Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just say no to puppy mills, dang it!

Good lord, I hadn't realized our fair state was the Wild West of puppy breeding (see: almost totally unregulated) until I read this article in today's State Journal. The good news, however, is that legislators, though still incapable of passing a decent state budget, are moving to make significant changes to the laws:

A bill to be introduced today by a bipartisan group of lawmakers would require all dog breeders who sell at least 60 dogs a year or have at least eight breeding females to register with the state, meet minimum breeding and sanitary standards and be subject to state inspections. It would require the state to establish those standards and impose penalties on breeders who violate them.

The bill would also let dog buyers seek financial or other penalties from breeders who sell unhealthy dogs.

I guess I'm just somewhat appalled that there wasn't already some type of regulation on the books in regards to breeding. Puppy mills are disgusting and the people who run them are deplorable. It seems well within reason and the jurisdiction of the state government to impose basic standards on the people who breed dogs. Especially since "designer" pups have become so popular in recent years.

My family had a similar experience years ago when we bought a "purebred" shih tsu puppy from a local pet store (that, it later turned out, used puppy mill breeders for its dogs). The poor thing was a complete runt and was so sick that she nearly died just months after we brought her home. Happily, our story has a good ending in that we were able to get her cared for by an amazing vet who basically saved her life. She ended up being the weirdest but most personable dog you could want, but lived a long and happy life (though we're fairly certain she wasn't at all a "purebred" shih tsu--there appeared to be some pekingese in her as well, at the very least).

Unfortunately, there are far too many stories that don't end so well for the dogs or their owners. You can learn more about puppy mills and those organizations working to stop them at the following links:
What I'll be really curious about is whether or not this proposed legislation will include regulations for breeders who sell directly to pet stores. It's a common loophole nationwide and, frankly, it's pretty heinous.

(photo credit: Dane County Humane Society - and you can adopt that very dog, or any of the other deserving animals through their adoption program)

No comments:

The Lost Albatross