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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

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Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -Milan Kundera, novelist, playwright, and poet (b.1929)

Tiphany Gibson

I absolutely agree that pets should not be SOLD...these are little lives, completely dependant on us for everything. We owe them a life of love and care, not selling them like objects.
"Animals come into our lives as gifts from God, for companionship, to teach us, and to heal us. They deserve our very best efforts in caring for them" Dr. Ihor Basko, DVM


I am also totally against puppy mills and large breeders the USDA does not have the manpower to regulate any violations. I think even selling 1 puppy they should be inspected! It would wonderful if the regulations would put puppy mills out of business completely. Adopt don't shop!!

Roberta Pliner

What you (and HSUS and PETA) are trying to do is to get rid of all companion animals. You want ALL breeding to end, preferably immediately, even though there is actually a SHORTAGE of dogs nationwide. (Cats are a different story, but of course, you aren't subtle enough to separate cats from dogs.) You lie about overpopulation of dogs, but make no attempt to redistribute dogs from overcrowded (mostly southern) shelters to underutilized northern and midwestern shelters. You act as if dogs are interchangeable parts, that one shelter dog is as suitable for any owner as another, or, even more stupid, that any shelter reject is as good as a carefully bred, carefully selected purebred dog.
....Well, I won't help you, not one bit. Besides, I have a long memory. It's been over 20 years, but I have not forgotten that you killed my cat.

Susan Fanning

Puppy Mills should slowly but surely be eliminated because the cruelty that goes on in them is unbelieveable. The remaining animals that are left should be given to reputable breeders and rescues to be placed in good homes. But Puppy Mills should ultimately be put out of business!!

Fred Carola

SHut them down and pun ish them

Lee Ann

All puppy mills should be authorized-i see no need to treat these animals like they are treated. It seems to me if they were given better care there would be healtier puppies
50 is Disgraceful

Mary Beers

SO, this JUST applies to dogs? Don't other commercially bred pets need this protection too? Cat overpopulation is horrendous, not to mention the bird and reptile and spider breeder business is going WILD on the internet! I am not a supporter of big government, This is all a big con job to get your money for more wasteful spending. I have read many recent reports ( from USDA no less) that recap their OWN internal investigations into the current USDA dog breeder program. It has FAILED miserably! Even by their own accounting! Did you know that even if a breeder wants to VOLUNTARILY become licensed, they cannot? That is correct, not even for an additional fee. Reason being - they fully admit that they cannot inspect the operations they are currently responsible for! Throwing more money at a broken system will not fix it. Wake up.



Marsha Peal

I have a rescued dog from a puppy mill and she was a mess. These facilities (if you can call them that) need to be shut down completely and all sales of dogs or cats on the internet or in pet stores need to be stopped and stopped now.