The Humane Society of the US asked the Federal government to crack down on "puppy mills". USDA/APHIS is considering revising their rules to include show and hobby breeders. The new rule, if not stopped by July 16th will apply to you if you:
Have MORE THAN FOUR intact female animals (including co-owned females with others) and
ADVERTISE over the internet, in the newspaper or over the telephone, and
Fail to have EACH BUYER VISIT to see the pet before or immediately after the purchase.
You would be licensed AND INSPECTED by USDA.
Is this the first move for something TheDogPress postulated years ago -
HSUS or AKC AS USDA Inspectors? (Ref #1)
Go directly to the USDA "submit comments" page:
The top of the page says “Animal Welfare; Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions” and the “comment now” button is on the right
The California Federation of Dog Clubs advises that form letters or multiple signature letters are counted as only one comment. You can however, comment as many times as you want to so it is better to make 10 short comments.
There’s a 20 minute time limit so you might want to compose your
multiple comments in a word program and then cut and paste them into the comments section. You may wish to use some of the following talking points:
v It would be cost-prohibitive for me to have to build a USDA-compliant kennel. I would be unable to continue breeding.
v I prefer to raise pets in my home for optimal socialization. I do not wish to keep them in a kennel.
v This proposal would be harmful to my rare breed. Buyers are usually distant and rarely visit the premises during a sales transaction.
v I am selective in the homes I approve for my puppies; I sell few pets locally, and must advertise and ship. This proposal would hinder my ability to find the best homes for my pets.
v This new rule would be financially devastating to me. I cannot afford thousands of dollars to build a kennel facility to come into USDA compliance.
v Requiring me to allow strangers into my home exposes my animals to contagious diseases. These can be fatal, particularly for young puppies and kittens.
v Strangers entering my home makes me vulnerable to criminals who could target me for robbery or other crimes.
v Strangers entering my home can include animal rights activists who are philosophically opposed to any pet breeding. These extremists may likely file unsubstantiated complaints against me, claiming authority by having entered my home.
v Rescue groups often rely on use of a foster home network. They could not comply with USDA requirements and would be forced to cease operations. Crippling rescue groups would cause shelter intakes and deaths to rise.
v This proposal is government overreach.
v This proposal is a violation of my right to privacy.
v As a pet owner, I am concerned about my future ability to purchase a well-bred, well-socialized pet for a reasonable price.
v I am concerned about the future availability of service dogs, such as guide dogs for the blind. These dogs must be exposed to a variety of social situations and external stimuli. If serious hobby breeders are forced to keep their dogs and puppies in kennels, those dogs will not be suitable for service work.
v As a hobby breeder who works away from my home, I cannot comply with the APHIS requirement to be available for unannounced inspections. I would be forced to quit breeding or face thousands of dollars in fines for noncompliance with this rule.