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Animal Brokers—Anyone who resales or negotiates the purchase or sale of regulated animals must be licensed, unless they fall under one of the exemptions.


Private Shelters and Rescues—Animal shelters operated by humane societies and other private groups are treated the same as any other dealer. If the private shelter or group charges adoption fees or receives other compensation for their animals, then they need a license, unless they fall under one of the exemptions


Retail Pet Stores/Direct Sells—Anyone whose entire business consists of selling certain pet-type animals (such as dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, and domesticated ferrets) to pet owners in person, at a place where the seller, buyer, and animal are physically present, is exempt.

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What is the definition of a retail pet store? 


A RPS is a place of business or residence at which the seller, buyer, and the animal available for retail sale are physically present so that the buyer may observe the animal in person before purchasing and/or taking custody of it. Only the following animals for sale or offered for sale are included: dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, gophers, chinchillas, domestic ferrets, domestic farm animals, birds, and coldblooded species. It is important to note, however, that USDA does not regulate coldblooded species or domestic farm animals used for food and fiber. 

● Retailers who sell their pet animals to customers in face-to-face transactions do not need a USDA license because the animals are subject to public oversight, which helps ensure their health and humane treatment. 


● The number of breeding females you have on your premises is not relevant if you sell all your pet animals in face-to-face transactions. 


● A facility that has a combination of four or fewer breeding female dogs, cats and or small exotic or wild mammals, is not subject to the USDA regulation as long as all of the animals offered for retail sale (for pets or exhibition) were born and raised on the seller’s premises. 

We will work with your to determine if you need a license and assist you in getting one.

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