President Obama’s Opportunity for our Nation’s Puppies

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 1:30pm
Portuguese Water Dog puppy

The First Family, heeding President Truman’s maxim that if you want a friend in Washington, you should get a dog, did just that—they’ve added Sunny, a second Portuguese Water Dog, to their home in the White House! The family made a donation to the Washington (D.C.) Humane Society in Sunny’s honor, a lovely gesture that recognizes the important work shelters do for our communities and animals.

With Sunny and Bo, President Obama is able to make a difference in the lives of two dogs. However, the President has an opportunity to make an even bigger difference for thousands of dogs living in our country’s many large-scale, commercial breeding facilities. Last year, the USDA proposed a rule that, for the first time, would require large-scale commercial breeders that sell pets over the Internet (or conduct other sight-unseen sales) to be licensed and inspected under the federal Animal Welfare Act. Many of these commercial breeders are puppy mills—large-scale breeding operations that place profit over the well-being of their dogs.

Even though the ASPCA and our partners helped deliver 350,000 public comments in support, the Obama Administration has been slow to release the final rule. Another regulation preventing the importation of young puppies from foreign puppy mills has been in the pipeline for several years, and we urge the President to implement this new law immediately as well. By ensuring that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases its final rules on puppy importation and domestic puppy mills/online dog sales, President Obama can help protect dogs who aren’t as lucky as Bo and Sunny.

We hope that Sunny came from one of our nation’s shelters or rescues, or that the Obama family chose her from a responsible breeder—but regardless, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that Sunny and Bo inspire the President to take action to protect the dogs who suffer daily in our nation’s puppy mills. Visit our No Pet Store Puppies website to learn more about where most puppy mill puppies end up.

The ASPCA works with the White House, Congress, and state legislatures across the country to make sure our nation has strong laws to protect animals. Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to learn how you can help!

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Lynn Davis Whit...

How do we forward this story to the president?


you can copy and re-post it on his Facebook page. Idk if he will see it, but I'm sure something will get thru to him.


I had to retire early in my job(career) I have been rescuing Dogs for 20 plus years
I cant imigane how Mankind can be so cruel to animals of any kind and although I thought Ive seen the worst I know there even more I havent,any animal dog cat horse ect..depends on us..all thye ask for in return is LOVE and they give LOve to us no matter who we are or arent, their LOVE is unconditional..and they never forsake us (just like God never forsakes us) PLease take stiffer controls for puppy mills and animal cruielty/theres never a price on Aminals love just OURS>>

Lynda Quentin

Dear Mr. President,
I can only imagine how busy you are. You have the job I would never want. Too much responsibility. Everyone asking you to do this and do here is mine :)
Please please please do what you can to crack down on puppy mills! Please educatio the American public on the importance of getting rid of these monstrocities and making sure to encourage everyone to adopt from a shelter! This is so important and everyone needs to become aware.
Thank you

Rosa Simburger

Dear Mr. President,
There are so many dogs and cats in shelters that get put down every day. The law needs to change to close most if not all puppy mills and pet stores. It boggles my mind that people/stores are breeding and selling dogs/cats when millions get killed every day. Are human beings really the most intelligent species on earth? Animals are not objects nor are they disposable. They love, play, feel happiness, sadness, hunger, and pain. The most intelligent people on earth are the ones who are saving and trying to figure out how to save these living beings. These people are my heroes and I have so much admiration for them. Please help these defenseless and exploited living beings. Thank you.

angelique aswegan

Well said. I completely agree. We are supposed to be the most intelligent creatures on earth yet we are destroying everything in our path. People discard animals like they do trash. We have lost sight of the most important thing of all, we are all part of something much greater than ourselves. Animals deserve the same respect and love as a human does. We are supposed to watch out for them not sale them as merchandise.


Bo and Sunny are beautiful dogs and I wish them much happiness in their splendid home with their lovely human family, but I believe that they were procured from a fancy breeder and not from a shelter. It is wonderful that our president and his family made a donation to the D.C. Humane Society, but the president truly needs to get behind these animal protection proposals. That is my fervent wish and urging.