The ASPCA Issues Statement Regarding the Office of the Inspector General's Audit of Large-Scale Dog Breeder Industry

May 26, 2010

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was horrified and saddened to read the Office of the Inspector General's audit detailing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s lax and ineffective enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) against licensed large-scale dog breeders and brokers known as “puppy mills.” The report found that despite regular inspections, breeders are allowed to operate facilities where dogs live in inhumane conditions—kennels overflowing with pools of urine and feces, food laden with dead cockroaches, dogs infested with ticks, and unattended injuries such as a mutilated leg, among other atrocities—without penalty. Unfortunately, we were not surprised. The ASPCA has been painfully aware of the cruel conditions to which dogs are regularly subjected at the hands of puppy mill operators who put profit above providing the most fundamental standards of care.

We commend the Office of the Inspector General for its important audit and urge consumers to avoid purchasing dogs from pet stores—retail or online—and instead adopt from their local shelter or a breed rescue group, or buy from a responsible breeder.

For more information about puppy mills, please visit