If adopted, the fortified standards proposed in the petition have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of tens of thousands of dogs in such facilities by creating clear requirements for veterinary care, housing, breeding practices, socialization, and placement of retired breeding dogs.
Imagine keeping a chihuahua in a cage the size of a file drawer for her entire life, or confining a beagle in a pen no larger than your car's trunk. Imagine giving those dogs water only twice a day, and allowing the temperature around them to drop below freezing for hours at a time.
Our investigations have repeatedly demonstrated that minimum care standards in the Animal Welfare Act regulations are insufficient to protect dogs. Research and investigations, including our report on the Horrible Hundred, reveal that substandard breeders are keeping dogs in entirely deficient conditions, with many facilities routinely violating the minimal standards of the AWA. Yet even those breeders who have no documented violations on their inspection reports often keep dogs in inhumane conditions because the minimum standards are insufficient. It's time for the USDA to update the AWA standards and give breeding dogs conditions that are livable and humane.