Today, U.S. Representatives Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Vern Buchanan (FL-16) introduced the bipartisan Petfax Act to increase transparency in the pet adoption process. The bill would require that pet purchasers be provided with a “Petfax” report detailing the conditions in which the animal was bred and raised. In addition, the Petfax Act would establish stricter criteria for obtaining and maintaining licenses to sell pets, helping to ensure that only legitimate and responsible sellers are allowed to operate in the industry. 

Experts estimate that there are at least 10,000 puppy mills operating in the United States, most of which are unregulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These inhumane commercial dog breeding facilities may sell animals in pet stores or online without disclosing information about a dog’s history or health problems to potential adopters. By requiring disclosure of the history and health of animals to buyers, the Petfax Act will enforce transparency and accountability among breeders and sellers to promote better treatment and breeding practices.   

“Dog lovers across the country are unknowingly subsidizing bad breeders who mistreat animals because they don’t have access to the basic facts they need to make informed decisions,” said Congresswoman Ross. “Congress needs to step in to ensure that adopters aren’t kept in the dark about the history and breeding of their animals. That’s why we introduced this bipartisan bill. The Petfax Act will require that prospective pet owners are provided essential information about their new family members, a step that will help to promote transparency and responsible practices in the industry. I’m grateful for the partnership of Congressman Buchanan on this important issue. As a proud dog owner, I remain committed to creating a future where every pet finds a loving home through ethical and informed choices.”

“Whenever you buy a car, it usually comes with a detailed “Carfax” report detailing the vehicle history, such as owner maintenance, accidents, and overall condition. Adopting a pet should be no different,” said Congressman Buchanan. “That is why I am pleased to introduce the Petfax Act with Congresswoman Ross to require those who sell pets to provide a “Petfax” report outlining the animal’s health history. Cracking down on these unsanitary and inhumane puppy mills is an essential step in ensuring a safe and healthy future in the animal buying process.”