puppy millMany states are working toward legislation to regulate and oversee puppy mills, from limiting the number of dogs allowed to improving the conditions; cage sizes, exercise requirements, medical care and more. For legislators, it’s an uphill battle against opponents that have money and backing. These opponents don’t want anything that’s going to short change their financial windfall and they don’t really give a damn about their ‘cash crop’, the dogs.

Recently, Louisiana Rep. Harold Ritchie sponsored HB 1193, a bill aimed at puppy mills to place a cap on the number of breeding dogs at 75. Although I feel that intentions are good, this bill will fall far short of actually accomplishing much of anything, including possibly what it intends, capping the number of dogs in puppy mills. You can download and read the bill HERE.

One of my readers brought this to my attention and although I don’t necessarily agree with all her points, I do agree that this bill needs a major overhaul, rewrite and some serious research. As is, it’s far from very useful or even enforceable.

The first part of the bill addresses licensing. Basically, your average citizen is going to have to pay $10 per for a spayed or neutered dog, $20 per for an unspayed or unneutered dog. Now, this isn’t too outrageous. The ‘problem’ shows up when you compare these licensing fees to what a kennel/breeder will pay;

“Kennel license fees for those dogs over the age of six months harbored on the owner’s premises at the time of the application shall be $15 for not more than five dogs, $25 for five to 10 dogs, and $30 for more than 10 dogs”

So basically if your ‘Average Joe’ has five altered dogs, he’s going to pay $50 but a breeder can have up to 75 dogs and only has to pay $30.

There is a serious lack of balance to the fees. People who will be making money breeding and selling dogs seem to be getting quite a break here while responsible dog owners will be obligated to carry the burden of the licensing fees.

The bill does “prohibits an individual or business that breeds, buys, or sells dogs from maintaining more than 75 dogs over the age of one year at any time for breeding purposes” and includes penalties, “a violation of present law and proposed law subjects the violator to a penalty of a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.”

What is does not address is who will oversee or enforce these proposed laws. It also does not address standards of humane conditions for the dogs. Most puppy mills are nothing but houses of horror with dogs living in the most substandard conditions imaginable. Neglect and abuse are rampant!! As important as it is to try to limit the number of dogs forced to live like this, it is almost useless if conditions are not addressed!!

I do believe that Rep. Harold Ritchie had good intentions which shows that he cares, now its time to ask him to show his commitment by making his bill something that will really make a difference!

Katherine put together a petition that asks Rep. Harold Ritchie to do just this. It is a request for an enforceable bill that actually addresses the problems, all the problems.

If you care about the fate of poor neglected and abused dogs in puppy mills, take a moment and sign the PETITION! Let Rep. Ritchie know the eyes of the country are on him to do the right thing and make a real difference!

PETITION! Request for Enforceable Louisiana Anti-Puppy Mill Law

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