|Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Missouri Department of Agriculture|
In 2013, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began requiring all internet breeders to be licensed and inspected by the agency. This new policy restored important checks and balances to help ensure the health and humane treatment of pets that are sold sight unseen. Responsible animal breeders quickly fell in line. They knew these rules were there to protect both their reputation and the animals’ welfare.
However, some breeders have continued to shirk federal law, insisting on maintaining subpar conditions for the animals they claim to care so much for. One breeder in particular, Cornerstone Farms, has yet to get its USDA license and is ranked by the Humane Society of the United States as part of the “Horrible Hundred,” the worst puppy mill offenders in the country.
It is time for the USDA to give Cornerstone a choice: comply with the new policy, or get shut down. Not one more animal should suffer at the hands of breeders who only claim to care for the wellbeing of their animals.
Requiring internet breeders to comply with the policy enables both the government and potential customers to rest assured that federal standards for the humane treatment of animals are being met. But Cornerstone seems to think it's above the law and can just keep on operating with substandard conditions for their dogs and puppies.
According to the Humane Society of the United States , state inspectors who visited Cornerstone Farms found dogs with open sores, hair loss, and fly-bitten ears. Last year, a Missouri state investigator observed a litter of seven puppies who didn’t have any water. When provided with water, the state report noted that the puppies “were observed lapping the water nonstop,” as if very thirsty. And In a statement provided to law enforcement, an eyewitness declared that the operators routinely shoot unwanted dogs and bury them on the property. Local law enforcement declined to take action.
These are just some of the many violations state investigators have found. This is no way to treat an animal, let alone someone's future pet. The USDA must bring Cornerstone Farms into compliance or shut it down. Sign our petition and help make a difference in the lives of more than 500 dogs and puppies.