Where there are acts of extreme animal cruelty there is the Humane Society of the United States offfering rewards to catch the culprits who commit the worst animal crimes.

This week, to mark the sixth annual Puppy Mill Action Week, HSUS is putting up a special reward in honor of Mother's Day: $5,000 to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty.

Why target puppy mills? Because it is the mother dogs who suffer the most in puppy mills. They spend their lives in cramped cages,never setting foot on the ground or even seeing the outside, surviving on poor quality food, getting no veterinary care and churning out puppies that are sold at pet stores and over the Internet reaping large profits for their owners.

"Many people don't realize that when they buy a puppy from a pet store or online they are most likely condemning the mother of that puppy to a life of misery in a puppy mill," said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the puppy mills campaign for HSUS.

To report an anonymous tip call 1-877-MILL-TIP.

Here's what else HSUS has going on during puppy mill action week: its education affiliate, Humane Society University, (which by the way I was unaware of until today) is adding a new online course for animal advocates focused on stopping puppy mills. The school also offers a wide array of other animal welfare and sheltering classes, including managing feral cat colonies and how to handle fearful pets in emergency situations.

Also this year, HSUS' puppy mills campaign launched the video contest "Why Puppy Mills Stink." Contestants submitted 90-second videos for the contest, among them Donna Baker, whose video below gives a glimpse of the struggle to restore life to puppy mill survivors taken in by Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue.

Fnalists' videos are posted online for the public to vote on through Thursday, May 10. The winning video will be announced Friday, May 11.