May 24, 2012

From the ASPCA

Dear Animal Advocates,

We need your help! Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a proposed rule to close a loophole in current law that has “threatened the health and humane treatment of pets sold sight unseen over the Internet and via phone- and mail-based businesses.” Please act now to make sure this important rule is implemented.

Currently, only breeders who sell dogs to pet stores or to puppy brokers are required to be licensed and inspected by the USDA. Due to the wording of the federal Animal Welfare Act—passed 40 years ago, before existence of the Internet—a large (and growing) population of commercial breeders has been able to escape federal licensing and regulation.

What this means is that in many cases, no one is checking up on breeders who sell puppies directly to consumers over the Internet. As the ASPCA has seen firsthand, the photos of happy, healthy puppies posted on a breeder’s website often grossly misrepresent what conditions are really like for these puppies and their parents.

ASPCA experts have reviewed the USDA’s proposed rule—we support it, and have a few suggestions regarding how it could be made stronger. Please help us ensure that the Internet-breeder licensing loophole is closed!

What You Can Do

The USDA is accepting comments from the public on this issue for a short time. Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center online today to quickly and easily submit a comment to the USDA, letting the agency know that you support the proposed rule to close a loophole that has caused untold thousands of dogs to suffer inhumane treatment without any federal or public oversight.

Thank you for taking action for puppy mill dogs!

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