Reports on Commercial Breeders and USDA Policies

The ASPCA puts together a wide range of reports to provide detailed information to lawmakers, media and the public about a variety of issues pertaining to commercial breeding facilities and puppy mills.

USDA Enforcement: Fiscal Year 2023

Report Highlights:
In February 2024, the ASPCA analyzed USDA enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and produced a report on the data found from Fiscal Year 2023.

  • USDA documented over 1,000 Animal Welfare Act violations at over 400 dog dealer facilities.
  • The agency took action against only four dog dealers.
  • This pattern of inaction and poor enforcement is hurting dogs and other animals.

Where Florida Pet Stores Get Puppies

Report Highlights:
In January 2024, the ASPCA published a review of thousands of puppy import records, USDA inspection reports, state investigations and pet store complaints to provide the public a detailed view of where Florida pet stores get their puppies.

  • The Midwestern region of the U.S. is the largest exporter of puppies to Florida pet stores, with Missouri being the top source.
  • From 2019 to 2023, Florida pet stores sourced dogs from many cruel puppy mills, 50 of which are detailed in this report.
  • Many puppy-selling pet stores received multiple complaints through the Better Business Bureau or Florida Department of Agriculture where consumers claimed their puppies fell ill within hours of bringing them home.

Courtesy Visits Report

Report Highlights:
In September 2023, the ASPCA composed an analysis of Courtesy Visits conducted by USDA inspectors at licensed facilities from 2018 to 2022.

  • Courtesy Visits are announced site visits or phone calls used to provide guidance or education to licensees or applicants on the Animal Welfare Act requirements.
  • Unlike normal inspections, Courtesy Visits are not posted publicly and no violations are recorded, even if they are severe.
  • Despite the agency’s claim that Courtesy Visits improve compliance with the Animal Welfare Act, nearly 40% of dog dealers had violations documented on an inspection conducted after a Courtesy Visit, and
  • Courtesy Visits did not improve compliance above the baseline for dog dealers.

USDA Enforcement: Fiscal Year 2022

Report Highlights:
In February 2023, ASPCA analyzed USDA enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and produced a report on the data found from Fiscal Year 2022.

  • The USDA was not keeping up with inspections yet continued to issue commercial breeding licenses.
  • Violations were not reported because of the agency’s programs intended to limit inspections.
  • Enforcement action was rarely taken by the USDA when licensees violated the Animal Welfare Act.
  • Reports showed examples of the USDA’s inaction, even as dogs suffered.