CAPS Communication to the USDA and APHIS

To:
Dr. Chester A. Gipson
Deputy Administrator- Animal Care
United States Department of Agriculture
&
...Dr. Gerald Rushin
Veterinary Medical Officer
United States Department of Agriculture

From:
Ed Green and Dave Ross
Crowell & Moring LLP


Excerpt:
On behalf of the Companion Animal Protection Society ("CAPS") and Ms. Howard, we wanted to take a moment to congratulate USDA and APHIS for planning to provide more accessible Animal Welfare Act enforcement information to the public on a regular and systematic basis. CAPS welcomes the increased transparency and enhanced enforcement effort described during the May 20, 2010 Animal Care Stakeholder Update meeting and in Administrator Smith's April 29, 2010 press release (enclosed). Quite frankly, these developments are long overdue... 

Attachments:

Letter to APHIS (PDF)
Inspection Requirements (April 19, 2010) (PDF)
Inspection Requirments Attachments (Checklist for Animal Care Inspection Report) (PDF)
USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Care Program Inspections of Problematic Dealers

Related News:

Article: USDA fails to crack down on puppy mills
By: Mary Clare Jalonick (AP)
Who: Associated Press
URL for more info: USDA fails to crack down on puppy mills

Excerpt:
WASHINGTON — An internal government report says dogs are dying and living in horrific conditions due to lax government enforcement of large kennels known as puppy mills.

Investigators say the Department of Agriculture agency in charge of enforcing the Animal Welfare Act often ignores repeat violations, waives penalties and doesn't adequately document inhumane treatment of dogs. In one case cited by the department's inspector general, 27 dogs died at an Oklahoma breeding facility after inspectors had visited the facility several times and cited it for violations...
Published in CAPS News
Get the PDF at: http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/33002-4-SF.pdf

The Office of Inspector General for USDA has released a scathing 69 page report for an audit and investigation conducted between 2006 and 2008.  This audit/investigation was prompted by a May 2006 meeting between OIG officials, CAPS and Crowell & Moring attorneys, who provide pro bono counsel and lobbying to CAPS.



In 2006, the Office of Inspector General requested a meeting with CAPS. The OIG never meets with citizens or nonprofits (they turned down our first request), so this must have been based on our in-depth investigations of hundreds of puppy mills where we document Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations and compare our findings to those of the USDA APHIS inspectors.

During a two hour meeting in May 2006, CAPS President Deborah Howard and CAPS attorneys/lobbyists Edward Green and David Ross met with two OIG officials. At this meeting, we discussed a long list of concerns and recommended necessary changes.

After that meeting, our lobbyists did not get a reply from OIG. The reason was that shortly after our meeting, the OIG commenced an investigation and audit, which ended in 2008.

All of the issues we covered in the meeting are in the report. In fact, the OIG report reads more like a CAPS investigation report (they included graphic photos, which is what we use in addition to undercover footage) than the usual dry government type OIG report. USDA officials, of course, are now saying they are going to make sweeping changes, and congressmen are calling for the same. CAPS has been meeting with congressional aides and USDA officials for more than eight years in an attempt to get oversight hearings and changes to the AWA.

CAPS will continue to cooperate with USDA while conducting ongoing oversight of the Animal Care inspection program.  Since 1995, CAPS has been to approximately 1,000 commercial dog breeders and brokers, most of them federally licensed.

The USDA has been very negligent in its enforcement of AWA regulations with respect to commercial dog breeders and brokers.  USDA APHIS/Animal Care uses inspectors, including veterinarians, to conduct "unannounced" inspections of federally licensed dog breeders and brokers who supply puppies to the pet shop industry.

For a good summary of the OIG report, read this article on the Animal Folks (run by CAPS Advisory Board member Ann Olson) website.

http://www.animalfolksmn.org/news-recent.html
Published in CAPS News
Thursday, 23 October 2008 00:05

Dogs Rescued by CAPS from Lorton's Puppyland

Dogs Rescued by CAPS from Lorton's Puppyland - USDA Investigation

Buck

Buck: Buck is an eight to nine-year-old male Great Pyrenees. He had very matted fur, mouth ulcers and gum disease. He had many fleas and ticks even though the breeders had coated him with motor oil to control pests. Buck had a chronic infection of the testicles that caused sterility. He is afraid of men. Buck lives in a foster home.

Daisy

Daisy: Daisy is an eight to nine-year-old Great Pyrenees. She had a severe skin condition from improper nutrition and neglect, badly matted fur, mouth ulcers and gum disease. Daisy is being treated for irritable bowel syndrome caused by anxiety. She is afraid of men and watches people's hands and feet. Daisy lives in a foster home.

Willie

Willie: Willie is a seven-year-old male Dachshund. He has lived in at least two puppy mills and two homes and is very afraid of men. Improper nutrition caused him to lose hair on his ears and tail. His chest, abdomen and testicles have black, leathery sores. Willie has a permanent home with a woman and her young son.

