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MSPCA-Angell Takes in Nearly Two Dozen Purebred and So-Called Designer Dogs from Midwest Commercial Breeders

Poodles, Pugs, Schnauzers and Others Arrived in Massachusetts on May 18

 BOSTON, May 20, 2024 – 22 specialty breed dogs rescued from a commercial breeder—including Cocker Spaniels, Papillons, and Havanese—are resting and recuperating following their weekend journey to Massachusetts from Missouri, the MSPCA-Angell announced today. The organization is partnering with the National Mill Dog Rescue on the transport.

The flight—arranged by the Bissell Pet Foundation—arrived at Hanscom Field in Bedford on the afternoon of May 18, where it was met by MSPCA vans that immediately brought the dogs to the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem to serve out their state-mandated 48-hour quarantine.

The dogs had been living in over-crowded commercial breeding facilities, commonly known as puppy mills. Dogs raised in those environments are often over-bred and do not receive proper medical care and socialization, according to Vice President of the MSPCA’s Animal Protection Division, Mike Keiley.

“National Mill Dog Rescue works with commercial breeders to help find better options for dogs that are used in commercial breeding facilities,” he explained. “It’s an important mission that that we want to help with however we can, which often means bringing dogs to Massachusetts where we’re confident loving homes await.”

“But, that’s just one piece in stopping the inhumane practices of puppy mills,” he elaborated. “More needs to be done, and a big piece of that is stopping the sale of puppies in pet shops.”

Time to Act: Stop the Puppy-Mill-to-Pet-Shop Pipeline!

Legislation pending at the State House—bills S. 549, S. 550, and H. 826—would ban pet shops in Massachusetts from selling dogs, cats, and rabbits, something that MSPCA Advocacy Director, Kara Holmquist, says is integral in ending the suffering of dogs like the MSPCA’s recent arrivals.

“Inhumane commercial breeding facilities supply pet shops with animals for their stores,” she explained. “In those places, females can be bred as early and often as possible, and puppies are often taken from their mothers at such young ages that they’re predisposed to a range of problematic behavioral issues.”

“Plus, the dogs can be inbred or overbred, which causes a lot of health and genetic disorders. And, they can be kept in crowded conditions without socialization.”

“If pet stores are no longer able to sell dogs, cats, and rabbits, fewer animals will suffer in those facilities,” she added.

The measure would allow consumers to buy the animals from responsible breeders, and pet shops would be allowed to partner with shelters and rescue organizations to provide animals for adoption in their stores.

“These important bills to stop the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline are still pending in their initial legislative committee,” Holmquist added. “Time is running out for them to pass before the legislative session ends July 31, so we need residents’ help! Please contact your state legislators to urge them to push for these bills to advance.”

More information on the bills may be found at

Adopt These Dogs!

“Some of the dogs are a little shy, which is understandable given what they’ve been through,” said Keiley.

“Dogs in these situations often have specific behavior needs, so their future adopters may need to be very patient with them,” he elaborated. “But we know that they’ll make perfect pets for the right homes when they’re ready to find them.”

The dogs range in age from one to ten-years-old. They will be available for adoption following their state-mandated 48-hour quarantine and after receiving any medical attention they may need.

“It’s also common that dogs from commercial breeders have greater medical needs, so it may take some time before they’re ready for adoption,” Keiley added. “We’re asking that people please be patient as we give these pups the care they need.”

The dogs will be added to the MSPCA’s available animal page when they’re ready for adoption. The organization asks that interested adopters visit the Northeast Animal Shelter during open hours or submit an inquiry at after the dogs are available.