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Posts Tagged ‘puppy mills’

Top Ten Animal Stories of the Closing Decade

December 30th, 2009 No comments
Greater Awareness of Puppy Mills and Laws Regulating Breeders

Greater Awareness of Puppy Mills and Laws Regulating Breeders

Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States has compiled a list of the top ten animal stories of the first decade of the new millennium.  Among the top ten animal stories of the past decade are:

  • Hurricane Katrina, which “resulted in the largest animal rescue operation in history.”  The disaster spawned an outpouring of donations to animal rescue organizations and influenced the passage in Congress of the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS), as well as new legislation in a number of states that sets policies on responding to the needs of animals during a disaster.
  • Michael Vick’s arrest for dog fighting, which brought to light the horrors of forcing animals to fight for sport.  According to Pacelle, “The Vick case resulted in more than half of the states upgrading their laws and a doubling of arrests, as well as an upgrade of the federal law against animal fighting.”  Partly owing to the Michael Vick case, animal fighting is now illegal in all U.S. states.

    More Humane Treatment of Animals Used for Food Production

    More Humane Treatment of Animals Used for Food Production

  • Advances in the treatment of animals used for food production, including a federal ban on the mistreatment of “downer cows” (cattle too sick or injured to walk on their own), and state bans on the long-term confinement of animals on factory farms.
  • Oprah Winfrey’s series on puppy mills.  In 2008, Oprah Winfrey did a series of programs on her influential talk show exposing the horrific realities of puppy mills.  Since the broadcasts, HSUS has rescued thousands of animals from puppy mills, ten states have approved legislation imposing stricter standards on large-scale breeding operations, and public pressure has caused pet stores to either close altogether or to stop selling puppy mill dogs.

We hope that the coming decade brings about further advances in how we, as a society, treat the animals in our care and at our mercy.

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Categories: Dogs in the News

Bill Aimed at Ending Abusive Dog Breeder Practices Passes the North Carolina Senate

August 7th, 2009 1 comment

The North Carolina Senate has passed a bill that targets the kind of abusive practices by some commercial dog breeders that have earned them the name “puppy mill” and that have caused misery to countless animals in their custody.  The measure follows the shutdown of two large puppy mills in that state in February and its passage has been controversial, with the American Kennel Club claiming the bill would burden dog “owners,” and not just breeders.

Law will Regulate Commercial Dog Breeders to Prevent Puppy Mills

New S.C. Law Seeks to End Animal Cruelty by Puppy Mills

New S.C. Law Seeks to End Animal Cruelty by Puppy Mills

Senate Bill 460 clearly defines a “commercial breeder” as any person who owns or maintains 15 or more intact female dogs of breeding age and 30 or more puppies primarily for the purpose of sale.  The measure provides for the establishment of minimum humane standards for the care of animals at commercial dog breeding operations, including the provision of adequate housing, exercise, food, water and veterinary care.

Commercial Dog Breeders must Register with the State and be Subject to Inspection

The measure provides that no commercial breeder will be permitted to operate in North Carolina without first registering with the state.  In order to register, the breeder must be in compliance with all established standards for the care of the dogs.  Failure to register constitutes a Class 2 misdemeanor and may subject the breeder to an injunction.  Commercial dog breeding operations are subject to inspection by authorities upon reports of inhumane conditions.

Penalties for Failing to Provide Adequate Minimum Humane Treatment

Under the new law, the failure of a commercial breeder to adequately house, exercise, feed, water and provide veterinary care for the animals in its custody is a Class 3 misdemeanor and will result in a fine of not less than $50 per day per animal.  Any commercial animal breeder convicted of a violation will lose its registration, meaning that it can no longer operate in the state.

Abusive Puppy Mills in North Carolina

The legislation comes partly as a response to an incident in February in which local authorities, along with the Humane Society, raided and shut down two abusive puppy mills in Wayne County, North Carolina.  According to a Humane Society press release congratulating lawmakers on passing the legislation:

[More than 300] dogs were housed in filthy, cold, cramped cages without access to exercise, adequate veterinary care, or human contact.  Many of the dogs were covered with fecal encrusted dreadlocks and suffered from severe skin and eye infections.  Some had chain collars embedded in their necks.

American Kennel Club Opposed the Measure

The American Kennel Club opposed the measure, arguing, among other things, that it would add a “duplicative layer of regulation on responsible dog owners and breeders in North Carolina.”  The measure, however, does not apply to mere dog “owners.”  It applies only to clearly defined commercial dog breeders.  Moreover, it appears that at least some commercial dog breeders have proven incapable of self-regulation to the detriment of the health and wellbeing of hundreds of dogs in their care.

