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White House Petition on Puppy Mills: Answers to Your Questions

 

Yellow puppy in cage from Missouri puppy mill rescue Feb 2011

Tiffany McBee/HSUS volunteer

Dogs and puppies are suffering in puppy mills, and they need your help.

The White House's official website now allows citizens to create petitions to ask the administration to take a specific action. We submitted a petition asking the President to crack down on unlicensed puppy mills by closing a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act regulations.

Please ask the President to require large-scale, commercial breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to be covered by Animal Welfare Act regulations—including minimum standards for humane care and treatment. This is easy to do and will help to protect consumers from buying sick puppies from inhumane facilities. It will also help to eliminate the horrible conditions in large-scale puppy mills.

 

Petition instructions

1. Click this link to get to the petition. (If the link doesn't open, paste http://wh.gov/gdb into your browser.)

2. Click "create an account" for new users (or if you already have an account, log in).

3. Once you have an account, you will be emailed a link. Click on that link.

4. Click "sign petition!" Then, send the email link to your friends.

5. If you run into problems, you can get step-by-step instructions here. Sometimes the WhiteHouse.gov site may not let you sign the petition right away, but it should work after a few tries, and getting the welfare of dogs and puppies on the White House agenda is well worth a couple of visits.

If you have gone through everything step by step and still had a problem signing the petition, we want to help. Please email us and let us know at which point you had a problem, and what the error was. We will respond as quickly as possible.

 

Questions and Answers about the Petition

Q: Why do I have to log in to another website to sign this petition?

A: The White House's official website has a new feature called "We the People." It allows citizens to create petitions and ask the President to take action on a specific issue. If a petition gathers enough support (i.e., signatures) it will be reviewed by a standing group of White House staff, and result in an official, on-the-record response.

We must gather more than 5,000 signatures in 30 days to have our question reviewed and answered. If you do not already have an account at WhiteHouse.gov, the site will require you to create one. The process is quick and easy, and there is no cost to you.

In order to participate in We the People, you must create a WhiteHouse.gov User Account. You are required to use a valid email address when registering your account. Only one account per individual is allowed. You must be 13 or older in order to create an account and participate in We the People. You can always unsubscribe from future White House email by clicking on the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of any WhiteHouse.gov email. You can learn more about WhiteHouse.gov User Accounts on their Terms of Participation page.

 

Q: I have heard that online petitions aren't effective. Why are you asking me to sign this one?

A: The White House promises a response if we gather at least 5,000 signatures by October 23, 2011. This is a unique opportunity to have our issue heard, and quite possibly answered by the President himself.

 

Q: Why is this issue important?

A: We are asking the President to crack down on puppy mills. Puppy mills are large commercial dog breeding facilities where as many as 50 to 1,000 dogs are confined in inhumane conditions for life, solely to churn out puppies for the pet trade.

Typical conditions at puppy mills include constant confinement in small wire cages, inadequate sanitation, exposure to harsh weather conditions without adequate shelter from the heat or cold, a lack of clean and sufficient food and water, and a lack of proper exercise, attention, and veterinary care for the animals.

 

Q: Aren't there already laws to regulate puppy mills?

A: There are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the United States, but only about half of them are licensed and inspected by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for inspecting and regulating commercial dog breeders and dealers under the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Because of an enormous loophole in the regulations that requires only wholesale dealers to obtain a license, less than half of the puppy mills in the U.S. are federally licensed. Our petition asks President Obama to close the current regulatory loophole and require large-scale, commercial breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to be covered by the USDA's Animal Welfare Act regulations, including minimum standards for humane care and treatment.

 

Q: How does this affect me?

A: This will help to protect consumers from unknowingly buying sick puppies from inhumane facilities and help to eliminate the horrible conditions in large-scale puppy mills.