ST. LOUIS – Thousands of American families are scammed into buying sick or dying puppies, according to a report from the Humane Society of the United States, with Missouri dog breeders generating the most complaints in the country.

From 2007 to 2022, the HSUS received nearly 7,900 puppy buyer complaints via the organization’s puppy mill tip line, or by email or online form. However, the Humane Society says those are just a fraction of all sick puppy complaints filed nationwide, since many buyers file grievances with the seller, local animal control or law enforcement, or consumer advocacy groups. Others simply don’t file a complaint at all.

Puppy buyers complained of illnesses like parasites, skin disorders, various infectious diseases, some of which can be deadly, and respiratory issues. Buyers also reported congenital defects and temperament problems.

Pet buyers reported getting a puppy from a pet store or breeder, only to see their animal fall ill and die weeks after purchase, according to the Humane Society.

The report shows Missouri at or near the top for complaints involving buyers, breeders, and brokers or middle-men.

You can look through the HSUS report in its entirety below.

The Humane Society recommends pet seekers adopt from a reputable shelter or rescue group, or buy from a breeder they’ve met in person who can provide verified health records from a licensed veterinarian.

Puppy Buyer Complaints (2007-2022) by KevinSeanHeld on Scribd