The easiest way to shut down puppy mills is for people to STOP BUYING PUPPPIES unless the seller can show you the bitch, the conditions in which she's kept, health records, and ideally the stud dog as well (though with AI and such even with supremely-well-bred animals that's not always possible.) My next-door neighbors got their corgi puppy from a friend-he owned both parents, he kept at least one, he can tell you everything about the dogs' history (including that their puppy has an issue where they should not breed her), and he can demonstrate his dogs are happy and not crammed in cages. People who want purebreds have hundreds of AKC breeders to choose from. People who want a cute puppy have plenty of neighbors with an 'oops' litter or a one-off litter. There is no reason on earth to purchase any dog with CKC papers or which is called a Maltiyorkicockapomawestiekpekeapoodledoo or whatever nasty little toy mix someone threw together from the thirty AKC rejects they assembled in their pole barn.
Originally Posted by Clarice
Puppy mills exist because stupid people want their designer mongrels and pay top dollar for them. You can't legislate that out by banning one method of selling or another (setting aside how unpleasant the idea is of restrictions on trade is what is ultimately an item of personal property, ain't going to work.) You have to educate the consumer-not guilt them into ZOMG YOU HAVE TO GET A SHELTER DOG, because frankly some people should never, ever get a dog with an even partially unknown history and would be far better suited to getting a puppy from a breeder who can tell them its health history and what to expect from that breed--educate that "that dude advertising Westie-Poos in the classified" is NOT a suitable source for a dog, especially if he's listing about fifteen different crossbreeds.