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U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced US Senate bill S. 3424 late Tuesday evening. The bill is designed to close the “internet loophole” in the Animal Welfare Act which allows breeders who sell numerous puppies over the internet or directly to the public to avoid the USDA regulation required of other breeder-retailers.

The measure, called the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS) is a complete revision of previous measures by the same name. This bill would require individuals who breed and sell more than 50 puppies a year over the internet or directly to the public to be regulated by the USDA.

The bill amends the Animal Welfare Act in the following specific way:  

1.         Defines anyone­ who breeds and sells more than 50 puppies a year as a High Volume Breeder Retailer. High Volume Breeder Retailers would be required to abide by current USDA dog dealer regulations. These regulations require kennels to:

  • Obtain a USDA license,
  • Meet federal minimum standards of care
  • Be inspected (generally not less than once every two years) by the USDA.


2.         Requires new exercise standards that allow a dog daily access to exercise that enables it to move sufficiently to maintain normal muscle tone and mass, the ability to achieve a running stride, and is not a forced activity. 

The area for exercise should have flooring that allows for this type of exercise.

  • It should be constructed of solid flooring or non-solid, non-wire flooring that is safe and appropriate for the breed, size and age of the dog, is free from sharp edges, and is designed so that the paw cannot extend throughout become caught in the flooring.
  • The flooring must be cleaned at least once daily, be free of infestation and designed to prevent escape. 
  • The bill provides an exemption from exercise for dogs that should not exercise for reasons of health/condition/well-being as certified by a licensed veterinarian.


This measure does not limit the number of dogs a person/kennel may own or define commercial breeders on the basis on the number of the number dogs they own.

The measure would go into effect one year after the date of the enactment of this bill.

For a USDA fact sheet on Animal Care Compliance Inspections, click here.

For a copy of the USDA/APHIS animal care inspections checklists, click here.

The AKC is currently studying the impact of this measure.

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced US Senate bill S. 3424 late Tuesday evening. The…