Paws behind bars logo of the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Inc.


Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Inc.

Dedicated to Ending the Suffering in Wisconsin Puppy Mills Through Public Education

P.O. Box 926    *    Sheboygan, WI 53082-0926   *

What Is A Puppy Mill?   *   What Can I Do About It?   *   Laws/Legislation   *   ACTION ALERTS!




Site Updated 13 August 2016
Calendar of Events
Updated 7 June 2016
Added 5/11/16:   State animal welfare manager oversees new dog sellers program (Wisconsin State Journal, 5 May 2016)
UPDATED 2/23/16:   AB 487/SB 450 Treatment of Animals
AVMA Relocation of Dogs & Cats For Adoption
USDA Closes Another Loophole: New Regs for Import of Foreign Puppy Mill Puppies
Internet-based Puppy Mills now Subject to USDA Regulation!
WI Wolf Hunt Overview
USDA ID Tag Necklace: Jewelry That Educates
2012 Wisconsin Humane Officer of the Year: Susan Gabrilska
Mental Health of Puppy Mill Dogs
Breaking News (4/10/14)
2009 Wisconsin Act 90
Wisconsin's Dog Breeders and Sellers Law (s.173.41, Wis. Stats.):
2009 WI Act 90 Administrative Rules Process
DATCP News: Animal Rescues & Certificates of Veterinary Inspection
Finding Your New Best Friend!
What is a Puppy Mill?
Report on USDA Inspections of Puppy Mills
The Petstore Connection
Puppy Mill Survivors: Caring for Mill Dogs
Breeders With Pride: Responsible Breeders Speak Out
AB-793/ SB-580, Revisions to Chapter 173 (Animal Seizure Law)
Contacting Your WI Legislators

Thorp Dog Auctions

Thyme and Sage Ranch Investigation
What Can I Do?
Laws and Legislation
Drive To Save Lives: A Hoarder Intervention
Contact us

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Thank you, Wisconsin -- the new Dog Seller Program is WORKING!!!

Thanks to the Wisconsin Dog Seller Program, this puppy miller is OUT OF BUSINESS!

      In 2011, Pretty Penny Kennels applied for and was granted a "temporary license" under WI Act 90. However, Mr. Schulz declined to upgrade his facilities to comply with the new regulations, so was DENIED a permanent license.

     Under the law, Mr. Schulz may still sell fewer than 25 dogs a year, from three litters. If you have reason to suspect that he is selling more dogs, or are concerned about the conditions in which his remaining dogs are being kept, please see our Filing a Complaint page for details on how to contact DATCP with your concerns!

       Getting legislation passed for animal protection is not for the faint of heart. It takes years of work, planning, and intense grass roots efforts. And passing laws is only the beginning -- we must then work even harder to see that the new laws are properly implemented and enforced.

       Though we at Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project would like to see ALL commercial dog breeders looking for a different source of income, the intent and purpose of WIsconsin's Dog Breeders and Sellers Law is to REGULATE a previously totally UNregulated industry -- setting standards to require good care for dogs and to provide consumers with some protection when buying a pet.

       Since the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law went into effect in 2011, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) had been working tirelessly to inspect and license dog sellers, as well as conducting follow-up inspections and investigating complaints. As a result, standards of living for dogs in commercial facilities, while still not ideal, have improved tremendously -- or the facilities have been denied licenses and are out of business. You can access the DATCP Online Services Dog Sellers and Dog Facility Operators License List here. (Interested in DATCP's 2014 program report, detailing statistics from 2011 - 2013? Please Click here!)

       We at WPMP want to extend a huge THANK YOU to DATCP and all of the rescuers, breeders, sellers, and consumers who are co-operating with the licensing process. Even though WI still has a few commercial dog breeding facilities, the standards of care in them under the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law are hugely better than before the law took effect and (unfortunately) conditions that a lot of pet dogs and hunting dogs are living under.

       If you have reason to suspect that any unlicensed breeder is selling more than 25 dogs a year, or are concerned about the conditions in which a a breeder/ seller/ shelter/ stray hold facility is keeping dogs, PLEASE see our Filing a Complaint page for information on how to contact DATCP with your concerns! Remember that it is vitally important to provide investigators with as much detail and documentation as possible: dates, times, locations, contacts -- phone numbers, email, texts etc. -- and a "screen shot" if possible of ads on Craig's list or Facebook. All complaints will be investigated. With the public's help, DATCP has been able to prosecute at least one notorious "scofflaw" breeder who went "underground" to avoid upgrading her facilities in compliance with the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law.

