Alert! Last chance to comment on USDA rule to reform puppy mills

By on May 30, 2019 with 10 Comments

There has been an incredible response to our Horrible Hundred report on problem puppy mills and to our Petland investigation, both released this month. Tens of thousands of you have shared our blog posts on social media, and many have written to us with your own horror stories of buying animals from Petland or from other places that source animals from puppy mills.

Many of you are asking why businesses that have been found with sick or dying puppies are still permitted to operate, year after year, despite these ongoing violations.

The primary reason that this problem continues, despite all the attention we’ve brought to it, is a lack of enforcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency in charge of inspecting puppy mills that sell online or to pet stores like Petland. The USDA has been routinely relicensing problem dealers — even puppy mills that have been found repeatedly with emaciated, sick or dying animals on their premises.

We’ve also told you how the USDA has slowed down on citing those who violate Animal Welfare Act regulations and has taken down important puppy mill inspection records from its website, keeping the public entirely in the dark about whether the agency is properly inspecting and overseeing puppy mills in the nation.

But as your response to our investigations shows, Americans want no part of this cover-up. And right now you have a chance to help end the suffering that animals in these enterprises endure. But you need to act fast, by commenting before June 3rd on a proposed federal rule that would establish important reforms for animals trapped in mills.

As I wrote last month, the new rule could, if finalized and properly enforced, be a game-changer. Importantly, it would require an actual showing of compliance with the law before a breeder is allowed to continue operating, and would take steps toward closing a loophole in the regulations that lets puppy breeders, whose licenses have been revoked for severe and multiple Animal Welfare Act violations, to continue doing business as usual by relicensing under a family member’s name. It also proposes a requirement for enhanced veterinary care for animals held by dealers, exhibitors and research facilities, including annual hands-on veterinary exams and vaccinations for all dogs, and other commonsense measures, like requiring that all dogs and cats have regular access to fresh, clean water, among other improvements.

The problem of puppy mills is a deep-rooted one in our country, and one that will take a long time to resolve completely. The HSUS is on the job, raising awareness about mills and the government’s oversight of breeders through our investigations and our Horrible Hundred reports, and fighting at the federal, state and local level, and in the courts, to end this problem. But we cannot do this without your help. By commenting in support of the USDA rule, you could help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals trapped in puppy mills, so please use this comment form and let the agency know you support it. And if you would like to report a sick puppy you purchased at Petland or from any other seller, please tell us here. Together, we can work toward the day when no animal ever has to endure the misery of life in a puppy mill.

Leave a comment on the USDA proposed rule

Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Geraldine L Loar says:

    I certainly am agreeing to your policy. We had a puppy mill just closed down in Troy, Ohio (125 dogs). Had no idea we had one here. The dogs are now in safe homes or in the animal shelter temporairly with puppies and their new mothers. It was sickening the mess they were living in. The owner is being taken to court and her two teenage children were removed from the property also.

  2. Laurie Simino says:

    Puppy mills should be outlawed! Places like Perl and sell sick and dying pups. The dogs forced to breed, many have never been out of a cage in touched grass. Many of them are debarked. Once they are not fit for breeding they are given to a shelter and usually put to sleep. It is wrong!!!

  3. Alon Peer says:

    Puppy mills are animal cruelty.
    Stop Puppy Mills please

  4. Bonnie McAfoose says:

    I cannot say how I am feeling!!!

  5. James H. Burnette says:

    At every step of our local county legislature to improve laws that protect animals, the Farm Bureau tries to obstruct with their lobbyists and attorneys, because factory farming maximizes profits by neglecting their livestock, and warehousing them in brutal conditions.

    There is a need for sweeping reform in protection of pets, livestock, and wildlife.

  6. Nancy mcleod says:

    To not support this bill is unamerican. These animals depend on us to protect them. And unsuspecting Americans who buy these animals need to b protected. And people who run puppy mills r cruel and don’t deserve protection.

  7. Morgan Mascarich says:

    Do I really need to present an argument as to why puppy mills should be illegal?!

  8. Matt Trakas says:

    I feel like the new proposal does nowhere near enough. I mean,here it is 2019, & we are just now guaranteeing dogs access to fresh water??? It’s almost as though they are throwing us scraps to shut us up for a little while. But the biggest issue I have and this has been an “issue” since the inspector generals FIRST report(I think in 2011) about lack of enforcement at the USDA, is how do you force them to do their jobs, congress needs to address the concerns in BOTH inspector generals reports and pass some meaningful legislation. The USDA’s policy of “education” instead of “penalizing” was a joke, and I hope no one who really cared about the dogs unfortunate enough to be born in a puppy mill, really thought this policy would improve these horrendous conditions, and since that has supposedly ended,they are giving out fewer “citations” than ever. The Privacy concerns of some breeders as a reason to take down all information about these problematic facilities is almost laughable if it wasn’t for the fact that dogs will actually die because of this mentality,these breeders chose to have their business at their homes,and chose to engage in this kind of business, it was obvious our own government wasn’t providing the oversight needed and so the private sector took it upon themselves to “attempt” to provide oversight(or do their job for them), now, they prevent us from being able to do that???

  9. Sherri Wilson says:

    The “puppy mill”abuse and cruel life style needs to be stopped at once. It floods the shelters, rescues, pounds and streets with sick,unwanted, inbred, emaciated,unshowable, not lineage papers say. Owners unhappy but loves dog, Business wise, bad, real breeders who show and have top bloodlines and a 5 star rating should be allowed to breed, put a limit of dogs and limit on puppies up to 12 then next year 1 bred 1x so no 20 babies in 2 years, of register maybe like the top 25 of each breed, 1 year your 1st place next year your 27th and no breeding that year. But puppymills are no good for anyone but the pos that run the concentration camps for dogs.

  10. Paula Peters says:

    We have laws regarding puppy mills the laws need to be enforced it’s definitely heartbreaking to see these sweet forgiving animals rather be dogs cats or any other type of pet for selfish reasons for profit people say they want a designer dog if you go to the pound you can get any kind of designer dog you want

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