Please Speak Up for Puppy Mill Dogs -- USDA Accepts Comments through Wednesday

Urge the USDA to close the 'internet loophole' for puppy mills -- comments allowed through midnight on Wednesday, August 15th.

The United States Department of Agriculture will consider comments through Wednesday, August 15th about a proposed rule to hold online puppy sellers to the same standards that suppliers to pet stores are held to.

While the USDA only requires minimal standards of care for commercial puppy breeders (commonly known as Puppy Mills), the law does not extend to breeders  who sell directly to the public. 

This is often referred to as the 'online loophole' as it allows commercial breeders who market their puppies over the internet, by phone, or through catalogs to operate without any federal inspections.

“This is a very significant proposed federal action, since thousands of large-scale breeders take advantage of a loophole that allows them to escape any federal inspections,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.  “Dogs in puppy mills often live in small, overcrowded cages, living in filth and denied veterinary care. We need more eyes on these operations, and this rule will help.”

The proposed rule would require large-scale, commercial puppy breeders and dealers who sell to the public “sight unseen,” to abide by the same basic standards of care as those who sell wholesale to pet stores.

The proposed rule will not affect small hobby breeders who sell puppies directly to the public from their homes.  Small 'hobby' breeders who have less than five breeding females continue to be exempt from USDA licensing requirements.

Although the proposed rule is widely supported by animal-welfare groups including the ASPCA, the HSUS, and Best Friends Animal Society, there is one 'Champion of Dogs' who is against the legislation.  The American Kennel Club, which has been accused by the HSUS of representing the interests of breeders over the interests of the actual dogs they 'champion,' is urging its membership to oppose the law.

If you've read any of the reports about how puppies are legally raised in commercial breeding facilities, or watched any of the videos online, (just google 'puppy mills') it is hard to imagine how this loophole has existed this long, let alone fathom why any animal welfare organization would oppose it.

The proposed rule comes on the heels of an HSUS investigation which it claims demonstrated widespread consumer fraud and abuse throughout the commercial puppy mill industry.  The investigation’s findings led to a lawsuit against Purebred Breeders, LLC, which owns and operates almost 800 websites. The lawsuit alleges that the company uses deceptive sales practices to dupe unsuspecting consumers into purchasing dogs from puppy mills(View video footage of the investigation).

Although the proposed rule will not put an end to the suffering of breeding dogs in puppy mills, it will require thousands of previously unregulated commercial breeding facilities to finally be inspected and to conform to the (very) minimal standards of the Animal Welfare Act.

Please take a few moments now to contact the USDA to show your support (click here).

Thank You for taking action for puppy mill dogs!

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Edie Kehoe August 16, 2012 at 03:11 AM
It would seem that every industry needs regulating these days. But, Puppy Mill or any breeder is supposed to produce happy, healthy well adjusted puppies that should live a normal life span without being breed with a higher probability of underlying undetectable health problems. How can a puppy be well adjusted if its mother is confined to a cage without health care while producing more litters of puppies per year than is healthy? That is why there needs to be inspections to all puppy breeding facilities.
PatriciaHouck August 16, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Please you need to close this kind of business that usually are owned by animal abusers and they don't care about the health and happiness of these lovely souls, you need to have strong regulations in order to protect and save the lives of hundred of neglected animals and stop with being so weak protecting this criminals. Act now!
kym August 16, 2012 at 05:13 AM
you need 2 stop this from happening keep the animals safe
Nancy Klotz August 16, 2012 at 03:01 PM
There is no need to have any puppy mills in this country. They are presently an inhumane and unnecessary institution. The sale of puppies over the internet only exacerbates all of the problems that puppy mills create. With sweet and cuddly looking puppies being shown on websites people are again misled into believing that they are dealing with a wholesome caring service that nurtures your new little friend. Nothing could be further from the truth. With animals being euthanized by the thousands everyday in this country we must put an end to puppy mills and encourage educating people to adopt from shelters and rescue organizations. It is the only humane thing to do.
KerriAnn Hofer August 17, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Thank You All for supporting much-needed Puppy Mill regulations -- of course, the only way to close the mills is to eliminate the demand -- please help educate people about the connection between Pet Stores and Puppy Mills. If you're in the Danbury area, come join the fun tomorrow (Saturday) at Brookstock, a concert at the Brookfield Municipal Center (100 Pocono Road, Brookfield,) to raise funds for the Danbury Animal Welfare Society, more info at daws.org.


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