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DOG AUCTIONS and PUPPY MILLS ~ What Really Goes On?

Updated on December 3, 2012

Writing about man’s best friend being treated inhumanely is difficult to say the least. It makes me sick to my stomach. I’ve cried many tears. I am writing because raising awareness is key to making any kind of change.

Although my passion extends to the welfare of all animals, this article specifically discusses the legal but inhumane world of dog auctions and puppy mills. Everyone that cares about dogs should raise their voice and advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Dog auctions are where people who run puppy mills "do their business." Please read my article PUPPY MILLS The Sad Truth: Facts and Statistics for a detailed understanding of what really happens in puppy mills.


Dog auctions are legal in most states yet extremely inhumane. An average 300-500 dogs trade hands at any given auction. Typical auction attendees are puppy mill owners who come to buy and sell dogs in a setting similar to a used car auction, although the cars are probably treated better than the dogs.

You may find rescue organizations in attendance, often undercover, in hopes of placing some winning bids to change the fate of as many dogs as they can afford. The dogs sold at these auctions are a variety of purebred and designer hybrids (intended for huge profit). Yet these dogs often do not mimic their breed due to lack of health care, proper nutrition and grooming.

Written by Peggy Wilson ~

Day after day . . .
each one the same
another year older
a little more lame

Left out in the weather
with little protection
my body is sore
and hot with infection

In the freezing cold
or the searing heat
with nothing but wire
beneath swollen feet

My food bowl is empty
my water dish dry
what did I do
please tell me, why

The litters come
and the litters go
where do they take them
I don't know...

Is this a bad joke
or a horrible game
I have no home
not even a name

No one to love me
no one to care
no one to bathe me
and brush my hair

My teeth are rotting
my eyes are encrusted
where are the people
to whom I'm entrusted

I cry every night . . .
so afraid, don't you see
could this be the life
God intended for me

Someone, speak for me
I am losing my will
take me out of this hell
called a Puppymill!


Picture in your mind, rooms filled from floor to ceiling with hundreds of cages, each housing dogs whose sole purpose is PROFIT. Each dog up for auction is identified by the number on the auction tag hanging around his or her neck. These dogs are not valued as pets.

Dog auctions are covert affairs and based on greed and secrecy. They do not allow cameras or journalists. Most information and images you will find was more than likely obtained undercover.

Female dogs (bitches) that are already pregnant stir much excitement amongst the crowd as they are highly valued -- especially if they have a proven fertility record. And that goes for male stud dogs with a proven record as well.

These dogs are scared, sick, hopeless and trembling. They often have no food or water. They are sold at auction and go from one life of hell to another. If they are not sold at auction, they are usually killed.

The Legal But Inhumane World of Dog Auctions


  • Educate yourself, your family and friends
  • NEVER purchase a dog from a puppy mill
  • NEVER purchase a dog from a pet store
  • NEVER purchase a dog from an on-line pet store
  • Only purchase a dog from a responsible breeder (see comparison below)
  • Or contact breed-specific rescue organizations and adopt
  • Or purchase a dog from your local shelter
  • Report animal abuse and neglect
  • Share this article with family and friends encouraging them to take action


Do some research to see if you live in a state/area that allows dog auctions. Find out if there are efforts underway to create legislation to ban dog auctions. Volunteer! Write letters. Gather signatures. Organize rallies. Do whatever you can do to stop the inhumane treatment of dogs.

I live in the state of Ohio in the USA. We have an active citizen-backed coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions. The current ballot initiative, if passed, will establish legislation making it illegal for anyone to auction or raffle a dog in Ohio. In addition, it would prohibit bringing dogs into Ohio for sale or trade that were acquired elsewhere.

The Sad Truth About Puppy Mills


This information was taken from my article PUPPY MILLS The Sad Truth: Facts and Statistics. It is important and worth repeating.

With a little knowledge, you can tell the difference . . .

  • A puppy mill breeder will buy and sell dogs at a dog auction. A humane breeder would never step near a dog auction.
  • A puppy mill breeder may have many breeds of dogs for sale at the same time. A humane breeder will work with one breed at a time.
  • A puppy mill breeder usually will not allow customers to view their property or kennel. A humane breeder will welcome you into their home and kennel area.
  • A puppy mill breeder may offer to ship a puppy to the new owner without meeting you first. A humane breeder is eager to meet you and your family first.
  • A puppy mill breeder won’t require an application or references from a buyer. A humane breeder will require a completed application (contract) and possibly additional references.
  • A puppy mill breeder does not ask buyers to return the dog or contact them if at any point in the dog’s life the owners cannot keep the dog. A humane breeder will tell you that if there if ever a reason that you cannot keep the dog, contact them and they will take the dog back.
  • A puppy mill breeder has a very large kennel, usually owning 50 to several hundred dogs or more. A humane breeder will have sufficient kennel space with a limited amount of puppies available at one time.
  • A puppy mill breeder breeds females every time they come into heat. A humane breeder will skip heat cycles and give enough recovery time as necessary.
  • A puppy mill breeder is USDA licensed (in many cases) so that they can sell puppies to pet stores. This is a red flag that a breeder is in the “profit only” business. A humane breeder has no reason to be USDA licensed.
  • A puppy mill breeder will not screen their puppies for genetic defects. A humane breeder will have all the appropriate screenings completed on all the puppies for sale. They will present screening certificates to the new owners.
  • A puppy mill breeder will not tell you of any health problems the puppy may have. A humane breeder will be upfront and honest.
  • A puppy mill breeder prefers to deal with cash and will not offer you a payment plan. A humane breeder will not insist on only a cash deal. And they may offer a payment plan beginning with an initial deposit.
  • A puppy mill breeder does not put the welfare of the dogs/puppies first. A humane breeder's main focus is the welfare of the dogs/puppies.

