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.

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.