There are currently 16 pet shops in CT that sell commercially bred puppies. A complete report on the breeders used by CT’s pet shops was compiled and submitted as testimony to the legislative Task Force on 12/4/13. Download a summarized version of the report here. It shows the conditions in which puppies are born, and breeding dogs suffer everyday of their lives. These breeders have USDA violations in the period 2010 – 2012.
Over 600 breeders were used to supply Connecticut’s pet shops in 2012. 335 of these breeders had USDA violations. 156 of them were not found in the USDA database, and are presumably unlicensed.
USDA violations represent instances where the breeder has failed to provide conditions required by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA requires only extremely minimal care for breeder dogs, which means dogs live in conditions most of us would consider inhumane. A breeder who violates the AWA, therefore, has sunk to particularly low depths of cruelty.
USDA breeder violations are public information, found via the USDA’s Animal Care Information System. Since all pets sold by CT pet stores must be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin, it is possible to trace each animal back to its breeder and determine whether that breeder has had violations of the AWA. A local organization, CT Coalition Against Puppy Mills, has done painstaking research to expose the reality behind “that puppy in the window.”