Displaying items by tag: Puppy Mills

1,800 miles, 56 hours, 3 rescue vehicles, 9 rescuers, 2 tiny superheroes, a motorcycle escort, and one fearless leader ... all with one mission: to save 110 dogs!
The National Mill Dog Rescue team will head out on Thursday, February 25 and return two days later with approximately 110 dogs on board - dogs who will finally have the chance to experience freedom for the very first time. For the last leg of their return trip home, an estimated 25+ motorcyclists will escort the rescue team from Limon to Peyton, Colorado. The escort is being organized by Mile High Harley-Davidson of Aurora, Colorado, strong supporters of National Mill Dog Rescue.The "Harley to the Rescue" team is led by a tiny, 14-year-old Chihuahua named Harley who is not only the American Humane Association's 2015 Hero Dog of the Year, but also an iconic figure in the social media world of puppy mill awareness. He spent 10 years as a commercial breeder in a puppy mill before being rescued. His one-eyed, grizzled image is immediately recognizable, primarily due to the fact he lost an eye when his cage was power-washed at the puppy mill. He actively uses his website, Facebook page (with 83,000+ followers), Instagram, and Twitter to spread awareness about the cruel realities of puppy mills and raise funds for non-profit rescue groups.Teddy, the designated "Harley to the Rescue" team driver, lived his first 7 years in a puppy mill before he was rescued by National Mill Dog Rescue. Teddy uses his Facebook page (with 31,000+ followers), Instagram and Twitter to spread puppy mill awareness and to share his experiences in learning about life outside the cage."Harley to the Rescue" began in 2013 as a campaign to raise the $2,500 needed to fund one rescue of approximately 25-30 dogs with National Mill Dog Rescue. To date, these two dogs have raised over $550,000 and have rescued 585 dogs from horrific conditions in puppy mills. This mission, their eighth trip, is called "Hearts 2 Hearts" and supporters have helped fund it through special tribute hearts which will decorate the kennel to celebrate their return.National Mill Dog Rescue is a Colorado Springs-based 501(c)(3) organization that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes discarded commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills. NMDR relies on volunteers to care for the dogs from the moment they are surrendered to the time they are adopted and beyond. The organization depends on the generosity of the public to enable us to provide the high level of care for our dogs and continue our efforts to save more of them.National Mill Dog Rescue started with a single sentence in an e-mail received by Theresa Strader: "50 Italian Greyhounds in need." A large-scale breeding operation, or "puppy mill," was going out of business and all 561 dogs were going to auction. One of those dogs was a seven-year-old Italian Greyhound named Lily. The moment their eyes met through the wire of Lily's tiny cage, Theresa knew her life had changed forever and that this new life would include Lily and a mission to bring about lasting change.In honor of Lily, National Mill Dog Rescue was established in February 2007 to give a voice to mill dogs across the country. Since then, NMDR has rescued more than 10,500 puppy mill survivors. Every single dog that comes through the doors is spayed or neutered and given whatever additional medical care they need - without exception. They are groomed, many of them for the very first time. Years of filth and matted fur are removed, allowing the beautiful dog underneath to shine. Soon they learn about all the simple pleasures that they had never previously known - clean water, toys and treats, a soft bed, and most importantly, the love of a human companion.Harley's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/harleyfreighttraintaylor
Teddy's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/teddybearburchfieldNMDR Website: http://milldogrescue.org
 
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(Sept. 21, 2015) – The Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association filed a legal petition with the United States Department of Agriculture urging the agency to improve the standards of care for dogs kept in commercial breeding facilities. The USDA regulates such facilities under the federal Animal Welfare Act, but current AWA regulations fall far short of ensuring the humane treatment of dogs.

