What you can do help stop Puppy Mills \

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The sale of dogs through pet shops is a national disgrace. Many of us wonder what we as individuals can do to help stop this miserable practice. Uttering personal complaints, writing hate mail, organizing protests, etc. are not effective measures in the limitation of the commercial pet market. Any breeder who anonymously auctions puppies or sells them to pet stores is not going to respond to anything less than legal action. But now, through the inspiration of Meg Carter, the individual citizen can be empowered. A caring person can help! The following are some steps that may result in some positive consequences:


1. Feign interest in the pet store puppy and its litter in order to get the kennel name and other details about the breeder. Be pleasant to the pet store owner or manager.

2. Verify the kennel name with the AKC. This can be accomplished via

(1.) the Internet: http://www.akc.org

(2.) E-mail: info@akc.org

(3.) Phone: 919-233-9767 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EDT Monday - Friday

(4.) Fax: 919-233-3627

(5.)US Mail: American Kennel Club, 5580 Centerview Drive, Suite 200 - Raleigh, NC 27606-3390


3. Verify with the USDA's APHIS list that the kennel is registered as either a Class A or Class B Dealer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a very effective place to get information on the Animal Welfare Act and to report specific violations. They have a brochure on-line that explains who has to be registered and/or licensed. It is also possible to search licensed organizations by state or by city. Within a state the annual directory of all licensees can be downloaded. That internet address is: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/reac or the e-mail address is: ace@aphis.usda.gov


4. Notify the petstore or auction place that it must register with the USDA in order to legally sell live animals. Give them 24 hours.


5. Send an e-mail to the Breed Club with the details of the breeder and the auction/pet store name. Most clubs have a breeder code of ethics which specifically prohibits the intentional sale of dogs at auction and/or petstores. If the breeder IS a member, the club would want this information. To find breed-specific clubs use one of the Internet Search Engines and search on breed name+club and the website will be provided if it exists. Usually these sites have an e-mail address listed for feedback.


6) Notify the USDA by e-mail about the specifics of the breeder and the auction/pet store. Provide all possible facts...particularly if the auction or pet store is not registered as a dealer. The USDA has publicly stated that one of the biggest enforcement problems is that puppy mills and dealers can avoid Federal oversight by failing to register).

Basically, anyone breeding and selling a significant volume of animals must be licensed as a Class A Dealer. Anyone brokering, transporting or handling a significant volume of animals or using animals in a research setting must be licensed as a Class B Dealer even if it is only a small part of the business.

So, airlines, for example, are registered as Class B Dealers. This is because the passenger can bring a cat, dog, lizard, or bird on board the flight. Universities are also registered as Class B Dealers if they use animals in scientific, medical or psychological experiments.

Phone: 202-720-2791 (this is the USDA contact number, ask for APHIS)

US Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture


Washington, D.C. 20250

If it is suspected that a puppy mill or pet store is breaking other laws then they should be pursued on all fronts! Caring people need to know the enforcement agency for the law that is being broken. For example, selling guns without a license would be the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. So, it would make sense to use Yahoo! (a popular search engine: www.Yahoo.com) to search on those keywords and get to their site. All of the Federal Government Agencies and Departments have web sites. So do many State ones.

Rest assured that there are simply not enough Class B licenses to account for all of the pet stores selling animals.

So, when you see a pet shop selling dogs or cats, do some research. Notify the pet stores and their breeder/suppliers of the law. Give them a short amount of time to comply and then report them! Let the appropriate breed club know so they can add their voice to the chorus.