This week, the USDA announced new regulations that will help close some of the loopholes that breeders running puppy mills have been exploiting to keep their operations in full force.
As a mom to a once abused shelter dog and to another likely puppy mill pup, Taylor, who before she died, touched every life she came in contact with, I cannot fathom how people can be so cruel to those who have no voice. It’s hard to even read the stories of abuse and look at the pictures.
Thank goodness for amazing people, like the foster mom of my dog, who are strong enough to stand for the silent and stare cruelty in the face everyday to make a difference. Once again, I am moved with hope. Change, in a grandiose sense can feel impossible, but when taken one step a time, has a remarkable affect.
Here is an excerpt from Wayne Pacelle’s blog posted September 10, 2013 on the Humane Society’s page:
Tens of thousands of dogs suffering in substandard, filthy, and overcrowded cages for years on end will finally get the protection they deserve as a result of a rule the U.S. Department of Agriculture will formally adopt today. This change, a long-held aspiration for The HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Doris Day Animal League, is decades in the making and will extend federal oversight to thousands of puppy mills that do business online.
Of the dozens of puppy mills that The HSUS has assisted in closing down over the past five years, the vast majority were selling puppies online and escaping any federal oversight because a loophole in federal Animal Welfare Act regulations exempts Internet sellers. Because large-scale dog breeders who sell animals to pet stores are regulated, but breeders who sell directly to the public are not, there has been a massive migration of breeders to the latter sales strategy within the last decade or so. If they could sell dogs and escape any federal oversight, why not get in on that act and continue to cut corners on animal care?
The HSUS, HSLF, and DDAL pointed out that it was fundamentally unfair that people involved in the same underlying business enterprise (breeding dogs to sell for profit) would face entirely different regulatory standards. It was a circumstance ripe for fraud and misrepresentation. Internet sellers of puppies often displayed images of puppies frolicking in open fields. In reality, the dogs were languishing, crammed inside feces-encrusted cages, receiving no protection from the elements and no veterinary care whatever. And until the legal standard was modified, the federal government couldn’t take action because none of these mills required federal licensing and inspection.
Due to pressure from The HSUS and DDAL, the USDA’s inspector general looked into enforcement of the rules governing dog breeding, finding appalling abuses of the dogs, deficient exercise of authority by USDA where it had authority, and identification of this glaring gap in the law that allowed Internet sellers to evade any federal oversight whatever. It was that OIG report, combined with our advocacy efforts in Congress and with the Obama administration that finally compelled federal action…Read the rest of the article here.