The requested changes would create more specific standards for veterinary care, housing, breeding practices, socialization and placement of retired breeding dogs. Among other things, the petition urges the USDA to adopt the following rules for licensed dog breeders:

  • Restrict the use of wire flooring in the dogs’ primary cage space. Wire flooring is routinely used in commercial breeding facilities, often in cages stacked on top of each other, and is highly detrimental to the dogs’ welfare;
  • Require breeders to provide dogs with access to an exercise space. Current regulations do not mandate even daily or weekly exercise, and many dogs are kept in their cages day in and day out, for years on end;
  • Require that dogs be physically examined by a veterinarian at least once per year, including a determination that breeding dogs are fit to endure pregnancy and nursing;
  • Restrict the frequency of breeding.  Currently there are no limits on how frequently dogs may be bred, and commercial breeders routinely breed female dogs at every heat, with no rest between litters, contrary to the recommendations of most breed clubs;
  • Require breeders to provide dogs with constant access to potable water;
  • Increase the minimum cage space requirements so that dogs have adequate space to move around freely and to stand on their hind legs without touching the top of the cage; and
  • Require breeders to make reasonable efforts to work with rescue groups to adopt out retired breeding dogs and “unsellable” puppies, rather than euthanizing or abandoning the dogs.

The HSUS, ASPCA and HSVMA issued the following statements:  

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS said: “It’s common sense that dogs should have water, space, exercise, and other basic care, and responsible dog breeders and pet industry groups should welcome these improved standards to deal with the outliers who cut corners and treat puppies like products. The current standards are insufficient and outdated, and need to be fortified to crack down on abusive puppy mills.”

Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA said: “Dogs are not products that can be simply warehoused without appropriate regard for their welfare. The public overwhelmingly agrees that the current USDA standards for dogs kept in commercial breeding facilities do not amount to humane treatment for dogs. The USDA needs to recognize this, and step up to ensure these vulnerable animals have proper care to maintain their health and well-being.”

Dr. Susan Krebsbach, veterinary advisor for HSVMA said: “This petition requests much needed enhancements to existing regulations concerning the treatment of dogs used and bred for commercial sale, including the physical conditions of the breeding facility and the health and welfare of the individual dogs. These new regulations would greatly improve the living space, physical health, and psychological well-being of literally tens of thousands of dogs in the United States.”

The petition was prepared pro bono by the international law firm Latham and Watkins and by attorneys in the Animal Protection Litigation department at The HSUS and by the ASPCA. 

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read more about our 60 years of transformational change for animals, and visit us online at humanesociety.org.

About the ASPCA®: Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. www.hsvma.org

For Immediate Release:

 

In a unique twist to the very serious issue of puppy mills in the  United States, two puppy mill survivors, Harley and Teddy, will hit the  road this weekend with a team from National Mill Dog Rescue to rescue  puppy mill dogs. Dogs saving dogs! 

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's two tiny Chihuahuas saving dogs from puppy mills! Once again, two puppy mill survivors, Harley and Teddy, are traveling through the Midwest with 'Harley to the Rescue' to save dogs from puppy mills with National Mill Dog Rescue. They will leave April 26 on yet another rescue trip through the Midwest, planning to save more than 50 dogs.

Harley, a 13 year old Chihuahua and an iconic figure in the world of puppy mill awareness through social media, spent 10 years as a commercial breeder in a puppy mill.  His one-eyed, grizzled image is immediately recognizable, due primarily to the fact he lost an eye being power washed at the puppy mill.  Although suffering with congestive heart failure, he actively uses his Facebook page with 44,000+ followers to spread awareness about the cruel realities of puppy mills and raise funds for non-profit rescue groups.
Teddy, a newcomer to the social media world, lived his first 7 years in a puppy mill and was rescued from his cage a year ago.  As Harley's 'Team Driver', Teddy uses his page with 17,000+ followers to spread puppy mill awareness and share his experiences of learning about life outside the cage. .
'Harley to the Rescue' started out as a campaign to raise the $2,500 needed to fund one rescue of approximately 25-30 dogs.  To date, these two dogs have raised over $150,000 to rescue 265 dogs from the horrific conditions in puppy mills.
Through their social media outlets, they chronicle their journey into the world of puppy mills, all from the perspective of puppy mill survivors. Dogs Saving Dogs!  Follow the mission of these 'caped crusaders' and support their cause!
To learn more: https://www.youcaring.com/harley-to-the-rescue 

