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Currently the United States Department of Agriculture does not license or inspect large-scale puppy producers who sell puppies over the Internet or directly to the public. Many of these unlicensed facilities sell puppies sight-unseen to unsuspecting buyers who assume they are purchasing from a small family breeder. Hundreds of these “direct” sellers have taken advantage of the pre-Internet language of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations (otherwise known as the “retail pet stores loophole”) to operate without any federal oversight or inspections. As a result, an increasing number of large-scale unlicensed breeders are not monitored for their animals’ overall health or for any humane treatment standards.