on thankfully a much smaller scale. Here we call them puppy farmers. Thankfully in the 12years I have been breeding which I might add is on a very small scale as I only breed to upgrade my own show stock I no exactly where all the puppies I have sold are and their owners keep me informed of their wellbeing with Xmas cards and photos every year. Keep up the good work you have a great following over here. Regards Lorraine.

  • katrina houghton says:

    Dear Oprah I was appalled about the puppy mill show which viewed today in Townsville Australia. Puppy mills cannot operate here as we have the R.S.P.C.A. that do not allow it.The disgusting conditions inhumane treatment of these poor crearures could get perpetrators of these crimes against innocent animals fines of $75000 or 2 years jail. I was so saddened by what I saw that I cried like a baby I thank god there are caring people who were on your show that are trying so hard to help these dogs. I am astonished though that in this day age authorties are allowing this barbaric behavior to happen.To those good samaritans out therekeep up the good work Oprah keep showing the world what saddists these people are. KatrinaAustralia

  • L.Bourne says:

    KUDOS to Oprah. All I want to add is these people that run or are involved in any way are ill inhumane what goes around comes around. Please click onto .care2.comsites the clicks are free and this supports rescues shelters. Also check out THANKS pawsitively fury much!!

  • Donna Rogers says:

    My son answered a classified ad in our local paper The FreeLance Star in Fredericksburg Virginia for “FREE Beagles”. Just a telephone number was listed. He called left his phone number was called back by this person. He was given the address of the “free” beagles. He and his girlfriend drove out to the address it was in Westmoreland County Virginia. It was a raining day. Conditions were horrible. The “free” beagles were out in the rain in small cages in mud with straw. The dogs stayed outside not much for cover I think he said maybe igloos. The dog they went for was a three year female they were told by the owners son that “Paw don’t want to get rid of her yet”. Another words she was still good for breeding! Chris did get a older female. When he walk by her cage she start barking and stratching at the sides like she was saying take me take me. He took her pretty sure if he didn’t she would have been destroyed because she was no longer useful for breeding. She was used up! Her new name is Betsy. She is a dear. Her teeth are bad. She has a tumor on one of her mammorary glands. She has a bad cough. She had to have 10 days of antibiotics she did test negative for heartworm and Lyme disease thank God. She had to have a bath ASAP the mud and the muck just poured off of her she didn’t complain she just licked Chris’ hands and face as to say thanks. Now she had to learn how to walk up the stairs. She learned real fast how to jump on the couch to sleep. She loves her walks. She wags her tail. Who says she was used up? So if the Westmoreland Police are reading this you have work to do. If the Westmoreland Animal Conrol are reading this go get them they have about 40 more beagles there. They are in horrible conditions! The animals deserve better than this and the people of Westmoreland do not need this kind cruelty in their county!

  • claireabbazio says:

    I was sick when I saw wait tey are doing to the dogs.

  • Emma says:

    Puppy mills are so evil and should end for eternitiy!!! You go Oprah!!!

  • Juan Maravilla says:

    Many comments are against the people who breed mills dogs…that is INSANE to use the dogs to make desesperatelly money abusing and torturing them…BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LAW ? WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO MANAGE THE LAW IN EACH STATE ? we often heard that people are taken to jail because animal abuse…but…where is the law for industries creating dogs mills each second…and there are not in secret when stores are sellings the dogs…is not that action an ABUSE bacause is producing money? THOSE INDUSTRIES BIG OR SMALL NEED TO BE DISCOVERED AND PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF THE ACTION ABUSING DOGS IN ORDER TO MAKE MONEY.. WHEN THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN?

  • Heather says:

    When I heard about puppy mills.. my heart weeped. What kind of person could physically and mentally harm poor animals! Why is there no law! I’ve had a animal with abuse they’re just like our children. If I found out whoever hurt her I would love to see herhim in jail. Plus the animals physical and mental abuse will always stay with them the only help is through therapy. THIS IS A CRIME!

  • animal activist says:

    this is huge!!! many have gone unknown for a long time!!! i don’t have dogs but i love them!!!! we should stop this!!