National Mill Dog Rescue is a Colorado Springs based 501(c)(3) organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes discarded commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills.  NMDR relies on volunteers to care for the dogs, from the moment they are surrendered to the time they are adopted and beyond.  The organization depends on the generosity of the public to provide the high level of care for our dogs and to continue to be able to save them.  
National Mill Dog Rescue started with a single sentence in an e-mail that Theresa Strader received: "50 Italian Greyhounds in need."  A large-scale breeding operation, or 'puppy mill' was going out of business and all 561 dogs were going to auction.  One of those dogs was a seven-year-old Italian Greyhound named Lily.  The moment their eyes met through the wire of Lily's tiny cage, Theresa knew her life had changed forever and that this new life would include Lily and a mission to bring about lasting change.
In honor of Lily, National Mill Dog Rescue was established in February 2007 to give a voice to mill dogs across the country.  Since then, NMDR has rescued more than 8,700 puppy mill survivors, all while maintaining a strict no-kill policy. Every single dog that comes through the doors is spayed or neutered and given whatever additional medical care they need - without exception.  They are groomed, many of them for the very first time.  Years of filth and matted fur are removed, allowing the beautiful dog underneath to shine.  Soon they learn about all the simple pleasures that they had never previously known - clean water, toys and treats, a soft bed, and most importantly, the love of a human companion.
Harley's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/harleyfreighttraintaylor Teddy's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/teddybearburchfield 

Visit National Mill Dog Rescue's website: http://milldogrescue.org 

 

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Dogs transported to Kentucky Humane Society for medical treatment, temporary sheltering
Nancy, Ky.—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and Pulaski County Attorney's Office, is assisting in the removal, transport, sheltering and medical treatment of more than 40 dogs from a large, substandard breeding facility—frequently referred to as a puppy mill—called Dream Catcher Kennels in Nancy, Ky. The Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) is supporting the ASPCA with the removal of the animals as well as the medical triage and sheltering operation.
The dogs—ranging from Chihuahuas to bloodhounds—were discovered living in filthy, deplorable conditions. Many have untreated medical issues and were found living with little or no shelter in below freezing temperatures.
Dennis Bradley, 61, the owner and operator of Dream Catcher Kennels, is scheduled to appear in Pulaski District Court on January 22 where he is expected to enter a guilty plea to the charge of cruelty to animals in the second degree, an offense with which he was charged with earlier this year after local authorities received numerous complaints about the conditions at Dream Catcher Kennels. As part of the plea deal, Mr. Bradley has surrendered the dogs at his facility and will face six months in jail probated for a term of 24 months. He will not be allowed to operate a kennel or breeding operation for the duration of his probation.
“We commend Deputy Glen Bland for his tireless work and efforts, along with the ASPCA, to bring Mr. Bradley to justice for operating a facility which exposed so many dogs to the deplorable conditions they were forced to live in,” said Sheriff Todd Wood with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. “The collaboration between law enforcement and the ASPCA enabled our agencies to save these dogs from certain demise, and I applaud the ASPCA for being a voice for these animals who otherwise would not receive the care and attention they so desperately need.”
Pulaski County Attorney Martin Hatfield added, “We are delighted to partner with the ASPCA in the investigation and prosecution of this case. Their role has provided valuable resources which have allowed us to not only fully pursue prosecution of those responsible for operating this puppy mill, but just as importantly, the ability to remove, treat and shelter the affected animals.”
“People who run facilities like this are interested in making a profit, not in the well-being of the animals,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of Investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “As is true for most puppy mill dogs, these dogs appear to have gone most of their lives without basic necessities or much exposure to humans. We hope to give these dogs much-needed medical treatment and place them quickly into new homes where they can learn what it means to be a pet.”
The ASPCA and KHS have established a temporary shelter in Louisville, Ky. where the dogs will receive veterinary exams and care with supplies provided by PetSmart Charities, Inc. Once medical assessments are complete, the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team will begin behavior evaluations and provide socialization and enrichment with support from the KHS before placing them with local and national animal welfare groups to be made available for adoption.
“The Kentucky Humane Society’s veterinary, shelter services and behavior teams will work with the ASPCA to provide the medical attention, behavior help and love these dogs need,” said KHS President and CEO Lori Redmon. “After the ASPCA determines the dogs are healthy and behaviorally sound, we will help them find loving, permanent homes for these dogs.”
The conditions at Dream Catcher Kennels originally came to light after The Humane Society of the United States submitted an undercover video to local authorities.
The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has rescued countless dogs from puppy mills across the nation. Furthermore, the ASPCA’s Government Relations department has been active in promoting legislation at both the state and federal levels to strengthen regulations and raise minimum standards of care for dogs in puppy mills. Kentucky is one of only 20 states without any regulations in place to protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities. Additionally, the ASPCA launched a national “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the connection between puppy mills and pet stores and end the demand for puppy mill dogs. For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, visit www.nopetstorepuppies.com.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
About the Kentucky Humane Society
The Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), located in Louisville, KY, is a private, nonprofit organization that is Kentucky's largest pet adoption agency and oldest animal welfare organization, founded in 1884. KHS advocates the humane treatment of companion animals through leadership and proactive solutions to pet overpopulation, including adoptions, education and spay/neuter efforts. In 2013 KHS found homes for more than 6,300 cats and dogs and saved every adoptable pet it took in. The KHS S.N.I.P. Clinic provides affordable spay/neuter surgeries to more than 10,000 cats and dogs a year. Learn more at www.kyhumane.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
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ASPCA asks consumers not to support pet stores, websites that sell puppies

