Animal Humane Society position on breeding of companion animals

Animal Humane Society supports reputable breeders and responsible breeding of companion animals. However, inhumane and inadequate breeding facilities exist; therefore, we encourage individuals to exercise caution when purchasing animals from breeders.

Reputable and responsible breeding operations play a role in preserving and enhancing the very best characteristics of the breed and are committed to the humane care of their breeding animals and their breeding animals’ offspring.

Breeders should be ethical, be committed to exceptional care of their animals, educate themselves to recognize inherited disorders, and sterilize animals that could pass on these disorders.

We advocate for altering breed standards to eliminate those which may prove detrimental to an animal’s health and contribute to ongoing inherited disorders.

Researching and evaluating breeders

If people do choose to purchase animals from a breeder, AHS encourages them to diligently research potential breeders to ensure they’re not supporting inhumane and inadequate breeding practices.

Keep in mind that while commercial breeders must meet the minimum standards required by local, state, and sometimes federal law, the interpretation of such laws can differ significantly from one breeder to another. And even if a breeder has met the requirements, their standard of care may not meet consumers' expectations. As a result, interested people should request to tour the breeding facility and ask several questions to assess whether the breeder complies with the expectations of a responsible breeder and the expectations of the purchaser.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline