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PMFR activists speaking to Washoe County Commission, 08 Dec 2015.

128 jurisdictions in North America have passed a ban or strong restrictions on retail sales of puppies, kittens and sometimes rabbits, ferrets, pigs and other animals.

30 bans since 10/26

06 in 2016
— a ban every 3 days! —
  • 121 bans
  • 7 restrictions
See analytics, locations and ordinance language on our Map page.

Dozens of jurisdictions considering at the moment.

STAND UP FOR THE PUPS! 75 people gave their time on 4/5/14, and 9/20/14 to lend their voices to those who have none, those poor animals languishing in the 10,000 puppy mills across the country, enslaved in a life of torture and misery.

Our message was clear, this is not acceptable and we want our elected officials to do something about it by ending the sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail stores.

Puppy Mill Free Reno/Sparks/Washoe!
Kittens & Rabbits, too!

Dedicated to Washoe County's continued excellence as a world-leader in the treatment of animals.
With its world-renowned "no-kill" policy for which it has received major national funding, it only stands to reason that Washoe County becomes like ♥♥ other counties and municipalities ahead of it, a puppy, kitty and rabbit mill-free zone. South Lake Tahoe was the second municpality in the country to end the sale of mill animals six years ago.

Maxwell was adopted into the White family from the Reno SPCA after a hard life. "His fur was filthy and matted, but after these four years with us, I just think he's just the best dog ever."
Restricting puppy, kitty and rabbit sales (reports show that nearly 100% of animals in stores are from these factory-farms) would help reduce animal suffering, protect the consumer and could reduce the tax payer burden for feral animal programs in the future. Acquiring animals from the many accredited non-profit shelters and rescue groups in the area, or from a reputable breeder, are the best ways to welcome a new companion into your home as promoted by the City of Boston website.

Many national animal welfare organizations report that mill animals are constantly kept pregnant, birthing and nursing. To keep costs down these dogs rarely get medical treatment, see the light of day, know a kind hand or enjoy the loving atmosphere most humans would like to provide.

For more information including in-depth articles, reports and videos, see our What Is A Puppy Mill? page.


This kind of turnout shows how much support an end to the sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail stores has in the Truckee Meadows. It's time for Northern Nevada to join the national trend. Fifty-one cities so far have enacted a ban that will help bring this despicable and sickening practice to an end. We support a unanimous yes vote in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County!
Animals in stores usually cost hundreds of dollars—sometimes $1000 or more—and are often a credit card-enabled impulse purchase. After such an outlay, new owners may forgo the added expense of a spay or neutering operation risking pregnancy and an unwanted litter down the line, increasing the chance of more animals ending up in a shelter. Estimates are that as many as 2,000,000 dogs are bred in puppy mills each year, while 2-4,000,000 are killed in shleters. (See video on this page.)

Big box stores PetCo ("Think Adoption First®" ) and PetSmart (PetSmart Charities® Adoption Centers) long ago stopped selling puppies, kitties and rabbits. Most of the locally owned pet shops have taken the pet out of the pet store and offer everything you need for your new companion to thrive under your guardianship while leaving the care of the animals to accredited non-profits.

"Dog by Dog is a documentary that aims to wake up the American public to the horrible realities of puppy mills by following the money trail across the United States and confronting those that have maintained this corrupt and irresponsible system." Coming soon to Reno!

According to reports, animals from mass production breeders ("mills") that are most often sold in retail stores ("Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills." —ASPCA), of which there may be as many as 10,000 in the US) can be prone to illnesses. Accredited non-profit adoption and rescue agencies perform a medical examination on the animals, provide shots, de-worming and spay/neutering and offer the animal for low cost (typically between $45 and $100).

Because dogs and cats begin socialization in the first few weeks of life, animals sourced from mills have been found to have behavioral problems. See, RGJ article Puppies from pet stores more likely to have behavioral problems, study finds. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association study of May, 2013, concludes, We cannot recommend that puppies be obtained from pet stores.

For more information about alternative ways to aquire a companion for life, see Shops & Adopt.

The spayUSA program.
While animals sold in stores are required by law to be seen by a veterinarian, there are many reports of animals that are sick and altogether too often, mortally so.

Because animals purchased in pet stores are often bought on an impulse enabled with a credit card and targeted financing, some new owners find the expense of a veterinarian visit a hardship. These animals are rarely spayed or neutered or de-wormed when sold, requiring consumers to spend up to a few hundred dollars more after purchase. Some consumers may forgo the expense of a spay/neuter operation, which could add to the feral animal problem in Washoe County.

Passing a new ordinance could help protect the consumer and might reduce costs of taxpayer funded feral animal control programs in Washoe County.

