puppy millThe USDA is finally taking a stab at cracking down on internet pet sales by issuing new regulations that will require sellers to be federally licensed.  Those who breed more than four females and sell the puppies either online, by mail or over the phone will now be facing the same rules and regulations as wholesale breeders.  No, it’s not a perfect solution but it is a step in the right direction.

Puppy breeders, ie. millers, estimated to be as many as 4,500 or more, as well as those who sell other pets such as kitten and rabbits, have been skirting the laws by selling online and hundreds and thousands of animals continue to suffer with no oversight, nothing more than commodities used, abused and used up, then tossed away when they can no longer produce.

Many breeders who run their businesses online have skirted federal oversight by classifying themselves as retail pet stores, which are exempt from licensing requirements. Commercial pet stores aren’t required to have licenses because buyers can see the animals before they buy them and decide whether they appear healthy and cared for. But that’s not the case when buying over the Internet.

“There are hundreds of thousands of dogs languishing in small wire cages, denied vet care and exposed to the elements that literally had no protection under federal law,” Pacelle said. “This turns that around.”

“This rule represents a meaningful effort by the USDA to target problematic, large-scale breeding operations and will require them to meet minimum care standards for breeding dogs and the puppies they produce,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “The ASPCA has witnessed the abhorrent cruelty that often exists behind the pictures of happy puppies posted on a breeder’s website, and this rule will crack down on the worst Internet breeders.”

Many, including the AKC, are arguing that the new rules are overly broad and will drive small breeders out of business. USDA’s Shea says the department set the minimum of four breeding females to ensure that smaller sellers would be able to continue offering puppies.

“People who have generally been thought of as ‘hobby breeders’ continue to be exempt,” Shea said.

Personally, I do know there are good breeders out there, people who breed for the love of the breed.  Reputable breeders are not going to sell their puppies online or in pet stores.  The certify the health and there is a contract.  If there is a problem they will rectify it.  Their dogs are not overbred and they live in a loving environment. You will see the pups, the parents and learn about the history, nothing is hidden… nothing is dirty or unkempt.   There is a big difference between a reputable breeder and a miller or BYB (back yard breeder).

Puppy mills are houses of horror and hell… you don’t know what a puppy mill is or don’t believe that are that bad or need oversight or regulation?  Take a few minute and read about the horrors of puppy mills then come back here and tell me what you think!


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