I'm sure I don't have to tell you how much people love dogs but even with that in mind, it's still easy to be surprised by how intense the demand for them really is.
According to Business Insider, there are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the United States alone that have a combined total of 213,000 breeding dogs on hand. With each dog giving birth to an average of nine puppies per year, that means over 13 million puppies are sold every year.
Only about 2,000 of these breeders are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and even then, their regulations left animal rights groups with a lot to be desired.
However, it seems that a sweeping suite of improvements could be underway to ensure that it's at least possible to make an ethical choice of breeder.