It is my belief that when you actually see this, America, with your own eyes, that you all are not going to stand for it.

—Oprah Winfrey
For Oprah's 45 minute show on Puppy Mills and more, see our "What is a Puppy Mill?" page.

Please Sign Our Petition to protect animals and the consumer.
To keep up with the progress of making Washoe County Puppy Mill Free, join our email list.
Please sign our petition to end puppy mill sales in Washoe County.

Editorial Board of the Portland, Maine Press Herald:

Pet store dogs too often have troubling origins
Banning the sale of 'puppy mill' puppies will end Maine's role in dubious breeding practices in other states.
It's necessary for the state to step in on this issue because the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not. The standards governing breeding facilities are pitifully low, designed to keep the animals alive but no more. What is allowed should make dog lovers cringe. More…

Yet another news station airs an exposé, this one in Philadelphia, 9/2015

Watch here by clicking the white arrow on the lower left of the image:

I-Team Philadelphia Web page.

Did your dog or cat come from a puppy mill?
We can help you find out no matter how long ago you purchased! Contact Us


PMFR includes rabbits in our petition language. Many reports tell of the glut of unwanted bunnies surrendered to shelters just after Easter, including this one from Marin Animal Specialists:

While domestic rabbits make wonderful companions, they are only suited for people who are educated about them and the care they need. Baby rabbits shouldn't be given as gifts, a mistake people make around Easter that leads to many unwanted rabbits at animal shelters.

"People have no idea when they take them home that they'll grow really fast and become hormonal once they hit puberty," said Anne Martin, House Rabbit Society shelter director in Richmond.

She said hormonal rabbits can spray urine everywhere, with the females often lunging at people and acting aggressively. Fixing or neutering rabbits helps quell these issues, but poses a veterinary cost to owners. Fixing female rabbits is especially important as about 80 percent get uterine cancer by the age of 6.


In addition, rabbits can easily overheat or get too cold—both leading to death. They are prone to digestive problems and are ravenous chewers that need to be kept away from electrical cords and poisonous plants. Rabbits are naturally afraid of heights and some do not enjoy being held. It takes time and patience to socialize a rabbit and gain its trust.

For those willing the put in the effort and form a loving bond with a rabbit, Harrington said adoption is the way to go. More…

Controversial Reno Store Ends Puppy Sales
Pets R Us Will Host Adoptions Instead

Reno, NV—Long beleaguered by public pressure, news investigations and disparaging online reviews, Joe Young, owner of Pets-R-Us, announced today an end to the sales of puppies in his Meadowood Mall store.

"This is a great day for our movement to end the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail stores as they are largely sourced from puppy mills," said Billy Howard, founding organizer of Puppy Mill Free Reno.

Mr. Howard has been working with Mr. Young for the past seven months for the conversion. "This is a great day not only for our local community but for the dogs in awful conditions all across the nation with yet another store not trafficking animals from the reprehensible puppy mill industry."

Puppy mill is a term used by activists for large scale breeding operations where the amount of animals kept in kennel cages often stacked on top of each other precludes the care they need including basic veterinarian exams and treatment, grooming and oral hygiene.

"Many supply-only stores are thriving in the area. Local shelters and rescue organizations are working with the stores to host adoption days and special events. This even includes the big box national-chain stores which long ago stopped selling dogs, cats and rabbits."


What are these red boxes?
See our INFO page to find out.

Mike and his German Shepherd rescue, Wrigley. Larger.
No pet supply store within the County should sell puppies born and bred from the suffering and life-long torture of puppy, kitty and rabbit mills.

Many pet supply and services stores in our area, such as Natural Paws and Pawsitively P.A.W.S. and big box stores regularly host rescue and adoption agencies at their locations.

Pet supply stores offer pet products and some offer services such as grooming and/or boarding, including the big-box stores PetSmart and PetCo which long ago stopped selling mill animals.

Find more adoption resources on our Cruelty-Free Pet Stores page.

Adoptable pets from the Nevada Humane Society and many other agencies (see Cruelty-Free) are put through rigorous veterinary health procedures. Adoptions cost anywhere from $45 to $100 and include all necessary shots, deworming, medical examination and spay/neuter if needed.

They also want the dog, cat or rabbit back if their new family can no longer take of him/her.... FOR LIFE! Try taking an animal back to a puppy store three months later.
Puppy Mill Free Reno/Sparks/Washoe mascot, Brooks, visiting his veterinarian 5 years after being adopted for $45 from the Nevada Humane Society.

"One of the healthiest dogs we see!"

Endorsements See All 100 on Our Endorsements page.

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