To view the ASPCA video “What not to buy? Pet store puppies!” please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvT6XTMv1ag

NEW YORK–The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), as part of its national "No Pet Stores Puppies" campaign, urges holiday shoppers to help fight puppy mill cruelty by refusing to shop at pet stores and on websites that sell puppies. The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for pet stores as many families hope to give the gift of a new puppy, but many consumers are unaware they are supporting the inhumane puppy mill industry by shopping for anything at pet stores and websites that sell puppies.

“Many pet buyers don’t realize most pet store puppies come from puppy mills,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA president and CEO. “Their purchases keep this cruel industry in business, so we urge anyone looking for a new pet to adopt from a shelter, where plenty of healthy, loving animals are waiting to be saved.”

According to a national poll conducted in 2012 by Edge Research, 37 percent of Americans, roughly 88 million people, planned to buy a gift for a pet during the holiday season. Based on the number of pet gift shoppers and an average spending of $30 per person, Americans could spend more than $2.5 billion on pets during the holiday season. Unfortunately, 59 percent of pet gift shoppers would consider buying gifts at a store that also sells puppies—meaning some of that $2.5 billion in revenue may be supporting the puppy mill industry.

As part of its No Pet Store Puppies campaign, the ASPCA is promoting a holiday video called "What Not to Buy? Pet Store Puppies!” and encouraging viewers to share the video on their social networks, thereby raising awareness about the connection between pet store puppies and puppy mills. Operators of puppy mills breed dogs in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. The ASPCA believes that consumer action is a critical element in the fight against puppy mills, and urging consumers not to shop for anything—including food, supplies, or toys—at stores that sell puppies is an effective way to stop the demand for puppy mill dogs.

The ASPCA recently launched a new database containing more than ten thousand photos of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed commercial dog breeders and links many of them to specific pet stores throughout the country that have sold puppies from the breeder within the last year. Consumers are able to search the database by pet store name, USDA license number, name of the breeding facility, or by zip code and specific breeds. The photos were taken by USDA inspectors during routine inspections of the facilities.

“Consumers need to know that they should not be falsely reassured when a pet store tells them their puppies come from USDA licensed breeders,” said Gina Miller, manager of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign. “Unfortunately, USDA standards alone do not ensure that dogs are raised humanely in an environment in which they can thrive. We hope this new tool will help holiday shoppers make informed decisions and refrain from buying puppies at pet stores.”

To learn more about the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies campaign and to sign the pledge, visit www.NoPetStorePuppies.com.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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A rescue team from National Mill Dog Rescue mobilized into action late last week and traveled through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, picking up 86 surrendered breeding dogs from multiple locations.

