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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 All of this happens hidden from public view because outdated laws haven’t applied to Internet breeders.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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IT WOULD BE GREAT if somebody could shut down "All About Puppies" on North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. They advertise that all of their puppies "come from happy, healthy, loving homes" - what a bunch of CRAP.

caroline connor...

I would like to see "ALL" puppy stores not be allowed to sell puppies and in this way perhaps the puppy mill monsters will have no choice but to get out of the business


This is a start....we have so much further to go....they need to be ALL SHUT DOWN NOW!!!!!


I agree! Almost all people that make money from selling/breeding domestic animals are heartless and greedy:/

Lee Gall

Amen Janet I recently adopted a little Pom that was from a puppy mill he was a pathetic mess when he was first rescued. I am pleased to say he is responding very well to a loving enviroment


Unfortunately the new APHIS bill also catches many good, responsible breeders in its net. If you have 4 intact bitches (even if you are only breeding one or fewer litters per year) and have sold a puppy to a previous buyer who lives out of state, who decides she doesn't need to come see the puppy before purchase, that breeder would be subject to USDA regulations.

Maybe you'll say, "Great!" Problem is, the USDA regulations are designed for *facilities*. A normal home where the dogs live as treasure companions that have free access cannot pass USDA inspection. Dry wall and hardwood are not impervious to moisture, and would fail inspection.

Unless you are of the opinion that dogs should not be kept of pets, not all breeders should be shut down. Just the commercial ones, who sadly can easily pass USDA inspections and pay the fines for failing.


This new regulation is for rescues too, so be careful what you ask for!!


hope this includes all flea markets too. they all hurt the animals so much and pay no taxes. would like to see all breeders have to pay taxes. if not so profitable they might stop.




I agree. I have a relative who bought puppies from a flea market and I was disappointed when I found out.