August 1, 2018

See for Yourself: USDA Photos Reveal Horrific Conditions for Breeding Dogs

People who breed puppies to be sold as pets must get a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if they have more than four breeding females and sell puppies wholesale (sight unseen) to pet stores, brokers and/or online. There are roughly 2,000 such breeders in the country, and they are subject to annual visits by USDA inspectors. 

In order to closely monitor these breeders and to illustrate to the public that they often are puppy mills, we have collected and posted tens of thousands of inspection photographs of violations inside USDA-licensed facilities (warning: graphic content). These photos, obtained through public records requests, provide critical information about the commercial dog breeding industry by showing just how awful life can be for the dogs. They stand on wire floors causing painful sores on their paws, drink water that’s green with algae, and endure extreme heat in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.

Last year, the USDA decided that the records and practices of these facilities should not be accessible to the public. Now we aren’t even able to identify the breeders who are committing these welfare violations—or learn what, if anything, is being done to stop them.

The USDA may be protecting commercial breeders, but we remain committed to exposing this industry.

Remember these photos when pet stores assure you that they “only get their puppies from USDA-licensed facilities” and know that this claim is not an assurance that the puppy was bred in humane conditions.

Why the USDA is protecting cruel breeders over the animals it is entrusted to protect? Please sign our petition demanding the agency restore public access to this lifesaving information.