USDA Website Access

This article is going to show you how to use the USDA’s APHIS (animal and plant health inspection service), web site to look up puppy mills (breeder’s), animal labs, and circus’s. Due to the freedom of information act the USDA now posts all inspection results. On the web site you can search, license status and inspection results. You can perform searches based on type of license, type of animal, state and citation.

We are going to go step by step on how to access the site.

USDA APHIS home screen

Type into your browser. Or click the link.That will take you to the APHIS home page.  Pic above.  Next you go to the left column on the home page. Under “browse by subject”, go to “animal welfare” and click on it. The above pic has “animal welfare” highlighted in green.    Now go to the right hand column on the Animal Welfare page. Under the picture of the elephant in the bottom right hand column is “view AWA Inspection Reports”. Click on “View AWA Inspection Reports”.USDA APHIS Inspection reports

Now you are at the Government Warning page. What it is saying, is that the government is allowed to view your computer and the data that is on it. Click “Agree”, if you want to view the inspection report.


Now we are on the A.C.I.S. or Animal Care Information System. It defaults to the basic search. Type “MARLIN ZIMMERMAN” in the search box and click search.

APHIS Marlin Zimmerman Basic search results

You will see Marlin Zimmerman, customer number, certificate number (which designates type of license breeder, broker, lab, etc). and the date of issue or cancellation. The kennel / Puppy mill’s address is on the right. Now, above the name and to the right of the highlighted “licensee/Registrant Information”, is “Inspection Information”, click that button.Zimmerman Inspection page

Here you see dates, and violations on the left. To see the inspection results, click on “Details” on the far right.

zimmerman inspection results

The results of the inspection is shown, the violations are listed along with the statute number. At the bottom of the page shows the number of dogs and puppies at the kennel / mill at the time of the inspection.

When an “inspection report” has been “Expanded”, the other inspections are still on the page, just in the “hidden” aspect.

If you look at the far upper right hand corner of the inspection box, you will see number like this  1-5 of 6 and then “Next”, this is to look at the next page of inspection reports, the website shows 5 at a time.

Now, lets look at the “Advanced Search” feature of the website.

USDA APHIS Advance seach page

Go up to the top of the page, the “basic” search option. Click on “Advanced” search. Below the “Advanced” search is “Optional Criteria Items” Box. Click on the box and you will see a drop down window with a bunch of options. Count down 5, and click on “Inspection Animal Categories”. You will see another window open next to the “Advance Search” window. Click on the window and pick an animal, for this pick Dogs. Go back to the “Advanced Search” window, under it is “Add Criteria Item”, click on it and the “Dogs”, will appear under the “Selected Criteria Items”.

USDA APHIS Advanced search dog

Now go back up to the “Optional Criteria Items”, box. Count down 12 and click on “Licensee/Registrant State”. Another new box opens that contains the “states”, click on “Pennsylvania”. Make sure you click on the “Add Criteria Item” button.

USDA APHIS Advanced search state and dog search ready

Click on the “Start Search” button. You will now see a list of Facilities that have dogs. The list just happens to be research Labs. This is the “Licensee / Registrant” results.

USDA APHIS Advanced Dog and State Search Results

To view inspection results you have to click on the “Inspection Results” button. Please remember, I do not run the USDA APHIS website. The site has a lot to be desired. I wish it was better and easier to use. Remember, this is our tax dollars at work. The best way to use the site is to just get on it and play with it, see how it works and what it’s limits and quirkiness are.

Let me know how you like this article.


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