Indiana has over 415 puppy mills that we know about with over 11,680 adult breeding animals trapped in those facilities. To learn more about the facilities reflected on our map, click here:

Indiana is not only home to several pet stores that sell puppy mill puppies, but their puppy mills sell thousands of puppies each year to pet stores across the country.

Indiana is also home to some of the worst puppy mills in the country, appearing on the Horrible Hundred puppy mill list 22 times since 2013.

Learn more about puppy mills:

The Midwest has the highest concentration of puppy mills, although there are other mills across the country. The Midwest is commonly referred to as “The Puppy Mill Belt”.

Puppy mills operations are easily hidden among agriculture buildings. The Amish and Menonite communities are also big into dog breeding.

Bailing Out Benji is a small nonprofit that started in Ames, Iowa and now has volunteer teams all over the country who are dedicated to raising awareness about the puppy mill industry.

Volunteers from Bailing Out Benji devote their free time to researching puppy mills to create puppy mill maps for the worst states, as well as raise awareness about notorious pet stores and breeding operations with huge violations. This includes obtaining CVI data (Certificates of Veterinary Inspections) and making those reports public. To learn more about the puppy mills in your location, you can also go to our interactive website and search engine.

To make a donation to help us continue our work fighting the puppy mill industry, click here:

Why are puppy mills legal?

In 1966, Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act, which outlines specific minimum standards of care for dogs, cats and some other kinds of animals bred for commercial resale.

The AWA is enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture. Under the AWA, certain large-scale commercial breeders are required to be licensed and regularly inspected by the USDA. But there are many inefficiencies and loopholes in the system.

Only large-scale commercial facilities that breed or broker animals for resale—to pet stores for example—or sell puppies sight-unseen, such as over the internet, are required to be licensed and inspected by the USDA because they are considered "wholesale" operations. Those that sell directly to the public face-to-face—thousands of facilities that breed and sell just as many puppies as their wholesale counterparts—are not required to adhere to the Animal Welfare Act or to any federal humane care standards.

Inspection records obtained by the HSUS show that many USDA-licensed breeders get away with repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act. These violators are rarely fined and their licenses are rarely suspended. Facilities with long histories of repeated violations for basic care conditions are often allowed to renew their licenses again and again.

There is a puppy mill in my area. How can I get the authorities to investigate and shut it down?

First, please be aware that operating a commercial breeding kennel may not be illegal in your area. But if you have seen specific evidence of cruelty or neglect, the first agency to contact is a local agency with law enforcement powers, such as the local humane society, animal control agency or police or sheriff's department.

Cruelty or neglect laws vary by state but typically address conditions such as animals without food and water, sick dogs who are not being medically treated or dogs without adequate shelter from the elements. Prepare specific details of your complaint in advance and, after you have made a report, get a case number or contact information related to your case. If you do not hear back from the local authorities within a week, please call them back to ask for an update, but be aware that if there is an ongoing investigation some information may not be available to the public. If you can't get local help for the situation or are not sure who to call, please contact

You may also wish to contact the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Care Division and find out if the USDA licenses the facility owner. Only "wholesale" breeding facilities (those that sell puppies to other businesses who in turn sell the puppies to the public) are required to be USDA licensed—this is a small portion of all the large-scale breeders in the country. Currently licensed breeders and some of their most recent inspection reports are available on the USDA/APHIS website.

The HSUS Puppy Mill Task Force tipline, 1-877-MILL-TIP, is available to anyone with information on a possible crime involving puppy mills—especially information from those with "insider" knowledge, or from law enforcement officials who might be aware of such operations. If you witnessed deplorable conditions in person and wish to file a complaint with the HSUS, please call 1-877-MILL-TIP or report it. You can also file a complaint with the USDA.

If you have purchased a puppy and wish to report problems to the HSUS, please complete the Pet Seller Complaint form. This form allows us to track data accurately and ensure that we have as much information as possible to help us in our fight to stop puppy mills.

Do Not Become an Accidental Supporter of Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are still operating and luring in unsuspecting people hoping to get a dog or puppy.

Here is a list of signs to look for if you are looking to adopt or purchase a puppy.

  • Lots of puppies that seem to always be available from a group listed as a dog or animal rescue.

  • Breeder declines to give you the name of the veterinarian who treated the puppy. If they do, make sure you look them up and call to verify that they have a legitimate practice.

  • Breeder provides several various breeds for sale that are “new” or “rare” breeds.

  • The sellers have puppies for sale at events like flea markets and yard sales.

  • The seller offers puppies for sale before they are even 8 weeks old.

  • There are constant advertisements on fliers, the internet or the paper to purchase puppies from the same group or person.

  • Someone holds a sign trying to sell puppies off the road or near a high traffic shopping area.

  • The seller can only meet you in a public place to show you the puppy.

  • Seller doesn’t ask you questions other than about the transaction amount. Legitimate breeders are usually interested in the kind of home their puppy goes to.

  • The breeder says that neutering or spaying is unnecessary

  • Someone alleges that they are selling the puppy for someone else or they are acting as an agent for a breeder.

  • Puppies are available in male and female pairs to promote breeding.