350,000 Voices for Puppy Mill Dogs….

Comments Delivered to USDA in Support of Regulating Internet Puppy Mills

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Society, The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and a member of the social change platform Change.org together have gathered approximately 350,000 letters and signatures from concerned citizens, the last of which were hand-delivered today to the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in support of the agency’s efforts to regulate unlicensed puppy mills.

The USDA has proposed a rule that will require large-scale commercial breeders that sell pets over the Internet or by mail or phone, sight-unseen, to be licensed and inspected under the federal Animal Welfare Act. The public comment period closes today. Now the USDA will read and consider all comments before deciding final action on the proposed rule.

Many of you may have seen the petition floating around on Change.org last week and even more have commented on places like Twitter and Facebook about it.

The following statements were issued:

“The enormous public response to the USDA’s proposed rule illustrates just how strongly Americans support greater oversight of unlicensed puppy mills,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “The ASPCA has witnessed the abhorrent cruelty that often exists behind the pictures of happy puppies posted on a breeder’s website, and this rule would crack down on the worst of Internet breeders. We encourage the USDA to adopt a final rule that is enforceable, effective and covers as many commercial breeders as possible.”

“Unethical breeders have been using the Internet as a way to avoid regulation,” said Gregory Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society.  “That the USDA is taking the initiative to close this loophole, plus the nearly 350,000 letters and signatures collected by national animal advocacy and animal protection groups to support the proposed rule change, reflect a profound societal change — the growing will of the American public to protect puppies and other animals from unscrupulous breeders.”

“I have three rescued dogs from puppy mills and am an active member of the rescue community,” said Washington, D.C. resident Anne Gregory, who gathered more than 143,000 signatures on her petition on Change.org. “I’m so optimistic that this USDA loophole will be closed and dogs will be protected thanks to the caring individuals who signed my petition.”

“We asked the public to speak up for dogs in unlicensed puppy mills — and hundreds of thousands responded. This level of support shows the intensity of concern about the humane treatment of animals,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We thank the Obama administration and USDA for proposing this change and encourage them to make it final in short order.” The HSUS gathered more than 111,000 letters in support of the rule.

“If enacted, this proposed rule will essentially achieve the same reform as pending congressional legislation which has more than 235 bipartisan cosponsors in the House and Senate,”  said Michael Markarian, president of HSLF. “This overwhelming bipartisan support demonstrates that Americans of all political stripes want dogs protected from abuse and it’s time to crack down on unlicensed puppy mill dealers.”

“Veterinary professionals know firsthand the suffering of puppies born in unlicensed puppy mills and the anguish of families who bring home a sick or dying puppy,” said Dr. Susan Krebsbach of HSVMA. “This change is long overdue, and on behalf of our 4,500 veterinary professional members nationwide, we encourage the agency to finalize it quickly.”

How do you feel about the proposed change? How do you feel about USDA’s current enforcement (or lack thereof) on puppy mills or large breeding facilities? Share with me in the comments.

6 Responses to “350,000 Voices for Puppy Mill Dogs….”

  1. Jason says:

    USDA’s current enforcement on puppy mills and large scale breeders is nil, poor at best. They have no regulations and I think the last I read, each USDA officer from APHIS was to see like, 6 breeders in a day’s time or something?? How are they supposed to do real enforcement with so few officers and so little time? Where does the fault lie?

  2. Lewis says:

    The USDA’s so called ‘enforcement’ is preposterous – the USDA is a joke and so is APHIS to reply to the comment above. The workers dont give a crap about the animals, thats why they let them literally get away wiht murder.

  3. melissa teegarden says:

    Hello, I have serious concerns over a puppy mill that i just got my new dog from. I did not reilize at the time exactly what was going on. After i got home I notices that she would not walk on the ground and developed alot of anxiety over a coller and leash. I contacted them and asked about the problem and she told me that she had never walked on the ground before. She is 8 years old and has been in kennel her whole life. that is when I realized what was going on. there were several animals and she said I could name her myself because they dont name thm. The dog will nolonger take care of puppies if she got pregnant so that is why she wanted to get red of her she was of no use to her anymore. It is heartbreaking to try to teach her not to be afraid of walking on the ground. I have to house break her and teach her to walk on a leash. It’s horrible and I need help. This has to stop. thank you

    • Tammy Dressing says:

      Whatever you do..do NOT give up!! I rescued a breeder dog and I spent the first 3 months of her new life with me. She just stood in the corner and wouldn’t stop shaking. She was afraid of everything. I have had her for 7 years…she is still afraid of alot ot things…still foes not like to be on a leash…and still has to sit with her back against something so she can see what is coming at her. She has just now begun to chew on bones and show some excitment…she even plays a little now…it has been a long journey but I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING! Good luck and hang in there…the rewards on the journey is priceless!

  4. Melanie M says:

    Great support coming out for this – WE HATE MILLS!!!

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