[Ed. Note: Take action - Demand Congressional Investigation into Puppy Mill Abuses Allowed by USDA. See images of puppy mill horrors - The Dog.]
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found lax enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act which led to continued suffering and even death for animals due to lack of enforcement actions.
A scathing federal report has documented years of abuse inside licensed dog dealers without meaningful penalties or enforcement actions from the USDA.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found lax enforcement of the Animal
Welfare Act which led to continued suffering and even death for animals due to
lack of enforcement actions. The report documents incidents where USDA
inspectors neglected to cite offenders or confiscate animals to save their
Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a leading advocate for companion animals, is
calling for a Congressional investigation of the USDA.
"The USDA has allowed puppy mills and B-Dealers to murder and maim animals
without penalty," said Chris DeRose, President Last Chance For Animals. "After
20 years of OIG audits, nothing has changed. It is time for Congressional
The OIG has conducted repeated audits on animal care in 1992, 1995 and 2005,
each time finding that APHIS could not ensure the humane care and treatment of
animals at all dealer facilities as required by AWA.
LCA's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has investigated puppy mills all over the country including in the very same areas where the OIG did their investigation. We have documented countless violations of the AWA over the years at government sanctioned puppy mills.
In the latest report APHIS released May 25, 2010, the OIG found:
- Out of 4,250 violators of the AWA, 2, 416 repeatedly violated the same
statute, including 863 reoffending in the same subsection.
- That inspectors typically take no enforcement action against first-time
violators, even if a direct violation is found.
- Inadequate enforcement against repeat violators -- and when instructions
specified a stronger action such as stipulation or litigation, inspectors
were allowed to recommend a more lenient option.
- Even in extreme circumstances where animals are dying or suffering APHIS added a provision requiring that the violator be given a final opportunity to take corrective action before confiscation can occur.