Several agencies of the federal government may administer oversight over dog ownership, breeding, and transfer.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). USDA Animal Care, a unit within the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), administers the AWA. Regulations established under the AWA set standards for the humane care and treatment for certain animals that are exhibited to the public, sold for use as pets, used in research, transported commercially, or imported for resale purposes.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, is the leading national public health institute of the United States. CDC regulates the importation of animals and animal products capable of causing human disease.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) oversees the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. DOJ is responsible for developing and enforcing regulations applying to the use of service animals.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) oversees the enforcement of the Air Carrier Access Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel. DOT also has definitions of and rules applying to service animals.