Home > Animal Rescue, Backyard Breeders, Maggie, Pet News, Pine River puppy mill, puppy mill dogs, Puppy Mills > Time for a change – Minnesota Dog and Cat Breeder Bill Passes

Time for a change – Minnesota Dog and Cat Breeder Bill Passes

IMG_8824Monday could very well be the day that our Minnesota State Governor signs the Dog and Cat Breeder bill into law. Even if it does not happen today or tomorrow, it will be signed into law soon, and that is amazing in and of itself. It has taken close to ten years of hard work to make this happen. From those who did the heavy lifting (you know who you are) to those who called their legislators and rallied at the capitol and committed the time and effort to get us here, you have my (and Daisy and Cupcake and Maggie’s) thanks and gratitude.

So what happens with this bill and when does it begin?


  • Dog and cat breeders operating in the state of Minnesota will be required to be licensed, regardless of whether or not they are a USDA breeder. The licensing process will begin in July. (This means those who sell over the internet can no longer drop their USDA license and think they are safe from scrutiny. It also means that we will have a more accurate data on the breeders that operate in our state.)
  • The Minnesota Board of Animal Health will now have the authority to inspect commercial dog and cat breeding facilities and enforce existing State laws to ensure animal care standards are met and they will be funded to do so. (This can begin as soon as licenses start coming in or they can start next year, June 30th, the deadline for breeder licenses to be submitted.)
  • The state will also have the ability to apply civil, administrative and criminal penalties for those who violate the law.

I have no doubt that many breeders will be thinking about whether or not they want to stay in business. For those who do not, there will be the issue of closing down their business. I expect we will see more animals coming into shelters and rescues. We must be ready for them.

For those who stay in business, it will be an adjustment. They will need to pay a license fee, establish and maintain a written protocol for disease control and prevention, euthanasia, and veterinary care of their animals, and identify all known owners of the business. They also must make any USDA violations available to state inspectors, report whether they have ever been convicted of animal cruelty in  the past, and subject themselves to an annual inspections. In other words, they will face more scrutiny than ever before.

Change is coming to Minnesota breeders. They only question is how successful will it be? I guess that is dependent on the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and us. Our vigilance will be required. There are those who will gladly look for ways to weaken this law.

My personal hope is that people like Deborah Beatrice Rowell will find it harder to do business like they did before. She owns the puppy mill that Maggie came from and is back in business today. If this law makes it hard enough to make her quit, then that would truly be a blessing, especially for the dogs like Maggie, who have not yet escaped.
Claiming the bed

  1. May 19, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    I really hope this passes and is successful. Other jurisdictions (states and provinces) will be watching to see how it goes, and if it goes well, we can look forward to positive change spreading!

    • Mel
      May 19, 2014 at 6:33 AM

      Thanks Jen. There is no doubt it will be law soon. The governor completely supports it. I hope it spurs changes in other states as well.

  2. Sabrina
    May 19, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    I am so thankful to those who have worked so hard to make this happen. Until a few years ago, I was ignorant to the existence of puppy mills. I saw some protesters one day by a pet store and I literally had to google ‘puppy mill.’ A bazillion Youtube videos later, I was heart broken. I sure hope this step makes a difference and that the legislation is enforced and can really make a difference for dogs like Maggie.

    • Mel
      May 20, 2014 at 6:45 AM

      Thanks Sabrina. I was mostly ignorant about puppy mills too, until I got Daisy and then I really got educated. You got to witness first hand the damage caused by a puppy mill on a dog since you were Maggie’s first foster mom. Once you care for one it’s pretty hard to not be emotional about the issue, isn’t it? I hope it makes a big difference for the dogs and cats in these mills.

      • Sabrina
        May 20, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        You are right, It is very hard to not be emotional about it after caring for Maggie. It really makes you feel helpless and overwhelmed, but this is a step in the right direction. In an endless sea of ‘issues’ that people are fighting for, it’s good to see some progress being made on this one. I find it funny that more time is spent debating on whether I can buy beer/wine on a Sunday than fighting for the humane treatment of these LIVING beings. Of course, I have no idea how many hours have gone into each, I am just over-exaggerating to make my point. Cheese to Maggie (her version of Cheers!)

      • Mel
        May 21, 2014 at 6:37 AM

        I can so relate. Yes. I get emotional about it too. I agree. There are so many animal issues that I could attach myself to on any given day, but this is one of my very top ones. And, I get your point. Cheese to you Sabrina. 🙂

  3. May 19, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    BRAVO! Sounds like an awesome law. No doubt the no-goodniks are already thinking of ways to beat this law, but I’m really happy for Minnesota dogs and cats! Pets have no voice, we are their only voice.

    Catherine Armato

    • Mel
      May 20, 2014 at 6:42 AM

      Amen to that Catherine!

  4. May 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM


    • Mel
      May 20, 2014 at 6:42 AM


  5. May 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    That is brilliant!! I’m in the UK and there are lots of hidden puppy mills. My golden retriever came from one – we didn’t but her from one – but it was dressed up as something else. It was a puppy mill and she brought many issues with her that was puppy mill rated. 10 years on though she’s the most amazing dog. X

    • Mel
      May 20, 2014 at 6:42 AM

      We have those too. That is why requiring the registration and licensing is so important. How lucky your Golden found you. You obviously must have been the right person for her is she is such an amazing dog now. I feel the same about my Daisy. She is 10 1/2 and is the most amazing dog and I love her so very much. These dogs are such an inspiration aren’t they?

      • May 20, 2014 at 6:51 AM

        Oh what a coincidence, my Poppy turned 10 at the beginning of May. She has had many issues that are clearly related to the puppy farms, but I wouldn’t part with her for the world now. It’s been hard, but she’s my girl.

      • Mel
        May 21, 2014 at 6:39 AM

        Same here Georgia. I could never part with Daisy either. She has made amazing progress since she came to live with me almost 7 years ago.

  6. jan
    May 20, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    No doubt the shelters will be overwhelmed for a while but I believe the public will step in and give these poor dogs a life that they deserve.

    • Mel
      May 21, 2014 at 6:35 AM

      No doubt Jan. I am hoping now we can start to address how to work with mill dogs to help them transition from life in a mill to life in a home. The real work begins, just on the other side of things now.

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