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In honor of National Puppy Mill Awareness Day tomorrow, September 18, we are shining a light on an extremely alarming animal welfare crisis at a USDA-licensed dog breeding facility.

The property is located in Seymour, Iowa. According to an inspection report in July 2021, there were over 500 dogs on this property. Between March 2021 and July 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recorded over 100 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) at this facility. There were many serious and life-threatening conditions including severely matted dogs, emaciated dogs, dogs in heat distress, bactrim antibiotic ointment dogs with eye injuries, dogs without water, dogs housed outside without protection from rain and dead, decomposing dogs.

The (USDA) is responsible for licensing and overseeing commercial breeding operations, otherwise known as puppy mills. Yet when puppy mill operators break the law, the USDA chooses to let violations go unreported and unpunished.

The puppy mill operator in Iowa failed to provide necessary veterinary care and failed to provide proper housing. And though the USDA was fully aware, they did nothing to hold him accountable.

Finally, after our many inquiries as to why nothing had been done, knowledge of our lawsuit and a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request, on September 10, 2021, the USDA suspended this dog dealer’s license for 21 days.

Beyond this example, there is an ongoing pattern–the USDA fails to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, even when the conditions are extreme and dogs are dying.

The USDA needs to wake up and do its job. On this Puppy Mill Awareness Day, we invite you to join our Advocacy Brigade to get more information on what you can do to demand action.

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