                 RESCUE ANGEL

The people looked at me and started to bid
I wished I wasn't here, just wish that I'd hid.

Then off from the back of the room I did see
The face of an angel looking right straight at me.

The angel raised her arm and began to shout.
I'll take her myself, I'll pay that amount.

Then I was carried away to a cage one last time
I'd tried to be good and committed no crime.

The cages were opened and dogs left that place
When my cage was opened I saw the angels face.

She picked me up and held me even though I smelled bad
I knew by her voice the angel wasn't mad.

Then off to this place that I now call home
By her side I will stay and never more roam.

I must have been blessed some time long ago
Because when she holds me tight I just seem to glow.

I often times think about my lifelong ago
Rescue people are really angels don't you know.

They save us from places called Puppymills you see
I pray all my brothers and sisters will someday be free.

                      Author Unknown

                                         Thank you so much for reading!

"The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals."

                                                                             Sharyn's Slant


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    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thanks for stopping by John!!!

    • profile image

      john 6 years ago


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thanks Debra - DITTO! ;)

    • Debra Charney profile image

      Debra Charney 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, for taking the time to respond to my comment. You have some very good articles. Looking forward to reading more of them in my spare time.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Debra,

      It's great to meet you. Yes, Pennsylvania is definitely another state where puppy mills are known to be . . . I wish there was a way to shut them down!

      I think it's wonderful that you had such a respectable business. The world needs more pet shop owners like you who do all the right things as you described. Thank you for making a difference in your own way! Take care,


    • Debra Charney profile image

      Debra Charney 6 years ago from United States

      Sharyn's Slant:

      Excellent article! Kudos! I had heard of the dog auctions in Ohio, but your video really opened my eyes. I live in a state where puppy mills are abundant, Pennsylvania. I also owned a pet shop for a number of years. I was a good shop. Only bought from private breeders and had an excellent reputation. Never got any demerits in 10 years of business! Ran a very clean, respectable shop. My breeders were also available to take phone calls, meet in person, or let clients come to their homes to pick out the puppies ahead of time. They only sold exclusively to me. No other shops! Like I said, I was one of the good ones. I used to work closely with the SPCA and had a good rapport with my state dog warden. Have turned people in myself. But I have heard horror stories about other pet shops. In my opinion, ALL puppy mills and dog auctions should be shut down. Thanks, for writing such a great article.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for stopping by. This is an extremely important cause. I wish you the best with your work. If you have a website to advertise, please go ahead and post it. Thank you!


    • profile image

      CHRISTINE 6 years ago

      Hi everyone,

      why dont we all get together and stop this nightmare!! I am making a site, its not much but i am so trying my best to get people to see this horrific these dogs go through. I put in the the newspaper ( talked to a guy, he is a political advertiser) I am also going to do the same across texas, california, new york,.. etc etc..

      Please email me @

      thanks for reading.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello Blue,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. The videos are disturbing but certainly help get the point across. I appreciate your honesty and am really glad that this type of inhumane treatment does not occur where you live. Take care,


    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Sharyn, I am afraid that I couldn't watch the videos or read the full hub as your writing distressed me so much. Having said that, I want to thank you for your bravery in bringing this issue forward and I thank God that we do not hear about this in Ireland. God bless you.xx

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank you so much MO. If I was not afraid to climb, I'd be on the mountain tops. Take care,


    • MysteriousOne profile image

      MysteriousOne 6 years ago

      Sharyn....great subject! I agree...these puppy mills should be shut down! Great advice and kudos to you for touching on this delicate subject..I agree with Sunnie! Let's shout it from the mountain tops! Voted up!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello Prasetio,

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I hope all is well with you!


    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information, Sharyn. Thanks for writing this and share with us. ~prasetio

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank you again Mar. I will write about Buttons someday soon. I'm glad that your weekend was ok. Mine was ok too.


    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Sharyn,

      I do hope one day you are able to write about Buttons and I can understand, as you know, our fur babies getting through the darkest of days.

      I am going to tuck this info away (right now) about Teddy (who is the namesake for little Kylie) because my brother and lovely SIL have had three deaths this year (Mom, her Dad and Aunt)... but will keep a close eye. He has already had kennel cough (passed to Baby); both are on medication. Again, just so grateful to be aware... and I thank you.

