Latest News

Petland Applauds Updates to Federal Standards of Care

(Chillicothe, OH, May 18, 2020) – On May 12, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released updates to the regulations used to enforce the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). 

“Petland proudly supports breeders who dedicate their lives to raising America’s pets.  Petland encourages continued science based-improvements in standards of care.  As such, Petland applauds the USDA’s recent rulemaking,” stated Joe Watson, Petland president.

“In the fall of 2018, Petland sent a letter to USDA Secretary Dr. Perdue ‘urging the federal agency to begin a comprehensive review process of the current USDA canine standards of care’ that included input from the breeder and veterinarian communities.”

The new regulations announced Tuesday will “promote compliance, reduce licensing fees, and strengthen safeguards that prevent individuals and businesses with a history of noncompliance from obtaining a license or doing any regulated activities with regulated animals,” stated USDA’s announcement.

The updates reflect public comments and finalized changes to a proposed rule that was published in March 2019. Changes to the licensing structure will be phased in over the next three years.

“While the vast majority of USDA licensed breeders far exceed the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act, any time standards are increased animal welfare improves,” noted Petland Vice President of Animal Welfare Brian Winslow.

In 2017, USDA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that asked the public for input on potential revisions to the AWA regulations to reduce regulatory burden and more efficiently ensure sustained compliance. 

Petland’s 2018 letter called for the modernization of national standards based on sound science and the best available information obtained through open dialogue with USDA breeders and other stakeholders.  It followed a 2016 letter from Mr. Watson to then- USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack stating “the time has come for the USDA to begin the process to strengthen and modernize the current Animal Welfare Act standards.”

Passed by Congress in 1966 and amended eight times, the Animal Welfare Act establishes the federal standards of care for dog breeding and the USDA is tasked to enforce the Act.  Several states, including Ohio and Missouri, have passed state standards of care that far exceed the current USDA standards.  At the last review, nearly half of all USDA breeders reside in either Ohio or Missouri.

For more information about Petland visit and


Petland, Inc. is a franchise operation with quality, full service retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and El Salvador. For more than 50 years, Petland Pet Counselors have been dedicated to matching the right pet with the right person and meeting the needs of both. To its customers who already have pets, Petland is dedicated to enhancing their knowledge and enjoyment of the human-animal bond. Petland was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in south central Ohio. For more information on Petland, visit