 

In the commercial dog breeding industry, dogs are discarded when they are no longer of use for breeding, often these dogs are killed.  National Mill Dog Rescue saves as many of these dogs as possible. Their rescue team transported the 86 newly rescued dogs to Lily's Haven, their facility near Colorado Springs, arriving late Saturday.  28 of the dogs were then transferred to Denver Dumb Friends League in Denver, where they will be cared for and seek out permanent homes.  Under a special arrangement with NMDR, DDFL will work to find these dogs forever homes, but if unsuccessful will return the dogs to NMDR.

Theresa Strader, founder, had this to say about this rescue operation, "This has been a particularly grueling rescue run given the number of breeders we received dogs from and the multiple location stops, but with the support of our community, other rescue groups and our volunteers, we were able to save many lives and give these dogs a chance for a life outside of the cage.  These dogs will now receive the veterinary care and socialization they desperately need as they prepare to become family pets."

About National Mill Dog Rescue
National Mill Dog Rescue is a Colorado Springs based 501(c)(3) organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes discarded commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills.  NMDR relies on volunteers to care for the dogs, from the moment they are surrendered to the time they are adopted and beyond.  They depend on the generosity of the public to provide the high level of care they do for the dogs and to continue to be able to save them.

National Mill Dog Rescue started with a single sentence in an e-mail that Theresa Strader received: "50 Italian Greyhounds in need."  A large-scale breeding operation, or 'puppy mill' was going out of business and all 561 dogs were going to auction.  One of those dogs was a seven-year-old Italian Greyhound named Lily.  The moment their eyes met through the wire of Lily's tiny cage, Theresa knew her life had changed forever and that this new life would include Lily and a mission to bring about lasting change.

 

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USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills

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.

We thank the Obama administration and the USDA for bringing new standards of care to thousands of puppies, but also to kittens, rabbits and other warm-blooded animals who are often raised in inhumane facilities and sold as pets over the Internet, by mail or by phone, sight-unseen.

The HSUS and HSLF called on supporters to act in 2011, and 32,000 people signed a petition urging the Obama administration to crack down on unregulated puppy mills. When the USDA proposed an actual change in its regulations in 2012, HSUS members and other animal advocates generated 350,000 public signatures and comments in support.

There has been strong bipartisan support in Congress for closing the “Internet loophole” in the Animal Welfare Act regulations. Federal legislation, S. 395 and H.R. 847 – known as the PUPS Act, or "Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act" – sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., galvanized members of congress in support of efforts to finalize and implement the rule.

Puppy mills aren’t going away overnight, and it’s still important for any potential puppy buyer to meet the breeder in person at his or her facility to see how and where a puppy was born and raised. But this rule has the potential to allow federal inspectors to peer behind the closed doors of puppy mills and improve the lives of tens of thousands of animals. That is a change worth celebrating, and we thank our supporters, the USDA, and our allies in Congress for supporting this significant step.

 

Research reveals public may be falsely reassured by “USDA licensed” designation

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the launch of a new tool on its “No Pet Store Puppies” website that allows consumers to link pet stores that sell puppies with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed commercial dog breeders that supply puppies to pet stores around the country.

The database contains more than ten thousand photos of commercial dog breeding facilities and links some of them to specific pet stores throughout the country that have sold puppies from them within the last year. Consumers are able to search the database by pet store name, USDA license number, or name of the breeding facility, or by zip code and specific breeds. The photos were taken by USDA inspectors during routine inspections of the facilities.

Many of the photos on the website depict conditions commonly found in puppy mills, which are large-scale, commercial dog breeding facilities where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. The photos show not only conditions that violate federal law, but also conditions that are legal but that the ASPCA—and the general public—consider inhumane. The new database aims to educate consumers about where pet store puppies really come from by showing them what it looks like inside many USDA licensed facilities.

“Consumers need to know that they should not be falsely reassured when a pet store tells them their puppies come from USDA licensed breeders,” said Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign. “Unfortunately, USDA standards alone do not ensure that dogs are raised humanely in an environment in which they can thrive. We hope this new tool will allow consumers to make informed decisions and refrain from buying puppies at pet stores, and instead make adoption their first option, or seek a responsible breeder if they choose not to adopt.”

