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USDA: Americans Want an End to Puppy Mill Cruelty

This petition had 1,379 supporters

The problem: Mass production of puppies in cruel conditions for profit. Outdated regulations and enforcement for puppy mill breeders or commercial dog farmers. Animal overpopulation & euthanasia rates. Taxpayer burden. 

The reason you care: If you have experienced the joy of having a dog as a happy family companion, or if you pay taxes, this should matter to you.

The solution: Updated Animal Welfare Act regulations & strict enforcement. Countrywide ban on commercial dog breeding. Sign this petition!


United States Department of Agriculture

Attn:  Bernadette Juarez, AC Deputy

1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, DC  20250


Dear Ms. Juarez:

We are writing to you on behalf of the millions of dogs suffering in Puppy Mills today.  We ask that all mass breeding of dogs in the United States be stopped.   1.3 Million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year.  Many of these animals are healthy and adoptable pets; however, shelters do not have the capacity or funding to sustain the number of dogs that flood their doors.  Shelters must take in the sick and unwanted, many times from hoarding situations or puppy mills that have finally incurred enough infractions and complaints to be investigated more thoroughly. The rescued ones are lucky. So many more of “man’s best friend” never see life outside of the breeding factories.        

Puppy millers hide behind their licenses and the “standards” set up by the USDA, which are grossly outdated, ineffective, & under enforced. With over 10,000 puppy mills estimated in the United States (some licensed, some not), we know that not all mills are monitored properly and not all inadequacies are corrected. The greed of those involved in this industry is profound, and it is the voiceless breeding dogs that suffer.  Puppy mill breeding dogs are restricted to wire cages with little to no room to move in.  Often times the cages are stacked on top of one another and the animals are covered in feces and urine.  These dogs receive absolutely no veterinary care, minimal food and water and their shelters leave them cold in the winter and hot in the summer.  Puppy mill breeders spend no money to keep these dogs healthy physically or emotionally.  These animals never get to feel grass or a loving touch.  They are doomed to breed every heat cycle and when they cannot breed anymore they are killed.   To profit off the misery of companion animals is unacceptable to everyone EXCEPT the person receiving the money.   We ask you to help us be the change in the world that we wish to see

Animal cruelty is illegal in all 50 states.  If a dog were to be found in a private home in the condition the puppy mill dogs live, it would be taken away and the person prosecuted.  Yet, puppy millers have licenses to over breed and enslave these animals into a life of cruelty and suffering. 

We ask you to start with greatly improving the standard of care for breeding dogs.  We request that all breeders who have more than 4 breeding females OR produce more than 40 puppies per year AND sell puppies directly to the public, via the internet, or via pet stores now be required to have a USDA license. We ask that all licensed breeders be made to adhere to strict conditions of care for these dogs.  

· Restrict the use of wire cages as the dog’s primary space.  Cages should be at minimum three times the length and height of the dog from nose to tip of tail

· Require breeders to provide the dogs with exercise space and outside the cage time, as well as video proof documenting that the space is used.

· Require that all dogs are routinely, at least once a year, examined by a licensed veterinarian and thorough documentation is produced.

· Require that all breeding dogs are vaccinated according to veterinary industry standards in order to pass immunity from dam to puppy.

·  Limit the amount of breeding for each female.

· Provide ample clean and fresh food (at least twice daily) and water (24 hours a day).

· Provide heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. 

· Restrict the number of intact dogs on a breeding property to 25.

· Require the use of sanitary bedding options in each kennel

· Require more swift enforcement of above regulations and more severe fines when regulations aren’t met.

· Require public thorough photo documentation of each inspection.

· Require that the address of the puppy’s birth location be printed on all sales documentation for the puppy. No P.O. boxes permitted.

Ultimately, we would like to prohibit mass and commercial breeding of dogs for the pet industry.  There are millions of dogs in shelters waiting for their forever homes. The breeding is unnecessary and places burden on the taxpayers.

We ask you to do everything in your power to put a stop to this inhumanity to man’s best friend.   There will never be peace until we stop those who profit off of cruelty and suffering.  The cruelty of puppy mills has no place in 21st century America, and we need your help to put an end to the misery.


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