August 22, 2014: LA Times; Reporter Marianne Levine

The USDA announced a new requirement that dogs imported to the U.S. and intended for resale must be at least 6 months old and be vaccinated upon arrival. The rule is designed to protect Americans and American pets from unvaccinated and unhealthy dogs.

The rule, now part of the Animal Welfare Act, goes into effect in November [2014] and carries penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.

This new rule was a result of an incident involving "Tink," a Maltese dog supposedly imported from Korea to Texas. Tink was one of more than 7,000 dogs imported into the US in 2013--a 20% increase! Read the full article here.  Click here to read the USDA news release.  Click here to read what the Humane Society of the United States is saying about this.

An earlier ruling in September 2013 by the USDA also requires that US breeders who sell puppies and kittens via websites and other remote locations (not onsite at the breeders' facility) to be federally licensed and inspected. Click here to read the USDA news release.

A member of local group, NC Voters for Animal Welfare (NCVAW) suggests that every puppy (and we say, kitten, too) come with papers stating where the animal was born and where it's been from every step of the way from birth to adoption. Good idea!

This page features a smattering of what's happening on a National and International level. It isn't comprehensive by any means but will give you a flavor of what progress is being made and where.

A good place to start your search for laws in your state is www.AnimalLawCoalition.Org. Other sites such as www.AAVS.Org and www.HSUS.Org are also a good beginnings. Of course you can always search legislative databases, but that can be cumbersome. A call to your legislator's office for a list of "animal bills" may be a better choice. Find your government officials and state legislators here.

Some events on this page are national--like puppy and kitten mills; others address international issues that concern us here at home such as importing animals for resale as pets.

Believe it or not, animals of all kinds are imported to the US daily (some legally, some not). There has been little to no regulation of dog/cat imports into the US and this has caused: (1) much suffering on the part of the animal and the adoptive pet parent, (2) sometimes significant financial outlay in terms of restoring heath to a sick animal, and (3) sometimes the animal simply dies of something that was preventable.

The other consideration regarding imported pets is this:  disease--communicable and non-communicable. This issue of disease is now finally being addressed by our legislators and, in our opinion,  it's way past time!

Bottom Line:  Please try not adopt a pet that's been imported (most are from unregulated puppy mills--see "Importing Puppies to the US" below). Ask questions, know your sources. Heaven knows there are plenty of adoptable pets right here in the US of A in shelters that are killed daily for lack of homes. However, we get that, sometimes, pet parents what a specific pet that isn't available locally or through a shelter. Fine; but there is bound to be a US-based source that doesn't purchase overseas puppy mill "products." Do some homework and Adopt in the US! Remember: We encourage certain behaviors (importing) when we pay for it (a puppy), so, please choose wisely. Overseas imported sales dry up if there is no market for them.

Importing Puppies to
 the US

News Across the Nation and Beyond

Over 7,000 dogs were imported to the US in 2013. This is a 20% increase over past years.

Ex-ASPCA President to Join PIJAC

August 25, 2014:

Friend or Foe of Animals?  Ex-American ASPCA president, Ed Sayres, was solicited by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council to serve on their Board of Directors.  Mr. Sayres accepted the position.

Is this good or bad? Could go either way because, while Sayres has proven to be an advocate for humane treatment of animals (especially where puppy mills are concerned), PIJAC is a lobbying group for pet stores and breeders. Uh-huh, so perhaps you can see the conundrum:  will Sayres give "humane" advice that PIJAC will actually take to heart or will Sayres' input have no real teeth? Will he simply be a public relations "add-on" so PIJAC looks good? Only time will tell if PIJAC really wants to do good and Sayres doesn't either become corrupted and switch sides or frustrated that he isn't being taken seriously when it comes to humane animal advocacy.  Read all about it here.

Ohio Bans Gas Chamber

July 20,

"An Ohio Appeals Court, the Fourth Appellate District, has issued an order requiring the Dog Warden of Hocking County to use lethal injection, not carbon monoxide gas, when euthanizing dogs. The Court ruled,”We find that the [County's] carbon monoxide method of euthanasia as the standard method of destruction of dogs does not immediately and painlessly render the dog initially unconscious and subsequently dead and is not humane...."  Read entire article here.

New York Passes Anti-Tetherng Law

January 18, 2011:  WABC-TV New York; Reporter Tim Fleisher

The New York City Council passed an anti-tethering law that not only regulates how long an animal can be tied up, but the type of collar/tether that can be used. Proponents state "An animal that's abused like that becomes more dangerous, three times more likely to bite. This law protects our animals and people," City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. said." Read more about it here.

Oregon Passes Anti-Tetherng Law

June 14,

The bill makes unlawful tethering of a domestic animal a crime punishable by a fine up to $1,000. If the animal suffers serious injury or death as a result of tethering, the crime charged would be animal neglect in the first degree, a Class A misdemeanor. If the animal sustains physical injury as a result of tethering, the crime charged would be animal neglect in the second degree, a Class B misdemeanor. Read more about it here.

Greenville, SC. Tethered dog hangs from balcony.
(Photo submitted via
Read the story at:

This is what happens when some people are left to their own volition! Help prevent this atrocity: work to pass strong anti-tethering laws in your county/state!

Class B Dealer Shut Down

January 15, 2014:  American Anti-Vivisection Society

"On January 15, random source Class B dealer Kenneth Schroeder had his license revoked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and can no longer sell dogs and cats to laboratories. USDA filed a complaint in September 2013 alleging that Schroeder "willfully violated the Animal Welfare Act" when he illegally obtained seven dogs, failed to maintain proper housing for animals, and did not give USDA inspectors access to his records and facilities, as required by law. Although welcome news, five other random source Class B dealers still operate, collecting dogs and cats from shelters, breeders, and hunters and selling them to labs."

To see the current list of Class B dealers, click here.
To help shut down Class B dealers, visit the AAVS site at

Over 7,000 dogs were imported to the US in 2013. This is a 20% increase over past years.