Mollie and Lokie

Molly and Lokie: Molly is a six-year-old Chihuahua. She had a severe case of coccidia. During her spaying, our vet found afterbirth still in her uterus. She had gum disease, and the vet had to remove most of her teeth. Her two-month-old puppy, Lokie, had coccidia and kennel cough. Molly lives in a foster home, and Lokie just found a new family.

Boscoe

Boscoe: Boscoe is a Jack Russell Terrier. He has a new home and is a therapy dog at a school for people with special needs.

Happy

Happy: Happy is a Boxer. She was living in a rusty mink cage. After staying in a state-of-the-art rescue facility, she found a new home with another Boxer.

Published in Illinois
Thursday, 23 October 2008 00:05

USDA Investigation in Missouri

USDA Investigation in Missouri: Spring 2001

Nellie

Nellie: Nellie is a three-year-old malnourished Boxer with scarred legs. She is timid and afraid of people's hands. The breeder may have been starving her because he thought she was "ugly." Nellie has a new home with a very caring person.

Freedha

Freedha: Freedha, a three-year-old Dachshund, was left in labor for three days. After delivering three puppies, including one stillborn, the breeder finally took her for a c-section, and the vet found one more stillborn puppy. Freedha has a home.

Salsa and Gordita

Salsa and Gordita: Salsa and Gordita are ten-year-old Chihuahua sisters with luxating patellas and bad teeth. The vet removed Salsa's mammary tumors. Gordita uses special drops for eye problems. Salsa delivered a stillborn puppy in February 2001.

Sooner and Polly

Sooner and Polly: Sooner, a six-year-old Golden Retriever, is being treated for severe allergies. The breeder was about to destroy him. Polly is a seven-month-old Labrador Retriever whom the breeder didn't want because she is too small.

Tiny

Tiny: Tiny is a Great Dane puppy with healed broken ribs. A large male Great Dane had stepped on him. We found a home for him before he even left Missouri.

Dixie

Dixie: Dixie, a pug puppy with mange, was destined to become breeding stock. She has a home with four other pugs.

Published in Missouri
Thursday, 23 October 2008 00:05

USDA Investigation in Minnesota

USDA Investigation in Minnesota: Fall 2001

Chichi

Chi Chi: Chi Chi is a Chihuahua puppy. He was covered in urine and had extremely long toenails. Chi Chi is quite shy around people. Paws & Claws, a no-kill shelter in Rochester, Minnesota, placed him in a new home.

Jasper

Jasper: Jasper is a Jack Russell mix puppy. CAPS investigators came across him while trying to find a nearby puppy mill. He had been left outside so that a car would hit him. Jasper had no food or water and his collar was too tight. Thanks to Paws & Claws, he has a permanent home.

Howard

Howard: Howard is a mixed breed puppy. He had runny eyes and urinated submissively. Howard found a wonderful home with a groomer who provided care to some of our Minnesota rescue dogs.

Chichi and Jack

Chi Chi and Jack looking in the mirror at a hotel room in Minnesota.

Chi Chi and Jack playing together in a Minnesota hotel room.

Gizmo: Gizmo is a ten-year-old Maltese from one of the worst puppy mills CAPS has investigated. We found him, covered with feces, living in filth and darkness. He had severe gum disease and needed two dental surgeries in which our rescue vet used tissue regeneration just to save the canine teeth. Gizmo has alopecia (hair loss) and cataracts.

Maxx

Gizmo and Maxx: Maxx, an 18-month-old Min Pin, and Gizmo were living in the same puppy mill. Maxx was also covered with feces and living in darkness. He was very overweight and extremely timid. He had terrible gum disease and was missing his front teeth. Gizmo lives with our lead investigator. Maxx is with a rescue organization.

Sasha

Sasha: Sasha is a nine-year-old Bichon. She was overweight at 17 lbs. and had granulomas on her paws. The ammonia in the breeding facility made her wheeze. She is quite hyperactive. Thanks to Paws & Claws, a no-kill shelter in Rochester, Minnesota, she now has a permanent home.

Job

Job: Job is a one-year-old Lhasa Apso. He had glaucoma in the right eye. The eye was bulging out of the socket and had to be removed. The left eye has a cataract and is too small for the socket. Both eyes were infected. He was turning repetitive circles at the puppy mill. Paws & Claws found a home for Job.

Honey

HoneyHoney is a five-year-old Chihuahua. She was overweight, suffered from impacted anal glands and had calcium crystals in her urine. She also has cataracts and missing teeth. Paws & Claws found her a home.

Jack: Jack is a two-year-old Poodle. He had a bad ear infection and was very dehydrated. He loves being with humans and suffers from separation anxiety. Paws & Claws placed Jack in a new home.

