Aug 26, 2023

End Winona County’s stamp of approval for puppy mills

From: Olivia Hanson


Have you seen the yard signs throughout Winona County about no more puppy mills? Hope so.

We’re trying to get people aware of this cruel industry (puppy mills) so the County Board will take action and ban future permits for these kennels.

Some residents are still not aware that our county even has puppy mills. Winona County is known as the “Puppy Mill Capitol of Minnesota.” This is because our county has, for years, granted permits for these facilities to operate. We now have the most permitted kennels (12, most located in Utica and St. Charles) in the state and the most federally licensed kennels in the state. Morrison County used to top the list; Winona County surpassed them.

It all starts locally. With a local permit, a puppy mill can then also obtain a federal license to sell and ship puppies to pet stores nationwide. The government gives these industrial kennels a “stamp of approval” to mass produce puppies, even though numerous scientific studies have proven the harm to these animals. It’s all about making money.

This is not just a local issue. Winona County breeders sell the puppies to other states. Import and export documents show these breeders sell to Petland and other pet stores in Missouri, Florida, Colorado, New York, and Iowa. The puppies are pulled away from their mothers at eight weeks and then shipped to brokers or stores where they sit in cages waiting to be purchased, all of which creates huge stress on their little bodies.

The stress on the adult dogs (male and female) kept in the kennels for years to be bred repeatedly is also heartbreaking. If you have a dog yourself, imagine keeping your dog in a pen or cage for years, often on cement or wire floors, with no walks, no playtime, and little or no interaction with people. After a few years, the dog is no longer a dog. They are mentally and physically broken. But that’s OK, because the government says it is OK; they grant the permits and licenses.

Please take the time to learn more about this outdated and cruel business model that “mass produces puppies” and sells these animals at huge prices at pet stores.

As the yard sign says “No more puppy mills in Winona County. Learn more and sign the petition at”

Please, learn more. Speak up. Sign the petition. And want a yard sign? Contact us through the website.

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