The law becomes effective May 1, 2010, and applies to the commercial breeding of dogs on or after that date.

More States on Board with Puppy Mill Legislation

According to the Humane Society, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia passed laws in 2008 targeting puppy mills.  Arizona, Indiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington state passed laws in 2009 to cracking down on puppy mills.  Several other states are now considering puppy mill legislation.

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Adopting a New Rescue Dog

July 17th, 2009 5 comments


Meet Lucy, the new addition to our home.  We adopted Lucy through Animal Friends Society of Tampa in June 2009.  I call her Miss Happy-Pants because she never fails to wag her tail and appear genuinely thrilled when any of her new family members come into her orbit.  Lucy is a mixed-breed pooch who appears to have a hint of Chocolate Lab and a good bit of some sort of terrier in her.  She is about one-half Frankie’s size, weighing in at 40 pounds.  And at approximately a year old, she probably won’t get much bigger.

How We Came to Adopt Lucy

When Frankie passed the one-year mark, we started thinking he needed a canine companion.  Even though he was getting a three-mile walk every day and occasional outings such as trips to doggie day camp, it still didn’t seem to be enough.  There would be many evenings when his pent-up energy would just have to be expended, and he would race through the house at breakneck speed, narrowly missing household items we’d rather not have smashed by an 80-pound canine missile.  Having a furry friend around the house would help him burn off all that excess energy.  It was time to think about adopting a new dog.

Pet Adoption:  Rescue Dogs are the Best

We pondered our options, but there was really no question that our new dog would be a rescue dog like Frankie.  We believe that, for us at least, rescue dogs are the best.  There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • Rescue a dog and you’re saving a life. We rescued Frankie from the “mean streets” of Dayton, Tennessee in April 2008.  We were visiting my family at the farm there at about the same time someone decided it would be a good idea to just abandon a three-month-old puppy out in the country to fend for himself.  Fortunately, my niece took him in and fed him.  Then my husband and I decided to give him a permanent home.  I knew he would grow up to be a fine dog, and I was right.  Moreover, by bringing him into our home, I know we saved his life.
  • Getting a rescue dog means you’re not supporting puppy mills. A depressingly large number of pet stores sell dogs that come from puppy mills.  A puppy mill is a horrible, hopeless, miserable existence where dogs are crammed into cages and “fed and bred” until they die.  According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Adopting a dog instead of buying one is the surest way to strike a blow against puppy mills.”

Animal Friends Society

Animal Friends Society is an all-volunteer no-kill orgainzation dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of homeless, abused and abandoned animals.  They often hold adoption events at locations such as our local PetSmart.  Having considered the idea of adopting another dog, we decided to attend one of their adoption events, with Frankie in tow.  We looked at several dogs, including a couple of much younger puppies, before we spotted Lucy.

Although she is almost a solid dark brown, Lucy looks like a smaller version Frankie in practically every other way.  And from the moment she and Frankie met, it was clear that they would be instant best friends.  We spent several minutes observing the interaction between Frankie and Lucy and learning more about Lucy’s background.

Lucy’s Story

Lucy was abandoned and was found starving and terrified.  The kind man who found her could not get her to come to him at first.  But with patience, persistence and scraps of food, he was eventually able to lure her in.  He fed her and fattened her up and gave her the affection she had been missing.  Ultimately, though, he was unable to keep her so he turned her over to AFS.

The Pet Adoption Process

At AFS, Lucy was given a vet check-up and all her vaccinations.  She was also spayed.  The adoption process involves filling out an application form, which is fairly simple, but at the same time requests enough information to allow the AFS volunteers to assess the would-be adoptive family’s commitment to taking on the responsibilities of bringing a new pet into their lives.  Once the adoption application is approved, a tax-deductible fee of $150-200 for dogs is requested and your new pet can come home.

Frankie & Lucy 025Life with Lucy and Frankie

Lucy arrived home on June 17, 2009, and there hasn’t been a dull moment since.  She and Frankie are well-matched for temperament and energy.  They chase and tackle each other and generally tumble around in the back yard for several hours every day, burning all that healthy, youthful energy.  When they’re hot and tired, they come inside and cool off in the air conditioning and drink plenty of water.

Then, after they’ve rested a bit, they start all over again.  And they couldn’t be happier.  Frankie & Lucy Resting

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