Hopefully, provisions to weaken Ohio’s puppy mill law will be pulled from new bill

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Some Ohio lawmakers were out to weaken Ohio’s puppy mill law, with provisions that would have “dramatically reduced state bonding for some dog breeders and eliminated requirements that they disclose past law violations and provide pictures of their kennels on license-renewal applications.” – as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

But now, it seems the damaging changes will be pulled from a recent bill in the Ohio Senate. Rep. David Hall, R-Millersburgl, who had inserted the language now reportedly says he will yank the provisions.

The pressure needs to be ramped up on state and federal legislators to enact better protections for animals. And when improved laws are in place, we can’t let lawmakers try to gut the protections through the back door.

Thankfully, it seems here that press coverage caught this attempt in Ohio.

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Ohio House tries to back-door provision to weaken protections for puppy mill dogs

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How anyone, in 2014, could still support cruelty is beyond belief. But while we continue to see positive steps forward, some elected officials are trying to gut even the most basic protections for animals.

Some members of the Ohio House are supporting a bill that includes provisions to scale back the state’s anti-puppy mill law, as the Columbus dispatch reports this morning.

The publication notes three significant changes in the bill: “… cutting the bonding requirement by more than half for large-volume dog breeders, and eliminating the need for criminal-background checks and kennel photos with breeder renewal applications.”

The goal is to make it easier to abuse animals. I wonder if these people go home and tell their kids what they’re doing.

Hey kids, guess what dad did today? He made it easier for people with a history of animal cruelty to work at puppy mills. These are the morals I want to pass on to you.”

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Local Pennsylvania store chain drops puppy sales; makes important statement

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I was really pleased to see this headline flash up on the Pack News Wire earlier today: “Pets Plus stops selling animals raised in puppy mills.”

The Montgomery News article reports Pets Plus stores in the Philadelphia area are joining the Humane Society of the United States program to end the sale of puppies. The article notes more customers are going into the stores to shop, since the change to holding adoptions only.

There is an ever-growing understanding in the general public as to the risk of buying puppies from stores. The odds are far too great that the puppies are bred in puppy mills.

The last local store in my home city that was selling puppies went out of business a few years ago. The only other puppy seller shut that store down several years prior.

A new pet-supply store just opened here, part of a national chain. Before the site opened, I spoke with the manager who emphatically stated they would not be selling dogs or cats and would be hosting adoption events.

Stores still claiming they need to sell puppies to stay in business are living in the 1950s and need to update their business models in a huge way. Many of the national chains and a host of local stores all across the nation learned long ago that selling puppies is a loser in every aspect of the term.

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Puppy mill busted in North Carolina

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I’m a bit late getting this up on the blog. But it is important to report – for the benefit of those who might have missed the news – on a puppy mill bust in Rutherford County, NC.

Thank you to the local law enforcement officials there and once again to the Humane Society of the United States.

Thankfully, these dogs were saved. But because too many states have failed to enact and put into practice better protections for puppy mill dogs and animals across the board, the raids are scattered.

A massive number of puppy mills will continue to slip under the legal radar.

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BREAKING GOOD NEWS: Federal court tosses lawsuit that challenged new crackdown on puppy mills

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The Humane Society of the US just released a statement concerning the actions of a federal court. A lawsuit that challenged the USDA’s new rules directed to the Internet sales of puppy mill puppies, was shut down by the court.

“We are delighted the court has thrown out this baseless lawsuit challenging USDA’s new rule cracking down on Internet sellers of puppy mill dogs,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president of animal protection litigation and investigations for the HSUS, in the press release.

“In a detailed opinion, the court concluded that the breeders ‘are barking up the wrong tree’ because ‘their complaints are more policy disagreements with APHIS’s regulatory approach than they are valid legal objections to APHIS’s authority.’

“Dismissing the breeders’ legal claims as ‘a dog that won’t hunt,’ the court granted judgment in favor of USDA and the HSUS – which intervened to help defend the rule because every large-scale operation should be inspected and every dog provided a bowl of clean water and enough space to move around.”

Add me to the list to animal-welfare advocates who are grateful to the court for flushing this nasty lawsuit down the toilet, where it belongs.

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Bad news for puppy mill dogs in Illinois

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Reports out of Illinois, leading up to the election of Bruce Rauner Tuesday as the state’s new Governor, indicate bad news for dogs suffering in mass production breeding facilities – puppy mills.

Back on October 29, Steve Dale noted on his blog that Rauner was getting support from Petland, a national chain that sells puppies in its stores. Dale rightfully reminds his readers that Petland is actively fighting regulations against puppy mills.

Rauner has thanked Petland for its support of his election campaign.

How anyone could support any company that fights against protections for dogs suffering in puppy mills is stunning. Before Rauner even begins officially serving as the state’s Governor, it appears he is unable understand this easily-understandable issue.

That’s a horribly bad first step.

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No logic coming from those who oppose puppy mill regulations

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I’m gonna keep hammering away at this, because every time I read about those opposing breeding regulations in states across the map, the same, tired, twisted mess keeps sinking to the bottom of the debate pond.

So let’s review the basic proposals and specific regulations – with the key follow-up question – WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT?!

** HUMANE HOUSING: Usually, the proposals in state bills set minimum, reasonable standards for the size of cages where the breeding dogs are housed or set a space requirement that allows the dogs room enough to turn around freely and lay down comfortably. And of course the cages should be free of feces and other unhealthy conditions.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – No reasonable person could opposed this provisions – PERIOD. The alternative is to allow breeders to force the dogs to live in horrible conditions.

** DAILY EXERCISE: The bills typically call for minimal amounts of time each day, when the dogs should be allowed to play or at least walk around a bit outside or within some open area.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – No one with an ounce of compassion in their soul would really suggest dogs housed in breeding kennels should be kept in their cages 24/7. We’d never want pets in homes to live this way.

