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Why we are supporting the new USDA Pet Retailer Rule

From: Pam
Sent on: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 3:37 PM

Unlicensed Michigan kennel selling online and
shipping to distant states. No inspections!


Comment sent to the USDA 7/11/12

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan strongly supports the new rule.
As the founder, I have been monitoring all forms of puppy-trafficking
here in Michigan since 2008. As puppy store fronts close, families turn
to the internet when looking for their next pet. The demand for
puppies is high despite our bad economy. Shipping records show that
the four USDA licensed breeders in Michigan cannot produce enough
puppies to supply the state’s remaining pet stores and Michigan animal
rescue groups are even shipping puppies in from states. High demand
brings high prices and attracts opportunists who are profit-focused.
The average pet store price for a puppy is $985 here in Michigan (per This is a 94% mark-up as they pay wholesalers
between $50-$150 per puppy. Independent opportunists, such as
non-USDA-licensed breeders or internet retailers can easily find buyers
on sites such as Ebay Classifieds, with an average selling price of $560
in Detroit. Our 2009 Michigan Kennel Study showed 685 county licensed
breeding operations and only four USDA-licensed breeders. 75% of
those are not selling online or actively advertising. So who is selling
online? We tracked 1,405 puppy postings between 1/1/12 and 3/30/12,
targeting the Detroit area on Ebay. That is 468 postings per month!
Of the 270 sellers with phone numbers, only two had a 2009 Michigan
county kennel license, suggesting most of the Ebay posters are not
inspected by county authorities. From 2008 to 2011 we tracked animal
abuse cases here in Michigan. None of the 13 Michigan dog breeders
had a county kennel license or inspection. One of Michigan’s largest
unlicensed online breeders, with approximately 200 dogs, moved to
a remote county in the woods in 2008 to avoid pressures from local
law enforcement. This new rule will prevent bad actors from running
from the law, will deter unethical practices and inhumane treatment,
and will protect consumers.

Pam Sordyl
Founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan


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