The operator of a Jones County, NC puppy mill has been found guilty of 38 counts of animal cruelty. But the couple who operated the mill were sentenced to just two years probation and are only prevented from having animals for two years.
Each time the North Carolina state legislature has debated new bills to regulate dog breeding, the pro-puppy mill side claims the laws on the books are good enough. This case and others like it offer proof that the state’s laws and the level of punishment for offenders is VERY weak.
This is my home state, so it is especially troubling to me. Sadly, I don’t know what it must take for courts in so many states to really hand out a stiff penalty for a violent crime, drunk driving or cruelty to animals. Our criminal justice system is broken – badly broken. And because criminals know they’ll only get a slap on the wrist, they will continue to commit crimes such as this.
So we can see the conditions at the mill and we can relate it to the extremely weak punishment the couple received. And yet, WRAL reports their lawyer plans to file an appeal.
There is a very good reason why opponents battle back against better regulation on puppy mills and stiffer penalties for animal cruelty. They want the slap-on-the-wrist system to continue and they know exactly what regular inspections of breeding facilities like this would uncover.