The federal Animal Welfare Act regulates commercial kennels that supply CT pet shops. These standards are very weak, and allow for federally-sanctioned cruel conditions.
The following portions of the AWA are particularly concerning:
- No specific requirements for 1) quality of veterinary care or 2) number of veterinary exams per year.
- Bedding required only when the ambient temperature drops below 50 degrees F
- Indoor ambient temperature required to be a minimum of 45 degrees.
- Natural light not required.
- A dog’s primary enclosure required to be only six inches larger than the dog on all sides.
- Wire flooring permissible.
- Stacked cages permissible.
- Only minimal exercise required
- Contact with both people and other dogs not required.
For fuller details and explanation, please see this document prepared by the ASPCA.
Another useful and informative document is “Why the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) Standards Are Inadequate to Protect Dogs in Puppy Mills” published by The Humane Society of the United States.