Published in Minnesota
Friday, 11 November 2011 17:21

USDA

USDA

Office of Inspector General Issues Scathing Report on USDA's Puppy Mill Inspection Program

Get the PDF at: http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/33002-4-SF.pdf

The Office of Inspector General for USDA has released a scathing 69 page report for an audit and investigation conducted between 2006 and 2008.  This audit/investigation was prompted by a May 2006 meeting between OIG officials, CAPS and Crowell & Moring attorneys, who provide pro bono counsel and lobbying to CAPS.

In 2006, the Office of Inspector General requested a meeting with CAPS. The OIG never meets with citizens or nonprofits (they turned down our first request), so this must have been based on our in-depth investigations of hundreds of puppy mills where we document Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations and compare our findings to those of the USDA APHIS inspectors.

During a two hour meeting in May 2006, CAPS President Deborah Howard and CAPS attorneys/lobbyists Edward Green and David Ross met with two OIG officials. At this meeting, we discussed a long list of concerns and recommended necessary changes.

After that meeting, our lobbyists did not get a reply from OIG. The reason was that shortly after our meeting, the OIG commenced an investigation and audit, which ended in 2008.

All of the issues we covered in the meeting are in the report. In fact, the OIG report reads more like a CAPS investigation report (they included graphic photos, which is what we use in addition to undercover footage) than the usual dry government type OIG report. USDA officials, of course, are now saying they are going to make sweeping changes, and congressmen are calling for the same. CAPS has been meeting with congressional aides and USDA officials for more than eight years in an attempt to get oversight hearings and changes to the AWA.

CAPS will continue to cooperate with USDA while conducting ongoing oversight of the Animal Care inspection program.  Since 1995, CAPS has been to approximately 1,000 commercial dog breeders and brokers, most of them federally licensed.

The USDA has been very negligent in its enforcement of AWA regulations with respect to commercial dog breeders and brokers.  USDA APHIS/Animal Care uses inspectors, including veterinarians, to conduct "unannounced" inspections of federally licensed dog breeders and brokers who supply puppies to the pet shop industry.

For a good summary of the OIG report, read this article on the Animal Folks (run by CAPS Advisory Board member Ann Olson) website.

http://www.animalfolksmn.org/news-recent.html

USDA Inspection Photos

Click on any image.

USDA Proposes to Regulate Internet Sellers

Published in USDA

CAPS Complaint Form:

Select the CAPS Complaint Form to submit a complaint regarding your pet shop or online purchase.  It can also be used to register a complaint against a puppy mill.

FDA

State Attorney General complaint forms

Published in General
Thursday, 14 June 2012 18:08

USDA Proposes AWA Update

Americans love online shopping. Websites like Amazon and Zappos now compete with big box stores like Walmart and Target, at times beating them in sales. Unfortunately, the shadiest and cruelest pet businesses also ride the lucrative wave of the Internet bubble. Like online scammers, these puppy mill owners disguise themselves as legitimate operations by posting stock photos of cute puppies and staged pictures of their so-called kennels in semi-professional websites. To the average person, these places seem as reliable and safe as eBay, but nothing could be further from the truth...
Published in CAPS News
Publication/Event date: 2012-06-13
Publication name: Examiner.com
URL for more info: http://www.examiner.com/article/usda-proposes-new-rule-to-regulate-internet-dog-dealers
Summary:
As the animal protection movement wages its battle against the maltreatment of dogs in puppy mills, it faces an increasingly powerful enemy—the Internet pet store. The Internet, as helpful as it has been for rescuing animals with sites like AdoptAPet.com, has become a stealth shield for unlicensed breeders looking to make a buck.
Continue reading...
Published in CAPS News
All of the following Ag Gag bills and laws apply to puppy mill investigations. Had there been an Ag Gag law in MN, CAPS would not have been able to gather the evidence necessary to convict Kathy Bauck, one of the largest and most notorious dog brokers/breeders in the country. Nor would the USDA have terminated her license because that termination was based on her animal cruelty conviction.

Publication/Event date: 2012-02-05
Publication name: Animal Visuals
URL for more info: http://www.animalvisuals.org/projects/data/investigations
Summary: Proposed "Ag Gag" laws threaten the only way that the public can find out how meat, dairy, and eggs are really produced, and reveal that agribusiness wants to hide their activities from the public.

Click here to continue reading and to view map
Published in CAPS News
Page 2 of 2

Bea's Beat

Blog with CAPS Spokesmodel Beatrice, a puppy mill survivor and vegan advocate.

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Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

Learn more about Deborah Howard, president and founder of Companion Animal Protection Society.

Meet Deborah

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Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
759 CJC Hwy., #332
Cohasset, MA 02025
p: 339-309-0272
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If you purchased a sick or dying puppy from Barkworks or Happiness is Pets, you may be able to join consumer class action lawsuits. The first step is to fill out the CAPS complaint form.

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