White House Responds to Citizen Petition to Stop Puppy Mills

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 4:45pm

In the final days of 2011, the White House issued an official response to the online petition asking President Obama to crack down on puppy mills. The petition focused on the loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act that allows high-volume breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to avoid inspections and basic oversight. The response, signed by Rebecca Blue, United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, outlines the USDA’s plans to improve oversight of commercial dog breeders and to issue new rules to regulate those who sell puppies over the Internet.

“The existing regulations were drafted pre-Internet. They allow many commercial breeders to operate without a license and without any inspections—meaning they are not accountable to anyone for their breeding and care standards,” says Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Puppy Mills Campaign. “The ASPCA is encouraged that the USDA has committed to help end the suffering of millions of breeding dogs and protect consumers by finally closing this loophole.”

The petition was posted in September 2011 by The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Legislative Fund and the ASPCA. More than 32,000 Americans signed on, making it one of the most popular petitions on the White House’s We the People website.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s campaign to eradicate puppy mills, please visit

Add new comment



Jean Rouff

There is already too much animal suffering in the world. Puppy mills should be made illegal in order to relieve at least a little part of the suffering we inflict on helpless animals.