Adult breeding dogs in puppy mills are often kept in unsanitary, overcrowded, and sometimes cruel conditions without sufficient veterinary care, food, water, or socialization.  They are typically bred at every opportunity to produce as many puppies as possible and maximize profits for the breeder. Many of the photos released by the ASPCA depict the poor conditions the adult breeding dogs are forced to endure for their entire lives.

According to a newly released poll conducted by Edge Research and commissioned by the ASPCA, 71 percent of Americans are confident that commercial dog breeders licensed by the USDA treat their dogs humanely. However, the public’s definition of humane treatment of dogs in commercial breeding facilities differs in many ways from what is legally required under the federal Animal Welfare Act, which is enforced by the USDA. The public believes that the following points are “absolutely necessary for a breeder to be considered humane,” but none of these are currently required by the USDA:

  • the opportunity to exercise daily (94 percent);
  • access to routine veterinary care (93 percent);
  • being allowed outside at least once a day (90 percent);
  • positive social interaction with humans at least daily (87 percent);
  • more than six inches of cage space around their bodies (86 percent);
  • humane euthanasia by a veterinarian (83 percent);
  • protection from temperatures below 45 or above 85 degrees at all times (75 percent);
  • for female, not being bred more than twice in an 18-month period (65 percent);
  • dog cages not being stacked one on top of the other (63 percent); and
  • dog cages not having wire or mesh floors (62 percent).

Menkin added: “The data reveals that there is a clear disconnect between what many Americans think ‘USDA licensed’ means, and what the law that the USDA enforces actually requires of commercial dog breeders nationwide. The federal requirements fall far short of the public’s standards and expectations for the humane treatment of dogs, and we hope that people will use the new tool on the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies website to see for themselves what ‘USDA licensed’ really means.”

Even among those who are confident that USDA licensed commercial dog breeders treat their dogs humanely, the public overwhelmingly supports each of these requirements for all breeders licensed by the USDA. The ASPCA hopes to work with USDA to better enforce and improve the standards applied to commercial dog breeding facilities.

The ASPCA’s “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign aims to reduce the demand for puppy mill puppies by urging consumers to pledge not to buy any items—including food, supplies or toys—from stores or websites that sell puppies. The ASPCA continues to encourage animal lovers to take the pledge and share the "I pledged" badge on their social networks. To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to eradicate puppy mills, please visit NoPetStorePuppies.com.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Establishes Temporary Sheltering and Placement for Seized Animals
to Support Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office

Lake City, Mich.—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) Field Investigations and Response team is assisting with the removal and sheltering of more than 150 dogs from two separate locations owned by a large, substandard, unlicensed breeding facility called JRT John's Jack Russell and Shiba Inu Kennel in Lake City, Mich. The removal of the animals is a result of a civil action, prompted by violation of Michigan’s Dog Law, led by the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office and the Roscommon County Animal Shelter.

The dogs—mainly Jack Russell terriers and Shiba Inus—were discovered living in outdoor enclosures with little protection from the elements. Many dogs had no access to clean drinking water or proper shelter, with plastic carriers being their only refuge from rain, snow or sun. Responders on the scene found the dogs were unsocialized and fearful when handled by humans. The ASPCA believes the facility to be a puppy mill, a large-scale breeding operation, where profit is given priority over the well-being of the animals.

“Puppy mill dogs may suffer from living in a variety of inhumane conditions including unsanitary conditions, inadequate veterinary care, and lack of basic necessities and socialization,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of Investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We are pleased to aid the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office and Roscommon County Animal Shelter by providing expertise and resources to support the case and remove the dogs from this situation. Our goal is to see that these animals are healthy and placed with rescue groups where they can find new homes as quickly as possible.”

“This case has been years in the making and we felt strongly that something had to be done to protect these animals,” said Sherriff Jim Bosscher. “The ASPCA’s resources and sheltering knowledge, combined with the support of the Roscommon County Animal Shelter, will finally allow these dogs the chance to have a happy life.”

