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How to File a Complaint Against a Dog Breeder

By Casey Holley | Updated September 26, 2017

If you have had an unpleasant experience with a dog breeder, you may want to file a complaint against the breeder. Some common reasons for complaints include unclean facilities, selling sick or injured dogs, misrepresenting their dogs or selling dogs younger than eight weeks old. The place to file a complaint varies depending on the type of dog breeder you have a complaint against. Some dog breeders are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while others are accountable to various kennel clubs or local animal control/welfare agencies.

Contact your local animal welfare organization to determine if your complaint can be handled at a local level. Many states and some municipalities have laws that govern how dog breeders must care for the dogs. This type of complaint is usually suitable if the complaint you have is regarding the way the dogs are cared for or the living conditions of the dogs.

Call the kennel club that the dog breeder uses. Some examples of kennel clubs include American Bully Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, American Kennel Club and Continental Kennel Club. Filing complaints with a kennel club is only effective if the breeder registers dogs with that specific club. The contact information for the kennel club the breeder uses is located on the registration papers provided to you with the dog. Generally, complaints of any type, including selling puppies younger than eight weeks old, not caring properly for the dogs, unclean conditions and improper care, can be made to kennel clubs.

Write a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture if the complaint you have is a direct violation of federal animal care laws and the dog breeder is a licensed commercial breeder. When you write the letter, be as specific as possible and be sure to include your contact information.

USDA/APHIS/AC 4700 River Road Unit 84 Riverdale MD 20737 –1234


Casey Holley is a medical writer who began working in the health and fitness industries in 1995, while still in high school. She has worked as a nutrition consultant and has written numerous health and wellness articles for various online publications. She has also served in the Navy and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Phoenix.