PA Puppy Mill Bill Passes House
HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept 17, 2008 – Governor Edward G. Rendell today praised the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for voting to pass House Bills 2525 and 2532, which he said will protect kennel dogs and the families that welcome them into their homes.
He urged swift passage of the bills in the Senate to help rid Pennsylvania of its reputation as “Puppy Mill Capital of the East.”
“The bills that passed in the House today with overwhelming, bi-partisan support will go a long way to protecting dogs kept in kennels with poor but currently legal conditions,” the Governor said. “I applaud the House of Representatives for defeating the many amendments to House Bill 2525 filed on behalf of special interest groups and aimed at weakening the bill. The House has delivered strong legislation that reflects not only the needs of dogs, but the will of the public in improving the minimum standards in the worst of Pennsylvania’s kennels.
“Current Pennsylvania law allows dogs to be kept in cramped, stacked cages their entire lives with no opportunity to exercise and minimal care,” the Governor said. “These conditions lead to dogs with physical and behavioral problems. Pennsylvania must ensure that the standards of care are raised for the sake of dogs and the families that will eventually own them.”
Governor Rendell said widespread public support could help move the legislation through the Senate, and urged Pennsylvanians to let their senator know their thoughts on the issue.
“There are reputable breeders in Pennsylvania, and the Department of Agriculture has worked with them and other segments of the kennel community to make sure this legislation does not impede their ability to breed and raise high quality show dogs, sporting dogs, and companion dogs,” the Governor said. “I believe the bills that came out of the House reflect the needs of reputable kennel owners while raising the bar for those who are concerned only with the value, and not the welfare, of the dogs they breed.”
Among other protections for dogs, H.B. 2525 doubles the minimum floor space for dogs, eliminates wire flooring, and requires access to an outdoor exercise area twice the size of the dog’s primary enclosure. Current law does not require that dogs ever be taken out of cages, much less be provided access to exercise areas. The wire flooring allowed under current law breaks down easily, and destroys dogs’ feet over time.
The bill requires veterinary examinations for each dog at least once per year or during each pregnancy.
Current law treats all kennels the same, regardless of size or function. The proposed legislation would allow the health and welfare needs of the dogs housed in large commercial breeding kennels to be addressed.
Requirements are virtually unchanged for other types of kennels, like sporting and hobby dog kennels, because they do not operate with the purpose of breeding large quantities of dogs to sell for profit. Instead, they operate for the purpose of sporting, hobby, boarding or finding homes for dogs.
Protections for the welfare of all dogs are included in H.B. 2532. Specifically, debarking, the practice of cutting or destroying a dog’s vocal cords would only be allowed by a veterinarian, as would surgical or Cesarean birth. Tail docking would be allowed by individual owners until the dog is three days old, after which point it must be done by a veterinarian.
“Too many times, dogs rescued from commercial breeding kennels suffer from procedures that should be done only by a veterinarian with proper anesthesia and sanitation,” the Governor said.
The legislation is a result of Governor Rendell’s effort to improve living conditions for dogs in Pennsylvania kennels. Since 2006, Governor Rendell has made improvements to the staffing and enforcement efforts of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, which oversees the inspection and licensing of kennels.
For more information on the proposed legislation overhauling Pennsylvania’s Dog Law, visit www.DogLawAction.com.
The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell’s initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit his Web site at: www.governor.state.pa.us.
Now I am going to say it again, TAKE ACTION!! These important bills are going to face the same obstacles in the Senate that faced getting through the House.
I urge all Pennsylvanians to contact you senators – you can find the list HERE, and let them know that you support the bill.
1. Remind your Senator that dogs in Pennsylvania have been suffering for far too long and deserve better conditions and protection than they are currently afforded by law;
2. Mention that House Bills 2525 and 2532 is NOT Democratic or Republican issues – the humane treatment of dogs is a concern for ALL Pennsylvanians in every part of the state;
3. If your state Senator is NOT supporting HB 2525 and HB 2532, ask how they can possibly side with an industry that places profit over the health and welfare of innocent dogs;
If your state Senator IS supporting the Bills, remind them how important the humane care and treatment of dogs in breeding kennels is to you and thank them for their continued support and anticipated vote FOR the legislation.
Each day that goes by without the passage of House Bill 2525 and 2532 represents yet another day that dogs in Pennsylvania are suffering for the sake of profit. By working together and letting our officials know how strongly we feel about both pieces of legislation we may actually make the summer of 2008 the last summer breeder dogs in Pennsylvania spend sweltering in rabbit hutches or stacked in cages in unventilated barns.
For those outside Pennsylvania, you can still contact the PA Senators. You can let them know that the eyes of the country and the world are watching them. Let them know that you will not support Pennsylvania through tourism or industry and you will urge friends and family to do likewise. Where the bills are being held up, it is only because they worry about loss of revenue from special interest groups supporting this vile industry. Let them know they will lose a lot more revenue if they don’t support it!
Everyone please, this is not just a Pennsylvania problem! Don’t think the dogs bred in PA puppy mills stay in Pennsylvania. They are shipped all across the country and with the puppies come diseases and a plethora of other medical problems. We all pay the price!
So now it’s time to pick up the phones, write email, write letters… raise your voices! Be polite but be firm! Actual letter will send the strongest message. Start now and don’t stop!
Please , help to get the word out too. Send this to everyone you know, friends, family… post this on forums and groups. You may be one person and I am only one person, but together with many others, we can be a force to be reckoned with.
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