Victory! New Rule Brings Internet Puppy Breeders under Federal Oversight

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 11:15am

Every year, thousands of puppies are sold over the Internet and shipped to consumers like any other product. Websites advertising happy, healthy puppies commonly conceal a grim reality: They’re often fronts for puppy mills—large-scale, commercial breeding operations that rear dogs in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions with complete disregard for the animals’ wellbeing. Breeding dogs typically spend their entire lives in tiny, wire-bottomed cages churning out litters of puppies until they can no longer reproduce. All of this happens hidden from public view because outdated laws haven’t applied to Internet breeders. Until now.

Today, the USDA steps into the Internet age by issuing a rule that brings breeders selling animals to consumers sight-unseen under the regulatory umbrella of the Animal Welfare Act. That means for the first time, USDA inspectors will be laying eyes on animals who have been ignored for too long.

It also means that the ASPCA will be able to provide the public with a window into Internet breeding facilities through our No Pet Store Puppies campaign. The No Pet Store Puppies site boasts over 10,000 photos taken by USDA inspectors at licensed breeding facilities, allowing you to see where pet store puppies really come from. Once the USDA begins inspecting Internet sellers, we will be able to expose the bleak lives of puppies sold over the Internet, too.

We commend the USDA and the Obama Administration for taking this long-awaited step, and we thank you and the more than 350,000 supporters who told the USDA how crucial this rule is. 

For more information about puppy mills and to see the conditions captured by USDA inspectors, please visit   

Take Action!
It’s important to let government officials know when we think they’ve done a good job—it also never hurts to remind them that animal welfare is important to their constituents. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center right now to quickly thank the USDA and President Obama for taking steps to protect our nation’s long-suffering puppy mill dogs.

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Riverview Acres in Rexford NY calls themselves AKC breeders...which in reality their dogs live in filth & are not taken care of! They have been around for a long time and overlooked but should be shut down!


I do not commend the USDA at all. It is just a title, and honestly the public,animal rescue, and advocates need to get more educated on what their standards really are! Doing my on research I was sickened to see how many breeding facilities (USDA) regulated were left to continue their disgusting works! Standards to them is just a word, and more LIES to the public, and the end result the animals are still suffering! So just because they are now getting involved with internet sales does not put my mind or faith in them at ease.


It was about time ! Thanks !

Ana Bachman

I would like to see "all puppy stores" and individuals not be allowed to sell puppies. They would all need to be given to a rescue group. Then people would not add to the problem by allowing their dog to breed to make money. That is why we have so many dogs without homes.


Anyone who buys a puppy from a commercial pet shop must hate dogs. Why reward abusers with your money?

Brigitte Stern

With the internet, more customers are purchasing pets directly from the breeder, but without visiting the breeding facility, so the ‘public policing’ aspect is gone. Greedy backyard breeders wants to run their breeding business under the radar, do not want to be legislated, they don't want anyone messing with their very lucrative source of income. The irony is that "some-responsible breeders" are the loudest who are screaming and blaming others. To them is the fear of losing extra income "subsidized" [by buying public], pupping litter after litter! Hobby breeders, are worry that this bill takes away a homeowner's right to privacy in their own home as the USDA or their contractors can enter their home and inspect if they SUSPECT that animals are living in bad conditions. Worry that this bill reduced the ability of the breeder to obtain privately and secretly operating their breeding BUSINESS. Worry about adding more federal oversight and regulation into the daily lives of Americans citizens calling this bill unconstitutional.... If you have nothing to hide where is the problem, where is your transparency and accountability..??? A monumental Victory for backyard and puppy mills bred Dogs, and those who advocate on their behalf....HAPPY TAIL !


You could not be more wrong. My -home- cannot pass USDA inspection because wood and dry wall are not impervious to moisture. Period. It doesn't matter if I have nothing to hide. It doesn't matter if my dogs are in great shape, and everything is as clean and lovely as one could want. I will fail inspection because there is no way a normal home can pass.


i would like to have a kitten woulden't you guys


Thank you, thank you, thank you. May your GOD Bless you for taking care of this matter. It is so horrible what I have seen with all animals both great and small.


One more thing, it's not just puppies, kitty's, horses, pigs, etc... but, also ferrets etc. We are suppose to be humans.???