Puppy mills exist for one reason and one reason only—greed.
Breeding Regulations In Place
In 2011 our sister 501(c)4 organization, Texas Humane Legislation Network, was instrumental in passing HB 1451, which licenses and regulates large scale commercial dog and cat breeders.
The Dog and Cat Breeder Act provides basic protections for tens of thousands of dogs and cats confined and raised in large scale breeding facilities by requiring humane housing and care standards and needed veterinary care. The law is administered and enforced by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and requires periodic inspections and annual veterinary care.
In 2021, after intense grassroots and lobby outreach from THLN and THLN supporters, the Texas Sunset Commission has voted to MAINTAIN the Texas Licensed Breeders Program and continue to stop puppy mills from operating across Texas.
Common Questions About Puppy Mills and Licensed Breeders
Who must be licensed?
Anyone who has 11 or more adult intact female dogs and /or cats and who sells or offers to sell 20 or more dogs or cats in a calendar year must be licensed. The law provides exemptions for certain types of dog breeding, including dogs, bred for herding livestock, hunting , or competing in field trials.
Where can I read the program statute and rules?
View the statute and administrative rules here.
How do breeders get licensed?
Send a completed application and fee. All forms for licensing can be downloaded here. Application fees are $300 if you own 11-25 females; or $500 if you own 26 or more females. Application fees are non-refundable.
How do I file a complaint against a breeding operation?
If you believe someone should be a licensed breeder, but is not licensed, you can file a complaint online by clicking this link here. (If you do not know if a person or company is licensed, use the Unlicensed Activity option.)
If a breeder is operating without a license but meets the requirements for licensure, the business will be subject to enforcement actions, including administrative penalties and sanctions. In addition if you believe there are animal cruelty violations occurring, you should also contact your local animal control authority.