Success: End to Sick Puppy Mill Imports


Target: United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Goal: Applaud an end to the importation of sick puppies from foreign mills

On August 15, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an end to the resale of unhealthy imported puppies in the U.S. from international markets. “Puppy mills” are large-scale dog breeding facilities that farm dogs for sale in shops and online stores. Dogs in these facilities are often kept in inhumane conditions; females are forced to breed every time they are in heat, dogs are kept in cramped cages under deplorable circumstances and given little—if any—medical care.

Hopefully we see an end to puppy mills altogether, but for now, new state laws are being passed every year to regulate them across the nation. Currently, commercial kennels are only regulated in 26 states, and the majority of pet stores receive their puppies from such facilities. As well as those bred in commercial kennels in the U.S., hundreds of thousands more are imported from foreign kennels for resale.

As well as unregulated conditions in foreign kennels, imported puppies suffer further abuse in transportation to the U.S. Puppies from foreign mills are shipped at such a young age that their underdeveloped systems cannot yet handle the required vaccines without resulting in possible illness or death, subjecting countless dogs and humans to health threats from sick dogs. Many of the imported dogs suffer from health complications as a result of premature weaning, poor living conditions and unhealthy breeding practices before being subjected to long, cramped trips to our American markets. Many of these abused dogs arrive dead, others are barely alive.

The rule passed in August under the 2008 Farm Bill ensures proper vaccination, a clean bill of health, and a six month age requirement for any dog being imported for resale in the U.S. This rule’s enforcement will encourage foreign mills to treat puppies better and help protect dogs and humans from public health threats presented by puppies that were not vaccinated.

Sign this petition in support of properly regulating dog imports and prohibiting the shipment of puppies that are too young to wean.


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

The vast majority of puppies for sale in shops and at online stores come from commercial kennels both in the U.S. and abroad. American kennels face increasing scrutiny for their breeding practices and treatment of animals, and new state laws are passed every year to improve conditions for factory dogs or to end them entirely. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the foreign kennels that ship puppies to the U.S. by the thousands. The state in which the dogs arrive in the U.S. points to the deplorable conditions they face both before and during transportation. Malnourished, disease-ridden and often dead, imported puppies face conditions tantamount to torture to get to the U.S.

Thanks to the regulation on the importation of dogs under the 2008 Farm Bill, every dog entering the country must have received all necessary vaccinations, have a clean bill of health and be at least six months of age. Not only will this protect dogs and humans from disease, it will also help improve the animals’ living conditions in their native country.

I applaud the regulation on the health of imported dogs under the 2008 Farm Bill.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: allisoncarmody via Pixabay

Original petition: End Puppy Mill Imports

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  1. Despina M. Andrelus says:

    “A righteous man regards the life of animals” – PROVERBS 12:10; “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion & pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men” – ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI; “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.; “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs…(They) are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no rights to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty….” – JAMES HARRIOT; “The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – MAHATMA GANDHI

  2. Bina Pannell says:

    Puppy mills need to be banned FULL STOP.

  3. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Please close all of them for GOOD

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