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Puppy Mills: The Tide is Turning

July 22, 2013 21 comments

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In light of some recent disheartening puppy mill news…

Northern Minnesota authorities seize 131 dogs in animal-cruelty case

North Dakota owner of 170 seized dogs says he’s cooperating

Wheatland breeder petitions to regain custody of dogs seized by Cass deputies

Rescuers seize 169 dogs from alleged Missaukee County puppy mill

Seized dogs in alleged puppy mill being treated; suspect arrested

It’s encouraging to see some good news coming out of one of the states with the most puppy mills – Missouri.

In 2011, Missouri passed the  Canine Cruelty Prevention Act (CCPA), requiring puppy mill owners to provide better care, submit to veterinary inspections once a year, provide access to outdoor exercise areas for all their dogs and removal of kennels with wire flooring.

Despite legislative action to weaken the bill, which it did, and a lawsuit brought by  83 dog breeders, Missourians still managed to keep some major provisions that will now have the opportunity to impact puppy mills where it hurts – in the pocket-book. In fact, it already has begun.

  • The breeder lawsuit was withdrawn thus leaving the CCPA in a good position to move forward – My friend Sue over at Talking Dogs Blog provides some highlights from the breeder lawsuit and the testimony that likely led to it being withdrawn (you really must read it to understand how badly they underestimated their ability to sway public opinion). Mischief Monday: Missouri Puppy Mill Lawsuit Withdrawn

And in California, there’s more change. Several cities are taking the lead on banning puppy mill puppies sold in pet stores.

[San Diego] City Council votes unanimously to ban ‘puppy mill’ sales (Did you know San Diego is the 32nd city in North America to ban such sales?)

[Los Angeles] Ban on sale of puppies in L.A.

[Glendale] It’s unanimous: Glendale City Council to ban pet store sales of dogs and cats

Did you know San Diego is the 32nd city in North America to ban such sales? Here’s a full list of the cities choosing to ban pet sales in pet stores.

Even though Minnesota has yet to pass any bill regulating dog breeding operations (we have some of the largest puppy mills in the country), I am encouraged, because the tide is turning. It’s only a matter of time.

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And meanwhile, over in this corner…

February 20, 2011 13 comments

Over the past few weeks there has been a battle going on. Thanks to a heads up by Two Little Cavaliers, dog and cat bloggers, tweeters and Facebook folks have been rallying together to stop eBay from selling live pets via their eBay Classified’s website. Most of these pups come from questionable breeders, and if I had a chance to make a bet, I would say that the majority of them come straight from puppy mills and/or backyard breeders. As a result of this campaign, people have been signing a petition to ask eBay to stop selling live pets on their website. So far, 83,000+ people have signed the petition. You can add your name to the petition here and I encourage you to do so. Stopping the sale of puppies from these mills is a major key to ending pet overpopulation and the killing of 3-4 million dogs and cats each year by U.S. shelters.

But while this battle was going on, another one was taking place in Missouri… and it’s not good news.

Back in November 2010, animal advocates and pet owners rejoiced when Prop B passed in Missouri by the narrowest of margins. Prop B mandated that dog breeders, especially puppy mills, had to provide the following for the dogs in their care: exercise, comfortable places for breeding dogs to live, and required food and veterinary care. Seems pretty reasonable doesn’t it? I mean most dogs I know need exercise, a comfortable place to sleep, food and vet care. But not in Missouri, the worst puppy mill state in the country. Nope. In Missouri, this is considered excessive (Read: It takes too much time, money, effort, etc. to offer the minimum standard of care to an animal considered to be “livestock” by the USDA). So over the past few months, since the passage of Prop B, puppy mill owners and backyard breeders have been putting pressure on their state legislators to rescind or completely dismantle Prop B. And it appears that they are succeeding…

One example, HB 131, just passed unanimously out of the House Agriculture Policy Committee on Tuesday (February 15, 2011). “If it passes, it will strip the requirements for clean water, room to move around in cages, and time to rest between breeding cycles out of Proposition B. In essence, it makes Prop B a do-nothing law.”

And then there is SB 113 which essentially takes the legal teeth out of the punishments puppy mill breeders would face if they violated Prop B.

Not good news at all.

So while we battle on against eBay, let us not forget the fight that is still going on in Missouri (and even in my home state of Minnesota).

And lest you think that this is no big deal – none of your concern – not worth your time – watch the video below. It was filmed in Minnesota, but trust me. Kathy Bauck (the puppy mill owner) is not the exception but the rule in Missouri.

To tell the members of the Missouri House of Representatives to vote NO on HB 131. Go here. They only have 234 signatures so far.

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