Call for Puppy Mill Laws in OK After Almost 100 Dumped Dogs Found
On August 18, 90 dogs were found dumped and abandoned on a ranch near Ardmore. They’d been dumped there sometime Sunday night. The dogs, many of them pregnant, were emaciated, matted and in generally poor condition.
It’s believed that the dogs were dumped by a breeder, or more specifically in this case, a puppy miller, since they were probably not making enough of a profit.
“It’s horrific,” said Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma director for the Humane Society of the United States. “And if the animals were indeed abandoned by someone running a puppy mill, it’s really another tragic symptom of these mass-breeding establishments that have little or no regard for the animals they are breeding.”
One of the dogs had been de-barked, a procedure in which usually a piece of pipe is shoved down the dog’s throat and then banged on, effectively severing the dog’s vocal cords.
Sixty-five of the found dogs were taken up by Southern Oklahoma Animal Resources, and 25 were sent to an animal shelter in Texas. At this time, most all of the dogs have been placed in homes, adopted or fostered.
And now animal advocacy groups are calling on legislators for laws to regulate the breeding industy in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma is one of several states that does not require inspections or set standards for dog- and cat-breeding operations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates commercial breeders that sell animals to third parties, but does not regulate animal breeders that sell directly to the public.
In the last legislative session, Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, proposed legislation to inspect breeders that sell more than 25 puppies per year. The law would have created minimum standards for living conditions, she said.
The bill did not pass out of a legislative committee, but Denney says she plans to propose a similar bill in the next session, if she is re-elected.
Some groups say the legislation was misguided. Denise Travis, president of the Oklahoma Animal Interest Alliance, a group of breeders and animal welfare proponents, said the rules would only have affected breeders that are already licensed by the USDA, leaving the problem breeders untouched. (NewsOK)
Of course, groups representing breeders are going to fight anything that may regulate the industry because for them, the bottom line is money in their pocket, not care for their “stock”.
There are animal cruelty laws in place which also apply to the commercial breeding industry but they are seldom follow-up on or enforced.
Christy Counts, president of the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, said local law enforcement lacks funding to address animal cruelty issues. They also would have to get a warrant to search a puppy mill, since customers often buy dogs over the Internet or in store parking lots, instead of at the breeder’s home or business.
Those factors make it even more difficult to pin down violators, she said, adding that she supports legislation to require inspections for all dog breeders.
As we all know, from what’s been happening in Pennsylvania, puppy mills are not a small problem. there needs to be some regulation in place, including licensing on the local level.
It is not too much to ask that breeders treat these dogs, that they make their living off of, humanely!! Personally I would like to see the whole industry closed down but there’s too much money involved and too many people getting their pockets line so that’s not going to happen.
There are reputable and responsible breeders out there, I’m not saying there aren’t but these large-scale operations only care about their bottom line!
Any every person who buys a dog or puppy from a pet store or from one of these internet ads, is adding to the problem!! Easily 90%+ of the dogs come from puppy millers regardless of what they say!
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