Online polls can be a bit unscientific, the numbers found in a local news station poll this week are incredible. WWAY in Wilmington, NC asked readers if they think North Carolina needs to enact tougher puppy-mill laws.
Just up the road from Wilmington, around 100 dogs were recently rescued in a raid on a rural puppy mill.
As of Friday morning, 762 people had voted in the poll, with 92 percent voting YES. While any reasonable person would vote this way, a few did go with NO or Don’t Know/Don’t Care.
Our nation is divided on many political issues and as we’re seeing right now, gridlock is the new norm. But our collective love for animals brings people of all political corners into agreement. Now we just need our elected officials follow the movement. To date, too many elected officials at the state and federal level have been caving in to special-interest groups, who regularly lobby against any and all breeding regulations and/or animal-welfare laws.
In its next session, the North Carolina General Assembly will take up a new anti-puppy mill bill, which has passed one house already. Any puppy-mill regulations need to include regular, unannounced inspections; requirements for daily exercise and play time; regular veterinary care and standards for kennel sizes and construction.
Our current laws in North Carolina and at the federal level are far too weak. Don’t let anyone tell you current laws are good enough, if enforced. There are gaping holes in current regulations – especially for breeders – in NC and elsewhere.
Enforcement is one key area, but currently, law enforcement does not have the guidelines it needs. Conditions have to be reach extreme levels before police and sheriff departments can act. By that point, the suffering might have gone on for years. Without inspections, we’ve seen puppy mills operate undiscovered for years, if not decades. So many are operating freely right now.
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The ag interests will do everything to stop it, as they do everywhere else regarding improved conditions for pets.