       Does this mean that it is "safe" to buy puppies from Wisconsin pet stores? Most emphatically NOT! Though some sell "home grown" pups, please note that many, many animals are still being brought in from unregulated out-of-state commercial breeders to be sold in WI pet stores. Want to put commercial breeders out of business altogether, both here and across the country? Be careful buying pets over the internet and from "roadside signs," and NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a puppy or kitten (or any other animal, for that matter) from a petstore! (Please see our Finding Your New Best Friend! pages for suggestions in choosing a reputable breeder.)

BUT . . .We're Not Finished Yet!

Hunting dogs are not regulated under Act 90.

Our dream is to see the expansion of Act 90 minimum standards of care to ALL dogs in Wisconsin -- not just those in the care of licensed dog sellers. We consider it disgraceful that current humane laws allow some pet and hunting dogs to live in deplorable conditions that fall far short of those mandated by Act 90 for dogs in commercial breeding establishments!

In 2009, the Wisconsin State Legislature unanimously passed Act 90, a law regulating dog breeders and sellers in our state. Throughout 2010, WPMP was part of the Dog Sellers Advisory Committee which helped the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection formulate fair, enforceable Administrative rules.

Since Act 90 (now s.173.41, Wis. Stats.) went into effect in June 2011, MANY breeders and sellers have been regulated and have either given up the business OR have come into compliance under ACT 90. The legislation has made a HUGE difference in the lives of thousands of dogs in Wisconsin.

But -- sadly, there are still abuses; there are still dogs needing our help. Some commerical breeders have found or created "loopholes" to evade regulation; some have even gone "underground". Some licensed breeders may only "spruce up" when an inspector is expected. And our recent participation in the campaign against the use of dogs to track and hunt wolves has heightened our awareness of the deplorable conditions under which many so-called "hounders" keep, breed, transport, and hunt their dogs.

With your help, Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project will be there to continue the fight to close up those loopholes and ferret out the "underground" breeders, brokers and sellers as well as to lend our support to other critical animal issues, such as the use of dogs to hunt wolvesin Wisconsin.

We regularly update our website to bring you current resources to educate, aid, and inspire you to promote solid, enforceable animal protection regulation. Our mission is to help animals live free of suffering, abuse and neglect.

How can YOU help? First of all -- If you are aware of a Wisconsin dog breeder, seller, animal shelter or rescue who may not be in compliance with Act 90, we encourage you to file a complaint (see our How To File A Complaintpage for details). If you need assistance, feel free to contact us!

And please watch our Action Alerts in red at the top of this page. Together, we can continue to make positive changes for animals in Wisconsin. They are depending on us!

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What Is A Puppy Mill?
What Can I Do?
Laws/ Legislation
Action Alerts


About the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project:

       The Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit. On 1 December 2009, our decade-long dream was realized when, with his signature, Governor Doyle turned AB-250, the Dog Breeders Licensure Bill, into the ground-breaking 2000 WI Act 90.

Our goal is to offer a valuable educational resouce for:

  • those seeking to end the institutionalized form of animal cruelty known as "puppy mills"
  • those looking for ways to fight abuse in their own neighborhoods
  • those wishing to add a healthy, loving, animal companion to their families

        Members of our group started working to alleviate the suffering of mill dogs in 1999 and officially organized as the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Inc., in 2004. Our mission is to educate the public about puppy mills, to prevent cruelty to animals, to foster understanding of responsible pet acquisition and ownership, and to promote adoption of homeless companion animals.

Mr. Peabody, a Puppy Mill/Pet Store Product       This website is dedicated to Mr. Peabody. Pea was bred and born in a Wisconsin puppy mill, and languished in a filthy cage in a Wisconsin pet store, at the mercy of neglectful and sometimes abusive sales people. Even though he finally found a loving home, there was no "happy ending." Pea suffered from poor breeding, chronic health problems, and emotional scars due to his background, for all of his six years.

       It is because of Pea that the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project exists. It is because of Pea and dogs like him that Wisconsin puppy mills will someday CEASE to exist.

       It's easy for people to shake their heads and murmur how terrible all this is, but it doesn't affect THEM. One of our goals is to show that the problems of pet profiteering affects EVERYBODY, one way or the other.

       We also want to help people find healthy, loving, lifelong animal companions. We would prefer that everyone adopt from shelters and rescues, but also want to give you the information you need to choose a reputable breeder.

       And, of course, we hope to enlist your aid in putting an end to the form of institutionalized animal cruelty known as "puppy mills."


"...if one person is unkind to an animal, it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people." --  Ruth Harrison

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P.O. Box 926    *    Sheboygan, WI 53082-0926   *

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