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USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills

Wednesday, 11. September 2013 4:15

reprinted from the HSUS blog by Wayne Pacelle, Sept 10, 2013

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.

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Marley Needs a Good Foster Home for 1 Year

Sunday, 9. June 2013 8:07

Greetings neighbors and friends – (Washington DC Area)


Marley Standing

Marley Needs a Foster Home for 1 Year

We are looking for a foster home as well as back up sitters for our fabulous dog Marley in the event that we are able to arrange to be in Thailand for about a year late July or by August 1, 2013 at the latest. We adopted Marley from the pound when he was 1, and we think he is about 9 years old now.


He is a 25lb beagle cross, and we love him to pieces. He is good with kids and people and other dogs, and he has lived with cats with no problem. He loves to go running in Rock Creek Park, and to chase tennis balls in the back yard. He also spends a lot of time sleeping in patches of sunlight like a good dog should. As you can see from the pictures, he has many moods and he is adorable. He also does a great job of appearing to be a fierce protector of our home. I have no idea what he would do if there actually were an intruder, but no one has ever wanted to find out so I rest easy knowing that we are safe.


We are looking for a family to host Marley while we are away for about a year, and would be open to some form of MarleyShare with them when we come back (in the event that they are worried that they or their kids may have grown too attached which is entirely possible!)


Marley Flies

Marley Flies

We would provide whomever took him with all his dog food and monthly heartworm pill and pay any vet bills, so there would be no costs incurred.


Could you be a foster home or a back up sitter for Marley?


I can be reached at 202-446-8811 or

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Bing – looking for foster home for the holidays

Monday, 17. December 2012 7:59

Bing is from Operation Broken Chain – an operation of ARC Animal Rescue.

This is the single largest dog fighting bust in Tennessee history, and Animal Rescue Corps brought these dogs  new life.  To view the photos of the bust, click on this facebook link.

They then gave the dogs individual assessments and determined who was dog and people friendly. Many of the dogs weren’t dog friendly but a number were.

Dogs XL Rescue decided to help BING and here is his information….as per our agreement with ARC he cannot be under supervised around dogs and kids under a second behavior assessment is done. Michelle or Anne to screen fosters and adopters.

Bing is looking for a great foster!


Pit Bull mix

5 months, 20 lbs

Dog friendly (gives play bows) but mouthy puppy during play time

FIRST ASSESSMENT (Nov. 30): Human/Dog – Bing is great with people. Dog/dog – Bing is great with other dogs.

SECOND ASSESSMENT (Dec. 15): Human/Dog – Bing was reassessed because he has  been mouthy with volunteers. It was determined that he is mouthy in puppy play and does not apply pressure. There is no concern for human aggression.

However, he will need manners training to learn the difference between toys and human hands. Dog/Dog – Bing was not reassessed with another dog.

These are only the “formal” assessments – he has informally been playing in playgroup and doing well with dogs.

More later!!

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