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Monday, October 17, 2011

Puppy Mill Petition: Tell the White House that Dogs Matter

Last week’s rescue of more than 160 Malamutes from a Montana puppy mill that was selling sick puppies over the Internet underscores once again the need for more oversight of large-scale commercial dog breeding operations, especially online sellers. While the owner of this puppy mill was selling dogs as “show-quality” over the Internet and through newspaper ads, they were lacking even basic care: The dogs were kept in filthy chain-link pens strewn with metal debris and trash, with no food in sight and only buckets full of moldy, black water. Some of the dogs were found with parts of their ears missing, open sores, and other injuries.

Puppy mill
Kathy Milani/The HSUS

The Animal Welfare Act regulations, enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, currently cover only puppy mills selling wholesale to pet stores, and exempt those selling directly to the public—allowing the Internet puppy sellers to escape any federal oversight whatsoever. That’s why The HSUS, HSLF and ASPCA have launched a puppy mill petition on the White House website as part of the new “We the People” feature, which encourages citizens to weigh in on federal issues. Our petition urges the Obama Administration to help close the “retail loophole” that allows thousands of puppy mills that sell directly to the public to operate without a USDA license.

Add your name to the White House petition urging the President to crack down on puppy mills.

The puppy mill petition is now the top animal-related petition on the White House website, and #8 overall in popularity among all citizen petitions, with more than 17,000 signatures. But we want to aim higher. We want to show the White House that animal protection issues matter by making this one of the top petitions on the site. We only have one week left to reach our new goal of 25,000 signatures—that means we need to add more than 1,000 signatures a day.

Following up on an act of Congress, the USDA recently produced a rule to restrict the imports of dogs from foreign puppy mills. Now it’s time to address this major puppy mill problem inside our own borders—where breeding dogs are languishing for years in small, wire cages, with no exercise, human interaction, or veterinary care.

Please add your name to our White House petition urging the President to crack down on puppy mills. And please help to promote the petition, before the deadline of October 23, by sending it to your friends and family, posting it to Facebook and Twitter, and spreading the word in any way you can. We only have a week left to reach our goal, and to speak for the dogs suffering in these unregulated mills.

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