      Thanks also for your support and loving comments. The weekend was OK, thanks to Baby and family and Mom's happy memories. Hope the same was true for you.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello Alastar,

      Thank you so much for stopping by. You know, when you think about the simple act of putting up signs in people's yards, I believe that would really help. It is an easy way to get attention. Thank you for your insight and comments. Have a great day!


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good Morning Mar,

      I do understand feeling torn. I hope your brother has great luck with his new puppy. No doubt, the puppy is lucky to have found a special home.

      My dog Buttons, who I had to have put to sleep last August 20, was from a pet store. My sister bought him spontaneously when she was at the pet store having another one of her dogs groomed. She paid $500 for him back in 1995. But she couldn't keep him for several reasons and ended up giving Buttons to me. He was the love of my life and I miss him terribly. I still haven't been able to bring myself to write about him.

      Although Buttons came with papers, he did have some genetic problems. First of all, his papers said that he was a "toy" poodle but his actual size would tell you that this was incorrect. He was about twice the size of what a toy should be. This was often mentioned over the years by vets, etc. After he was about a year old, he began having really bad seizures. I thought I was going to lose him then. Amazingly, though me being strict about his proper medication and always having his levels tested, he lived to be almost 15 years old. I remember researching the breeder name on the paperwork and found out that they were from a town in central Ohio known for dog auctions and puppy mills.

      I've never bought an animal from a pet store and certainly wouldn't today because of all the information that I am now aware of.

      Buttons was seriously the love of my life and I wouldn't change a thing. He helped me through so many rough times in my life. I was extremely fortunate.

      Thank you so much for your never-ending support and votes. I hope your weekend was peaceful splashed with happy memories in between. Take care,


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello D.A.M.,

      Money talks ~ yup, you are so right. Thank you so much for your support and votes too! Have a beautiful day!


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Dear b.Malin,

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comments and support. I really liked the poems too. Although I should have taken the time to write one myself. Maybe I will. Thanks again!


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Dear Lucky,

      I see this touched ALL parts of your heart:) Thank you for sharing the information too ~ it's important. Take care,


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Kel,

      Thanks so much for sharing on FB and for your support always! Have a great day!


    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent expose' Sharyn's Slant. These "mills" are an outrage. Here's how one was stopped from opening shop in my area: 90% of the front yards had big signs that read; NO PUPPY MILLS HERE!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      My heart just got heavier reading this awful information but I do indeed thank you for putting it out there. We need to hear it, and it needs to stop!

      Although my babies cames from a no-kill shelter (Alvin) and private breeder (Baby), my brother just got the cutest little puppy from a pet store.

      Knowing where they come from now, what would happen if everyone stopped buying these little ones? I know the practice must stop, no doubt. I feel badly for the little guys behind the cages... the love my brother and family is giving to this little guy is gorgeous. I feel torn. Food for thought, for sure... good read.

      Voted UP, USEFUL & AWESOME!

    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 6 years ago from Indiana

      Thank you Sharyn, for helping to get the word out. The thought of these dog auctions literally makes me sick. I don't understand how they have continued for so many years. Oh yeah, I forgot-- money talks. Up, Awesome, Useful, Beautiful.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      What a wonderful heartfelt Educational Hub, Sharyn, One I wish everyone would read who is thinking of getting a puppy. Thank you for taking the time and the videos to bring your points home. The Poem was also Beautiful and summed it up so well.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Sharyn....THANK YOU! From the bottom, middle and top nof my heart....THANK YOU! What a woman!!!

      UP AWESOME USEFUL & Shared on FB

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Sharyn - this is excellent info and I'll share it on my FB. I am an animal lover - got my dogs at a breeder and the parrots too. We should leave animal care to those who do:). Care I mean!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good morning Alzel,

      Thank you for reading, commenting and volunteering to do what you can. Each and every advocate for the animals is a blessing. Have a great day!


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello DDS,

      Puppy mills need to be shut down EVERYWHERE ~ absolutely. Outlawing dog auctions is a critical step to get this done. We must eliminate the one hand that feeds the other!

      Yet this by no means underestimates the importance of little steps all individuals can take such as never buying a dog from a pet store, etc.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and also for following.


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Dear Sunnie,

      Will you please climb to the mountain tops and sing? :)

      I so agree that there is no easy way to tip toe around this subject. Facts are facts and these need to be shouted. Thank you Sunnie always for your "early morning" support :) Enjoy your Sunday!


    • alzel127 profile image

      Alex Zelahy 6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks for the info I will do what I can

    • DDS profile image

      David Sproull 6 years ago from Toronto

      I agree. Puppy mills need to be shut down. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Dear Sharyn,

      This was a great hub and needed to be sung from the mountain tops..I think with issues like this there is no tip toeing around it..there is no easy way to bring this information out. Thank you for doing this so well. I love animals and this does break your heart. Great tips for helping stop this crime against these precious animals.

      God Bless Up and Awesome