  • fabulous says:

    things are gone from bad to worst not only to dogs but all sorts of animals.these cruel doing to animlas such as killin them for fur or meat or some other crap is totally insane! animals should be treated with love and carenot just get a pet for the sake of getting a petthats just irresponsible and so many unworthy reasons.WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF ANIMALS!!!!THEY ARE VERRRYYYYYY IMPORTANT!!!!DUHH

  • Gerry Ardigliano says:

    Lizbeth VERY wellsaid and 100 accurate too. I noticed this myself but was unable to sum in the wise manner that you did. The top two ways in which blacks are victimized is 1 diet related diseases 2 blackonblack crime. Oprah does NOT do shows on ANY of this she is not even concerned about the worst ways her own people are perishing. When she won the beef trial she went out of her way to be nice to this “industry” by inviting them back on her show TWICE to make amends to undue the harm they received. Oprah is the type who has to be in a wheelchair in terminal condition before she acts on a cause that is 100 altruistic. I am not saying that she is actively nogood or rotten but very shallow like her audience.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Louise Hello. I’m not sure I understand the situation you’re talking about are you a volunteer there? It sounds weird that the shelter would have sick dogs on the adoption floor. If the shelter is filthy and they are keeping sick dogs and refusing to treat them they should be reported immediately. Call your town mayor you can get the phone number from Information and ask him where to report a shelter that is abusing its animals. They might tell you to call the animal cruelty office or there may be some other resource like public health. Our local animal cruelty officers don’t do a very good job they don’t seem to care. So be prepared to try other things if this does not work out. Good luck let us know what happens!

  • Cody says:

    Who the hell would do something like that. I think its so disgusting to do that to the pore dogs I think all the people who do this should be treated the same way and we will see how they fell

  • Louise moreau says:

    Hi!! I have an other probleme then poppy mills. Is the no kill shelters dont get me wrong I’m all for it . But I dont understand why one persone can play god with little dog lives ?????? I have adopted An “Unadoptable” dog from a shelter. they saved the lives of a lot of Distemper infected puppies.. All the dogs where left with severe neurological problemes and clasifed as NOT ADOPTABLE but kept in the shelter to live the rest of there lifes in cages and filth..Those dogs are and where abuse in that shelter forgoten and unloved. It took a severe intervention to get some of those dogs out to find them good homes I adopted one of them a year ago and and I’ve never seen a little dog so sad and scared of people she lived in the shelter 3 years from the time she was found at 9 weeks old It took one year for her to trust anyone now she is a change little dog and has formed a personality that makes lots of people laugh… That shelter as lots of UNADOPTABLE DOGS that lives in bad conditions and are abused on a dayly basis.. Where do we draw the line for Unadoptable dogs and where do I go to stop it ????

  • lizbeth says:

    maybe one reason why Oprah wont’ presuming wont’ speak out agianst the fur trade or factory farming and all the ohter ills of mistreatment to animals is that she doesn’t want to ‘make enemies’.. can you imagien the scenario of public outcry over the fur trade and all women decreeing never to buy furs agian form anywhere for that matter.. why the fur trade in USA coudl or would possibly collapse overnight .. or near to.. and who woudl all these furriers.. or battery egg farms farmers etc etc.. be pointing their fingers and blaming.. yes.. yours truly.. my point is.. there is GREAT INUSTICE in the animal world and they are suffering terriby.. even right now as I type these words out.. in the fur farms in the factory farms.. in zooscircuses.. I could go on and on.. for them.. and end cease their suffering I would say ot Oprah.. it would be more htan well worth it.. for their sakes.. but I find her shows tned to be very selfcentered.. ie. selfimprovement.. selfbetterment.. selfgrowing awareness.. self .. self.. self.. everything.. it’s all very selfcentered human oriented.. she wields a lot of power.. being chatshow show queen and queen of hte airways not to mention most of her ardent fans are women.. she could do a one programme on ‘how you can help reduce animals suffering by every day choiceslifestyle changes and awareness workshop.. ‘ now wouldn’t that be great programme rather than her usual run of the mill .. ‘how to imporve myself more’.. how to raise my spirituality more.. how to better myself.. etc. etc…. yawn..

