MISSOURI, USA — For the ninth year in a row, Missouri is the owner of a dubious title. The Humane Society of the United States said the state tops its "Horrible Hundred" list when it comes to "problem puppy mills" in 2021.
On Monday, the Humane Society released its annual report highlighting 100 "problem puppy mills" around the country. The Humane Society said that 21 of the 100 worst puppy mills in the country were located in Missouri. Ohio had the second-most on the list with 16.
"This year’s report uncovers dogs languishing across the country in puppy mills, many of which are licensed and still in business despite years of animal care violations, including citations for injured and emaciated dogs, dogs and puppies exposed to extreme weather, and dogs found living in filthy conditions," the Humane Society wrote in a statement.
The Humane Society said Missouri puppy mills were documented by state and/or USDA inspectors for various problems including keeping dogs in filthy conditions, injured dogs who hadn't received medical care and puppies freezing in cold temperatures.
However, the Humane Society said the "USDA is not doing its job" to ensure healthy conditions among breeders, highlighting those who sell to pet stores and internet sites.
The Humane Society said that dogs who are born in puppy mills like those cited in this report can suffer their entire lives. Cramped, dirty conditions and dogs being sick or injured in facilities like those cited can take a "mental and physical toll" on the dogs for years to come, the Humane Society added.
Four Illinois breeders were on this year's list.
For a detailed explanation of the Humane Society's findings you can read the entire report by clicking here.