** CLEAN FOOD AND WATER: Self-explanatory.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – The alternative would be dirty water and scummy food? Only a moron would not want the dogs to get clean food and water.

** VETERINARY CARE: Again, self-explanatory.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – Of course, I can hear the pro-puppy mill types saying, “Nobody tells me what to do with my property. It’s just like my car, I change the oil when I want to.” And that pretty sums up where animals stand with the pro-puppy mill side.

** LIMITS ON THE NUMBER OF TIMES FEMALES SHOULD BE PREGNANT IN A GIVEN TIME FRAME: Some of the proposals I’ve seen include this regulation and it’s a good one. The females should be given time for their bodies to rest. They are not factory machines.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – This, along with the other provisions, aids in the health and welfare of the dogs. It’s common sense and good veterinary science.

WHO IS FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE? – Animal welfare advocates and quality breeders and every single human with the ability to think logically and have compassion for animals.

Yes – quality breeders meet or exceed the standards of care being proposed across the nation. The only breeders who would be impacted are those that do not meet the minimums. And that’s the point – isn’t it?

I repeat – That’s the point, isn’t it?

And yet, we have groups like the AKC and others out fighting every bill to regulate dog breeding.

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How is it possible that a few state senators blocked puppy mill legislation in NC?

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We should not have state or federal legislative systems where a few elected officials with an ax to grind or a special-interest group to support can block extremely reasonable legislation that has the overwhelming support of the public.

Despite what some members of the US Supreme Court would have us falsely believe, people have the rights, not the special interests.

In North Carolina, Republicans hold super majorities in the House and Senate. The House voted in overwhelming numbers to pass a previous anti-puppy mill bill. A very small number of senators blocked the Senate version from moving out of committee.

Now, with the breeding previsions inserted into a budget bill, the same few individuals have managed to make sure the protections never come to a full vote. In negotiations over two overall versions of the budget, they managed to get the animal-welfare text removed – again.

As I’ve noted before, the arguments against the proposed legislation to protect puppy mill dogs and cats have no basis in reality. I can’t even imagine an alternate reality where these arguments might work.

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PackRant: To those who oppose puppy mill regulations – go ahead, read this, I dare ya

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There are a ton of issues swirling around the political oceans, from jobs to health care, from Supreme Court decisions to climate chance and much more.

Often enough, some of the arguments are completely off the charts within particularly debates. But none of the arguments I’ve seen over the last few decades for any issue surpass the level of lame and illogical we see from those opposing puppy mill regulations.

Sure, those opposing recent bills in various states have a reason to oppose them. There’s money to made in this industry. If they came out and merely said, “Hey, if the law is passed, puppy mills would be shut down and less money would be made,” at least there would a direct admission there.

But the actual arguments we’re seeing just have no basis in reality or logic.

Let’s look at a few:

There are no legal definitions of the phrase ‘puppy mills.‘ – Of course there are. And in some cases the very people opposing the bills don’t like the specifics delineating which breeders are covered. And they don’t like the standards of care established, which clearly define that puppy mills would fall under these base levels.

Inspections violate private property rights. – I wonder if anyone spewing this one would ever really eat at random restaurants that had not been inspected for the last few months? I wonder if they would suggest USDA inspections should be dropped – so that we would never know how safe our food is to eat? I guess they think anything going on on private property should be shielded from law enforcement and inspectors.

Where inspections are ongoing, the system protects public health and safety and therefore consumers. Inspections for puppy mills would protect animals from potential abuse and consumers from potential fraud.

No one should be able to abuse animals or put public health at risk by hiding behind their so-called property rights.

If puppy mill dogs or kitten mill kittens gain protections from abuse, then the movement could spread to farm animals. – This one screams out – “We don’t want anyone punished for abusing farm animals, even if it exposes health risks to food production for humans or the suffering of the animals.”

But beyond this, it is a horrible thing to suggest. So we should not attempt to end the terrible suffering endured by dogs and cats in mills, because some other laws might come out of it? That is a heartless position to take. I get it that it’s all about profit, but really? – Does it have to be this way and this extreme?

Do these people watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and cheer for Mr. Potter? Do they think “A Christmas Carol” has a terrible ending because Scrooge is scared into becoming a compassionate person and someone who cares about individuals other than himself?

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NC Senate blocks puppy mill regulations at the 1-yard line

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With the short session of the North General Assembly winding down this week, key members of the state Senate and House were debating a number of contentious provisions in the proposed budget bill.

Teacher pay and Medicaid and film-industry incentives were all up for debate and were the main areas of focus for the media. As the days and weeks wore on, animal-welfare advocates were hoping the new regulations on puppy mills would hang on with the House version of the budget – including inspections, new standards and enforcement of puppy mill laws moving from the agriculture department to law enforcement.

But a few members of the Senate managed to once again block the puppy mill regulations from remaining in the bill. It would be a very long shot at this point, but there could be a slight hope remaining that the measures could be reinstalled.

WRAL out of Raleigh, NC reported groups such as the American Kennel Club and hunting and agricultural organizations were against the measure. The article included the following –

They argue that requiring kennel inspections violates breeders’ property rights and say setting standards for companion animals could trigger similar requirements for livestock breeding operations.

Far-fetched is too light a phrase for how misguided these baseless arguments really are. The USDA engages in safety inspections at facilities, to protect public safety and for the same reason restaurants are inspected frequently. Suggesting inspections should be banned in these cases to somehow protect property rights, is nothing short of dangerous.
And protecting people who abuse dogs because protecting the dogs from suffering might lead to regulations on factory farms is both lame and extremely callous.
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