Puppy Mill Bill Cracks Down on Online Dog Sales

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 3:30pm
puppy mill dog

Great news! This week members of Congress reintroduced legislation to establish greater federal oversight of puppy mills and online dog sales.

The Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act would require commercial breeders who sell their puppies directly to the public, sight unseen, including via the web, to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Currently, only breeders who sell dogs to pet stores or to puppy brokers are subject to federal oversight.

Many puppies sold online come from puppy mills and are commonly bred in unsanitary, overcrowded and often cruel conditions without sufficient veterinary care, food, water or socialization. While facilities that breed puppies for commercial resale through pet stores are required to be licensed and inspected, breeders who sell directly to consumers, via the Internet, newspaper classifieds or other outlets, are exempt from any federal oversight.

“As the ASPCA has seen firsthand, the photos of happy, healthy puppies posted on a breeder’s website often grossly misrepresent what conditions are really like for these puppies and their parents,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “Puppy mills are able to completely evade federal oversight by taking advantage of a pre-Internet loophole in current law, but the PUPS Act would change that.”

As mentioned in USA Today, the PUPS Act will require that any breeder who sells more than 50 dogs each year to pet stores or online must meet federal standards.

“The current loophole has allowed too many dog breeders to get away with abusive behavior for far too long,” adds Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Puppy Mill Campaign. “We encourage Congress and the USDA to take meaningful steps to protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities.”

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to eradicate puppy mills, and how you can help, please visit

Add new comment



Lupe Andrade

The overpopulation of cats and dogs needs to stop so many shelters are forced to kill unwanted animals breeders are just adding to this over population problem

Denise Carr

50 is too much. If they SELL 1 animal, they should be subject to oversight and inspection.

B Freyberger

While I am totally against puppy mills and large breeders, the USDA does not have the manpower to regulate any violations. I would love it if the regulations would put puppy mills out of business completely. I always say Adopt don't shop!!


i think puppy mills should be shut down but there are some breeders like myself who take care of their pups and adults dogs i even feed them a good food think about it even if sone breeders had a licensed it will not change there are wayd around just like guns .. i love each and everypup and make sure they all go to good homes why should us good ppl be punished because of bad ppl??? a permit is all good and dandy but i think its wrong to punish everyone ..

Mir Ahsan

This needs to apply to all mills and needs to go universal. The disgusting Holocaust of animals needs to stop.

Eve angle

Save the puppies and dogs please !!

Barbara Bolt

Everyone needs to spay and nuter their dogs, cats, and horses to end the carnage. We domesticated them, that makes us responsible


Any and all legislation proposed to end the suffering forced on animals should be passed and passed immediately! While we flounder around and talk about it, the innocents are suffering and dying! As one of the few who actually have some influence in the way this legislation goes, please, please continue to bear down on puppy mills until they are, blessedly, a thing of the past.

Betty A Sturdy

Let's move out of the "dark ages" and take responsibility for the creatures in our care! Crack down on pet sales for profit. Make these people find a real job or a decent way of making a living. It's gone much too long at the expense of the innocent dogs, cats and otherwise. Pets enrich our lives, lets enrich thier's asap!

Adrienne Hernandez

The loophole must be closed. We must protect the dogs!