HELP TO BAN PUPPY MILLS
The next time you think of purchasing a cute dog from a pet store or online, please think twice. Most puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills, large commercial breeders where animals are often warehoused in unsanitary conditions, in cramped cages, deprived of socialization, exercise, and necessary veterinary care. The breeding dogs spend years, if they survive that long, suffering in these deplorable conditions.
Although the Federal Animal Welfare Act and regulations contain licensing requirements and minimum standards for the care of animals at some puppy mills, enforcement of the Act has been widely criticized. A government report provided numerous examples of inadequate enforcement:
- Lack of necessary care of dogs with hair loss over their entire bodies and raw, irritated spots on their skin. Despite the continuing violations AC (animal care department of the USDA) did not take enforcement action.
- Dog was left untreated for at least seven days after being bitten by another dog, resulting in the flesh around the wound rotting away to the bone.
- Numerous dogs infested with ticks. In one case, the ticks completely covered the dog’s body.
- A large amount of feces and urine was pooled under the kennels producing an overpowering odor. The inspector recommended no enforcement action.
- The inspector found five dead dogs and other starving dogs that had resorted to cannibalism. Despite these conditions AC did not immediately confiscate the surviving dogs, and as a result twenty-two additional dogs died before the breeder’s license was revoked.
While the USDA has announced that it may start regulating the sale of animals on the Internet and New York’s pet dealer law was recently improved to include a requirement that puppy mill dogs get some exercise, these measures, though a step in the right direction, are not enough. We strongly believe that puppy mills need to be closed.
GOOD NEWS! There are legislative efforts to ban the sale of puppies and kittens at pet stores. The Los Angeles City Council recently passed such an ordinance. Similar laws have also passed in other municipalities in California, Florida, Nevada, Texas, and in British Columbia and Toronto, Canada. The language of the various ordinances differ, with some specifically making it clear that pet stores can instead work with animal shelters and rescue groups to offer homeless animals for adoption. Unfortunately, NY has a law which prohibits localities from regulating pet dealers, but state legislation will be re-introduced shortly to give localities this right.
YOU CAN BE A PART OF THE EFFORT TO END PUPPY MILLS!
- Don’t buy a puppy or kitten from a pet store, on the Internet, or from a puppy mill/commercial breeder. Animal shelters and rescue groups have so many wonderful homeless animals who are waiting for the chance for happiness and love in a new home.
- Urge your local pet stores not to sell puppies and kittens. Ask them instead to promote animal adoptions by working with local animal shelters and rescue groups.
- Contact your local and state legislators and ask them to sponsor and support legislation to ban the sale of dogs and cats at pet stores.
For more information on pet sales, go to Elinor’s Corner