Yesterday, the ASPCA sent an urgent alert (please see below) to animal advocates across the U.S.asking them to help gather the public’s support for the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act. This legislation will require all commercial dog breeders in the US–who sell more than 50 dogs annually–to be licensed and inspected. Today, under the Animal Welfare Act passed in 1966, only the breeders who sell to puppy brokers and pet stores have to be licensed by the USDA. That means breeders who sell directly to the public – including over the internet – are not subject to USDA law.
This legislation would close the loophole in federal law that here-to-date ignores commercial dog breeders who may be breeding puppies in very poor conditions (i.e., puppy mills) and selling them on websites that might otherwise appear to be legitimate.
To read more about this issue on the ASPCA website, click the following title: Laws That Protect Dogs in Puppy Mills
To learn more about the US Animal Welfare Act, click here to access a summary published by Professor David Favre of the Animal Legal & Historical Center at Michigan State University College.
Unfortunately, even USDA laws protecting animals are not sufficiently enforced. The US Humane Society issued a report about this problem on May 25, 2010. They issued their comments in response to a report from The Office of the Inspector General that critized the USDA’s history of lax oversight of dog dealers under the Animal Welfare Act. Click here to access a copy of the Inspector General’s report titled, Animal Care Program; Inspections of Problematic Dealers.
Click here to read a July 1, 2010 report from JAVMA News about the USDA’s failure to bring dog breeders into compliance with current federal law.
In the midst of one stomach-turning report after another of the horrible conditions of “puppy mills,” why do people continue to purchase puppies in pet stores; from the Internet; and other cloudy venues that do not allow them first-hand access to the breeding and living conditions of these animals?
Dear Animal Advocates,
There is a giant loophole in U.S. law concerning the federal oversight of large-scale commercial dog breeders (commonly known as puppy mills). Currently, breeders who sell to puppy brokers and pet stores have to be licensed by the USDA, while those who sell puppies directly to the public do not.
However, a new bill before the U.S. House of Representatives, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act, will bring all commercial dog breeders in the United States under federal oversight by requiring any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually to the public—including over the Internet—to be licensed and inspected. The bill will also require all licensed breeders to exercise every dog daily.
The PUPS Act has been introduced in past Congressional sessions, but has always timed out. We’ve been given another chance at enacting this extremely important humane legislation, which would improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs nationwide.
What You Can Do
It is vital that members of Congress hear that puppy mill reform is important to their constituents. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to email your U.S. representative in Washington, D.C., and urge him or her to support and cosponsor the PUPS Act.
Thank you for your continued support of the ASPCA and our nation’s animals!