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May 22, 2012

Turning the Tide Against Puppy Mills

Recently, I blogged about exciting news that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would propose a rule requiring large-scale puppy mills and kitten mills selling pets online, by phone, or by mail to be licensed and inspected for basic standards of care. This is a reform we’ve been working to achieve for two decades, and now we have an opportunity to lock it in as a matter of federal policy. The rule will be made final after a comment period that lasts until July 16. Please take a moment to contact the USDA to support this important protection.

Dog at North Carolina puppy mill
Kathy Milani/The HSUS
Take action to help dogs by contacting the USDA today.

But that’s just one front of activity for us on puppy mills. Earlier this month was our sixth annual Puppy Mill Action Week, when we launched several new initiatives to enhance our public education, policy, and enforcement-related work. Our new Puppy Mills Tip Line reward fund will pay tipsters up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty. Tipsters can call 1-877-MILL-TIP or report cruelty online. If you know of any good places to hang our tip line poster, such as your local animal shelter or pet supply store, please write to crueltyresponse@humanesociety.org for free copies. If you put up a poster in your neighborhood, please also send us a photo and the location information.

As we also announced this month, you can now register for our new Humane Society University course for anti-puppy mill advocates or watch the winners of our Why Puppy Mills Stink video contest online.

A few weeks ago, New York legislators introduced a bill to protect dogs in puppy mills, and we found out that the USDA has taken action against yet another mill identified in our Missouri’s Dirty Dozen update report. Vestal’s Kennel in Livonia, Mo., has permanently lost its USDA license and has been barred from obtaining another license in the future. Inspection reports at this facility documented filthy conditions, sick animals, refusal to grant access to inspectors on numerous occasions, and lack of proper veterinary care.

Please take action to help dogs in unlicensed puppy mills »

We are committed to turning around the puppy mill problem in our nation, and the actions I’ve enumerated above provide just some of the most recent evidence of the change that we are driving. Thanks for all you do to help raise awareness about this important issue and our Puppy Mill Campaign.

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