MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) - The 2017 "Horrible Hundred" list of the worst puppy mills is out, and the cruelty highlighted is unimaginable, especially to animal lovers.
This is the fifth time the Humane Society of the United States has singled out puppy mills by name from across the country.
Puppies in Wisconsin on unsafe wire flooring, a bulldog with an untreated eye disorder in Iowa, a puppy covered in sores are just a few of the shocking cases in the report.
Leaders at the Toledo Area Humane Society believe the puppy mills have to be exposed.
"Why would you put animals in this condition and let them stay in this condition? They are horrific, just the smell, the mess, the noise. It's, it's nasty," said Steve Heaven, the President and CEO of the Toledo Area Humane Society.
In the report, Ohio is tied for the second most with 12 puppy mills:
- Tens of thousands of dogs are born into puppy mills in Ohio each year
- Ohio families have suffered after buying sick or dying dogs that came from puppy mills
- A breeder must produce 9 litters of puppies and sell 60 puppies a year to be qualified as a "puppy mill"
- As of March 2017, Ohio has 230 known state-licensed puppy mills
None of the known puppy mills are in Northwest Ohio, but local pet owners might unknowingly buy one from a puppy store.
Dylan Cleghorn was at the Humane Society in Maumee, looking for his next puppy. He was glad the report on puppy mills was released.
"It lets people know that they're out there and it brings awareness to the cause of the cruelty to these animals," Cleghorn said.
It takes a lot of work to care for the Humane Society's dogs and cats.
But at the Humane Society in Maumee, it's a labor of love. Steve Heaven wants police and state lawmakers to read the report.
"You know we need probably stronger laws, somehow figure out how we can do this on a local level," Heaven said.
The report also said that state and federal agents have failed to license all facilities that should be, meaning hundreds of puppy mills in Ohio are completely unregulated. Read the full report here.
No pet stores were named. John Stottele, owner of The Family Puppy inside Franklin Park Mall, said their puppies do not come from "substandard breeders" and does not think puppy mills should be breeding puppies.
Stottele said that their puppies come from breeders in Indiana whose kennels are inspected by the USDA, AKC and Indiana Department of Animal Health.