  • madeline v says:

    EVERYONE please urge the Oprah show to reair the puppy mill story and please contact any media personnel you can to further encourage viewers to watch. Thanks so much!!

  • Cindy Stafford says:

    My question is if everyone quits buying the puppys from the pet stores what happens to all those dogs puppys at the Puppy Mills?? We have to think of how we could save recue them. I cryed my eyes out watching Oprah. And I will do something to help!

  • picasso says:

    Great video but why is there a link at the end for I go to that site thinking I’ll be donating to prevent this outrage and there is another link to an online puppy marketplace. This must be some mistake can someone look into this please!

  • Megan says:

    Hey I wanted to use part of this segment for a speech im doing for a class and I dont know how to download it so I can hook my comp up to the TV can anyone help me??????

  • Melissa says:

    Oprah should consider all Animal Cruelty including those performed by her staff and those people she features on her show. Take for example the experiments of Mehmet Oz vice chair of surgery and professor of cardiac surgery at Columbia University. featured Dr. Oz in a series called “Second Opinion” in which Dr. Oz’s philosophies on health are discussed. Dr. Oz is also a frequent guest on Oprah’s show and is featured on Dr. Oz practices yoga routinely and he believes that “anger and stress management are keys to his wellness.” Reading the records of the tormented dogs used in Dr. Oz’s cruel heart experiments is enough to send anyone fleeing to the nearest angermanagement group. Good thing Oprah’s Sophie was privileged and did not end up as one of Dr Oz’s experiments. Columbia University Fined for Cruel Puppy Killings Main Feature Dogs’ Records Oz Dog 6313 Day 1 Surgerysternotomy an incision in the center of the chest that allows access to the heart and RF ablation radio frequency ablation which is a nonsurgical treatment for abnormal heart rhythms in which a long wire is passed into the heart for Protocol AAAA 024200 1. Read more. Oz Dog 6269 This dog’s chest was surgically opened and radio frequency ablation was done. The day after the surgery records show that she was able to walk but the misery was just beginning … Read more. Oz Dog 6406 Twentynine days of pain and suffering awaited this dog after her chest was opened to expose her heart for radio frequency ablation. Read more.

  • alicia k says:

    bottom line. like her or not. at least light is shine on where your furbaby comes from. your choice is to adopt to clean up after irresponsible people or pay big bucks and buy from a rep. breeder. if you choose the latter meet the sellers and the parents on premise not pet stores.

  • Sarah Schachtel says:

    Finally a famous isn’t all talk about doing something good for the world. I 3 Oprah D

  • Krystal says:

    I’m so glad that puppy mills are finally getting the negative attention they deserve. It’s about time!! But what I really don’t like is when someone leaves a comment on this site and someone else has the guts to criticize what they say. Everyone should be able to have their own opinion on the subject. Isn’t that what us animal activists are asking for the right to state our own opinion?

  • Joanne Adams says:

    oprah you say you are an animal lover but you wear FUR………………………

  • La says:

    I was very happy to see that Oprah was shedding light on the horrible things that take place in puppy mills. However my husband and I tried to adopt a dog from Main Line Animal Rescue the rescue facility that was featured on the show. We were informed that we lived too far away from their site to adopt one of their dogs…only 30 miles! We were saddened to not be able to help one of these animals and discouraged that they are not willing to work with people in order to find good homes for their animals…which we would have provided.

  • Meg 1409 says:

    Those who run the puppy mills should be ashamed of themselves what makes humans think they have the right to treat animals this way. The conditions they live in are inhumane and horrid those poor animals.

  • christina warren says:

    dear oprah this puppy mill shit is bad and needs to be stopped thanks for helping peta and just to let everyone kno is that after i saw peta for the first time i have stopped eating meat and became a vegitarian and now everytime i see meat i get really sick so thanks again oprah your my girl for helpin PETA love ya

  • MeL says:

    That’s cool that Oprah aired that on her show but why can’t she do that for ther animals? Remember one of her favorite things is… “SCARFS FROM BURBERREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY”…and we all know how they treat their minx!