Chloe of Chloe's BillMore and more states are finally recognizing the horrors of puppy mills, the inhumane conditions, the constant abuse and neglect that the dogs in these places are being subjected to for their entire lives and they are trying to do something about it.  Of course getting rid of them would be the ultimate answer but as long as the massive amounts of money keep pouring in, that is not going to happen but if they can at least pass legislation ensuring humane conditions, that would be a step in the right direction.

Illinois

Illinois state Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago) announced proposed legislation that would regulate large-scale dog breeders and pet stores with the goal of cracking down on abusive puppy mills. The legislation sponsored by Fritchey and Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Mt. Prospect) and backed by the HSUS and ASPCA is called Chloe’s Bill, after a young female dog that was rescued from a filthy, unlicensed puppy mill in Downstate Macon County.

The legislation, which will no doubt face opposition, proposed the following;

  • Create a Dog Breeder License Act, which would prevent breeders from having more than 20 unaltered (not neutered or not spayed) dogs.
  • Prohibit people from obtaining a dog-breeding license if they have been convicted of a felony animal-cruelty crime, including dog fighting.
  • Require dog breeders to keep dogs in buildings without wire flooring and with sufficient heating, cooling and ventilation. Humane Society officials said Sunday that many puppy mills they’ve uncovered have dogs in crates stacked high on top of each other, with the wire flooring of the crates destroying the animals’ paws.
  • Require pet stores and breeders to provide potential pet buyers with the dog’s full medical history, information of spaying and neutering and information about any prior medical care. Humane Society officials said many dogs from puppy mills end up having substantial medical problems because of interbreeding and exposure to disease in cramped environments.
  • Establish penalties starting with fines and escalating to having animals seized and breeding operations shut down.

“We’ve seen less enforcement by the USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] and state departments of agriculture than we’d like,” Cori Menkin, ASPCA’s senior director of legislative initiatives said. “This bill will change many of these horrific conditions.”

Cracking Down on Puppy Mills in Illinois

Virginia

On January 1 a law took effect in Virginia to protect dogs and make breeders and sellers more accountable.

  • It limits the number of animals a person can have and breed to 30 females.
  • It limits the ages for breeding – between 18 months and eight years.
  • It also requires animals be kept in floored cages, mandates an exercise regimen and veterinary care.
  • Large commercial dog breeding operations must get a business license and submit to inspections by local animal control officers.
  • Those operations now must meet strict record-keeping requirements.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, commercial breeders caught violating the law could have up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

“It’s a new day for animals in substandard breeding facilities,” said Ann Church, regional director for the Humane Society of the United States.

“Virginia was first state to pass a cap on the number of animals that could be in a facility and several states have taken similar steps,” she noted. “Virginia is really a leader in this field.”

Texas

Texas, which has no real regulation in place right now to regulate puppy mill is expected to address the problem during this legislative session.

The Texas Humane Legislation Network, a non-profit lobbying organization dedicated to the humane treatment of animals, is pushing for a bill that would require commercial dog and cat breeders to register each year with a state agency and pay a registration fee in order to operate.

The bill would require each breeding facility to maintain minimum housing and care standards to ensure the overall health of each animal. It also would provide for annual inspections of the breeding facilities and for civil and criminal enforcement of the law.

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These are just a few of the states with puppy mill problems, states that are trying to make a difference in the live of these abused and neglect dogs.  There are many more and every state needs to take a look at itself.  If there is no legislation to regulate commercial breeding, to offer at least the barest of humane conditions, something must be done.

I know where I live, in Wisconsin, we have serious puppy mill problems and dog auctions.  People are fighting and working but it seems the opposition has a lot more money to line pockets and ensure that no real changes are made.  They say the squeaky wheel gets oiled but it looks like the deepest pocket can buy their way to whatever they want.  This is the same in many states because, we, the people, are not banding together, working together in this fight to puch and demand changes be made.

Changes are long overdue.  The list of the dead, dying, abused and neglected grow every day and as long as we sit back and figure someone else will handle it, take care of the problem, it will never get fixed!

It’s time to be proactive, take action, be a voice, shout out because those poor dog crammed into cages, covered in urine and feces, freezing in the winter, burning up in the summer, with barely enough sustenance to survive on, parasite ridden, fur matted so bad they can barely move, broken and batter bodiesl they sure can’t speak for themselves.

Find out what your laws and legislation is.  Call and write to your state lawmakers.  Get together with other like-minded people and organization.  Take Action! Make a difference!

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