Dogs requiring medical examinations are being transported to a nearby temporary shelter, where they will receive veterinary care from the ASPCA’s medical team, led by medical director Dr. Sarah Kirk. Dogs that are medically and behaviorally sound will be immediately placed by Roscommon County Animal Shelter with ASPCA response partners, including Medina County SPCA (Medina, Ohio) and Animal Humane Society (Golden Valley, Minn.), which are also supporting the sheltering operation and will help provide daily care for the animals. Other agencies in Michigan assisting the operation include Michigan Humane Society (Bingham Farms), Kalkaska County Animal Control (Kalkaska) and Clare County Animal Shelter (Harrison). PetSmart Charities® has generously contributed to this operation by providing critical supplies for the sheltering and transport of the animals.

“We are thankful to the ASPCA for making such a large-scale seizure possible,” said Terry MacKillop, director of Roscommon County Animal Shelter. “Our staff will be working closely with ASPCA responders to ensure the best possible outcome for these dogs.”

Once medical exams are complete, the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team will begin behavior evaluations of dogs at the temporary shelter and work with Roscommon County Animal Shelter and ASPCA response partners to determine placement options.

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has rescued countless dogs from puppy mills across the nation. Furthermore, the ASPCA’s Government Relations department has been active in promoting legislation that would strengthen regulations and raise minimum standards of care for dogs in puppy mills, including the Puppy Protection Act currently before the Michigan legislature. Additionally, the ASPCA launched a national “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the connection between puppy mills and pet stores and end the demand for puppy mill dogs. For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, visit www.nopetstorepuppies.com.

Photos from breeding facility and removal of animals for media use: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ncuw9v5vnshbt6o/g0G23ICssv

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.

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Vermont legislators pass H. 50 to better regulate commercial dog breeders

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) applauds Vermont legislators for passing H. 50, a measure that will give officials the tools they need to enforce laws protecting breeding dogs and the puppies they produce by providing clear definitions and eliminating current legal loopholes. H. 50, which previously passed the House unanimously, passed the Senate yesterday, and now awaits Gov. Peter Shumlin’s signature.

“Vermont has a long history of protecting animals, but laws regulating commercial dog breeders in the state are ambiguous, making it nearly impossible to identify and monitor these facilities,” said Bill Ketzer, senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Northeast region. “H. 50 will address this issue as it provides for clearly defined regulations, and we urge Governor Shumlin to sign this legislation into law to keep inhumane puppy mills out of Vermont.”

Sponsored by Rep. John Bartholomew (D-Windsor), H.50 provides a reasonable and much-improved definition of “pet dealer” – encompassing any person selling, exchanging or giving away three or more litters annually – thereby giving municipalities better guidance to determine who must be regulated by law. Under the current federal law, only breeders who have more than three breeding females and sell their puppies to pet stores or puppy brokers need to be licensed and inspected by the USDA. The measure would also allow inspections to occur at any time after a permit has been issued. Current law only requires that inspections occur during “reasonable business hours,” which is vague and allows breeders to manipulate the law to delay inspections indefinitely if desired, allowing even the worst breeders to easily evade inspection and oversight.

“Current regulations in Vermont are missing several key elements that have allowed irresponsible dog breeders to circumvent existing laws,” said Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA’s Puppy Mills Campaign. “H. 50 will ensure that large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities do not spiral out of control and become puppy mills. It will provide some of the many protections Vermont’s animals deserve.”

A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. To minimize waste cleanup, dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that can injure their paws and legs. Breeding dogs might spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements, or crammed inside filthy structures with no access to fresh air or sunlight. To maximize profits, female dogs are bred at every opportunity, with little to no recovery time between litters. When, after a few years, they can no longer reproduce, breeding dogs are often killed.

The ASPCA’s national “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign aims to reduce the demand for puppy mill puppies by urging consumers to pledge not to buy any items—including food, supplies or toys—from stores or websites that sell puppies. To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to eradicate puppy mills, please visit www.NoPetStorePuppies.com.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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