In late May 2008, as part of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, Congress passed an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act that makes it illegal to import puppies for resale if the puppies are less than 6 months old.


It makes NO difference: whether the importer brings the puppy here and ships you the puppy from a U.S. address, or whether the importer has the exporter ship the puppy directly to you from Europe.  IT IS STILL ILLEGAL!

In an attempt to deceive buyers some of the importers are now saying that they are not importing, that they are just facilitating purchases from sellers abroad. NONSENSE. If someone in the U.S. is collecting money and arranging for you to get a puppy shipped to you from outside the U.S. that is less than 6 months old, that person is the importer of the puppy and the transaction IS ILLEGAL.

DO NOT be a party to helping puppy sellers violate the law.

DO NOT buy imported puppies under any circumstances.

There is a good reason why the law was passed: the reason is that many of the
imported puppies are sick and/or have serious genetic defects that can cost you thousands of dollars in veterinarian charges. The importers have caused many puppy deaths and untold heartache to hundreds of unsuspecting buyers.

DO NOT be the next victim.

DO NOT fall for the story that imported puppies are better than domestically bred puppies. The truth is that there are good breeders here and there are good breeders in Europe. However, good breeders do NOT wholesale puppies to importers in other countries. The importers are buying puppies from abroad for only one reason: they can buy the puppies cheaply from low cost countries and resell them here at substantial profits to unwary buyers.

There are so many complaints on the Internet about problems with imported puppies that most of the importers are now implying that their puppies are born here.
DO NOT be duped:

1. If a seller tells you that he or she is the breeder,

2. If a website does not have the name and address of the seller,
STAY AWAY. There is a reason they don’t want you to know how to find them if things go wrong. Make sure the seller’s name, address, telephone number and email address are included in the sales agreement.

3. If the website says that the seller deals with partners who breed the dogs,
STAY AWAY. The seller is just reselling puppies from puppy mills. Whether they are buying from foreign puppy mills or U.S. puppy mills makes no difference. Those are not puppies you want to buy.

4. Read the sales agreement and health guarantee
BEFORE putting down a deposit. If the sales agreement and health guarantee don’t sound fair, THERE IS A REASON. That reason is that they are trying to defraud you. (For further information, read the articles on our News and Info page that illustrate why provisions common in importer/puppymill contracts are designed to make sure you have no remedy if things go wrong.

BEFORE YOU GIVE ANYONE a deposit, do a Google search and look for complaints by earlier buyers. Note, though, that many of the sellers just change names when complaints about them start turning up on the Internet, so not finding complaints is NOT necessarily an indication that you are dealing with a reputable seller.

6. You are playing with fire by buying from ads in sites like, and the like. No reputable breeders advertise on such sites.
The best way to find a puppy is to go to an AKC dog show and meet the breeders. The second best way is to go to the website of the AKC parent club (e.g., Bulldog Club of America, French Bulldog Club of America) and go to their breeder referral page.

7. If anyone tells you that their puppies are championship quality or show quality, ask how many dogs they have personally shown to their championship and
ask for the names of the dogs. If they haven’t shown dogs to a championship, the odds of your getting a championship quality dog from them are likely less than the odds of your winning the lottery.