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Animal Law, Animal Welfare

Anti-Puppy Mill Legislation Sweeping Across the US!

People are waking up to the cruelties of puppy mills. Nationwide ad campaigns such as this one, below, from the Companion Animal Protection Society’s “Models Against Pet Shops and Puppy Mills” help to spread awareness as to the suffering of puppy mill dogs. If you are unaware of what a puppy mill is, please learn more at HSUS.

Adopt, don't shop.

Adopt, don’t shop.

Today, I’m happy to report that not only is anti-puppy mill legislation is sweeping across the United States in towns and cities, but Illinois may be the first to enact a state-wide ban on puppy mill sourced pets! Here’s a quick look at the numerous proposed or passed legislation aimed at curbing puppy mills:

WISCONSIN

Public pressure has been mounting in Milwaukee to ban the commercial sale of dogs. If you live there, please keep up the pressure!

CONNECTICUT

The state senate approved the “puppy mill bill.” While this bill won’t completely ban the commercial sale of dogs and cats, it is intended to “intended to improve the living conditions and overall treatment of pets sold in Connecticut.”

FLORIDA

Pompano Beach may be next! “I’m sure there are good breeders out there, but there seems to be an awful lot of them that don’t seem to take very good care of the animals and we want to stem the need for these puppy mills altogether so the animals can have a better quality of life,” Commissioner Rex Hardin said.

PENNSYLVANIA

In an effort to stop animals from being sold in pet shops from unlicensed breeders, Philadelphia Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is proposing a bill in which “Philadelphia pet shops would have to provide a written certification that animals they sell were provided by reputable breeders. That paper would have to be kept on file for two years after the date of sale.”

NEW YORK

In January, Governor Cuomo signed a puppy mill bill in January which gives local municipalities the power to regulate pet sales. Consequently, we have seen legislation pop up to help our shelter animals and reduce the commercial sale of them. In New York City, a proposed anti-puppy mill bill is garnering wide public support. As a New Yorker, I fully support such a ban. Too many dogs are killed at our shelters. The city’s Animal Care and Control unsurprisingly supports the ban.

In Suffolk, legislation is currently being crafted to  make it “so that the pet dealers can no longer purchase these animals, animals that are bred by breeders that don’t meet certain basic ethical standards” and “calls for more pet shop inspections, new caging standards and tougher penalties for violators.” There would be a $500 fine per violation. “This is going to effectively shut down the sale of puppy mill dogs in Suffolk County,” said Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), who introduced the bill. For more information, please see this article.

ILLINOIS

Paws up for Illinois, for it may enact the first STATE WIDE BAN of puppy mills! I was already happy to hear of the ban in Chicago and the other ban in Cook County, (And Orland Park may be next!), but this news has me absolutely elated:

Governor Pat Quinn today announced his support for legislation to end “puppy mill” sales at pet stores in Illinois. The legislation, sponsored by State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) and State Representative Dan Burke (D-Chicago), would prohibit Illinois pet shops from selling dogs and cats they have acquired from commercial “breeders” – often large facilities that mass-produce animals for sale. — The Puppy Mill Project

Senate Amendment 1 to House Bill 4056 would “require pet shops to sell only those dogs and cats they have acquired from an animal shelter or animal control facility.” The bill would allow “responsible breeders” to sell directly to individuals. “Pets are a part of many families, and this legislation will help when choosing one of these new family members,” Representative Burke said. “It will also reduce the number of shelter animals and bring more healthy pets into Illinois homes. The state-wide ban has support from HSUS:

“This legislation would help end the euthanasia of thousands of adoptable dogs and cats every year in the state, and will drive the market toward responsible breeders and adoptions of homeless animals from shelters and rescues instead of puppies produced in puppy mills.” –Kristen Strawbridge, Illinois State Director of the Humane Society of the United States.

If you live in any of the above mentioned places, please show your support for the bans! Also, have any proposed legislation to share? If so, please post in the comments!

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About The Paw Report

I graduated from St. John's University School of Law in 2012, and am admitted to practice law in New York State. I was a member of the New York City Bar Association's Animal Law Committee for three years. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, but moved to New Mexico when I was 18. After dabbling in film for two years, I graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Anthropology. I've been living in New York City since 2008, and currently reside in Brooklyn with my boyfriend and our two cats. I am a former organizer with Direct Action Everywhere - New York City.

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