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Let’s put an end to unlicensed puppy mills today! Urge the USDA to close the loophole for Internet puppy sellers.

Under the current requirements of the Animal Welfare Act, commercial dog breeders only have to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if they sell wholesale to pet shops or brokers. If they sell puppies directly to the public via the Internet, or by phone or mail, they can operate virtually under the radar and don’t have to provide even minimum standards of care for their dogs.

The USDA has recently proposed a rule to close this loophole by requiring that commercial breeders and dealers who sell to members of the public “sight unseen,” including those who sell over the phone or via the Internet, be licensed and inspected, and provide the same basic standards of care as those who sell wholesale to pet stores. This is a big step forward for dogs in puppy mills, and will crack down on the worst offenders who hide behind websites, classified ads and mail order catalogues.

The USDA is seeking public feedback on the proposed rule until July 16. We urgently need as many concerned citizens as possible to speak out in support of this critical reform.

Please contact the USDA before July 16 to convey your support for this long overdue reform.

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