Local, online poll shows huge support for anti-puppy mill laws

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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.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Dispelling a Myth: The phrase ‘puppy mill’ does have a legal definition

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I continue to read insane propaganda from those who support puppy mills and those who fight against any and all legislation directed to shutting down more mills.

One of the myths circling around websites, message boards and comment sections is the one making the false claim that the phrase ‘puppy mill’ does not have a legal definition. It’s as odd as claiming the moon does not exist.

Within any existing piece of legislation regarding the regulation of breeders, where standards of care are part of the legislation, we can find the standards that define a substandard breeding operation – a puppy mill. It is true that in many cases the regulations do not go far enough.

But there are penalties involved for breeders who fall below the basic standards.

In many cases, the breeders are required to offer regular veterinary care, house their dogs to minimum standards (some banning the use of wire flooring), offer the dogs regular periods for exercise and provide them clean food and water. So in a very minimum level, a puppy mill operation would fail within any one or more of these areas.

Clearly, a substandard breeding operation is define and therefore a puppy mill is defined. So the next time you read a comment from someone claiming ‘puppy mill’ does not have a legal definition, point out the clearly defined definition. Although these individuals often have a lot of trouble with reading comprehension, others might better understand the topic.

I was reading a news article recently about a store planning to open in a Toledo, Ohio – where puppies will be sold. How the mall – in 2013 – could even consider this move is beyond belief. But some of the comments under the story might be funny if the topic was not so serious.

One person used the same old tired propaganda about there being no definition of a puppy mill. And she went further, claiming bad breeders could not possibly hide from view now. And get this, she claims all of the videos from puppy mill raids are old. (These people will claim anything at this point.)

She goes on to claim:

— Sick puppies don’t sell, so puppy mills couldn’t possibly sell sick puppies. (Of course she fails to note that these breeders don’t take sick puppies back and in some cases, the puppies get sick later or develop cancers later.)

— She claims most commercial breeders have state-of-the art kennels and are inspected every year. (Clearly, this is not true, as we only recently saw the USDA change the rules to cover the thousands of breeders who sell over the Internet or in ads.)

— She tries to claim improved regulations won’t help shut down puppy mills. (If that was the case, the puppy mill supporters would not be working so hard to stop the improved regulations from passing – in states across the county.)

But in too many cases, current regulations are far too weak, in regard to the housing, exercise time and veterinary care – and in the punishment for animal cruelty. So clearly we need better regulations.

— And she leaves one the highly-false claims for last, one we see spewed out often. She claims breeders are not responsible for dogs going into shelters.

She is partly correct in suggesting irresponsible people are to blame. But in too many cases, people are buying puppies from substandard breeders – through stores or over the Web – and then turning them in to shelters after they show behavioral problems or health problems.

If these puppy mill breeders would follow breeding practices that include genetic health factors and if they would stop selling puppies at 6 weeks old, the situation would be greatly improved.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

UNREAL: After two decades of violations, breeder applies for new license

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How any local or state government could ever even consider this one is beyond all reason or logic. A Pennsylvania dog breeder has applied for a new license to breed, after two decades of animal cruelty violations, as reported by the Philly Dawg blog on Philly.com.

The report indicates the breeder’s veterinarian was even a convicted animal abuser. The breeder repeated abused his dogs and then at one point turned in his license but kept selling puppies.

Incredibly, the Philly Dawg blog reports the director of the Dog Law Enforcement Office was about to grant this breeder another license, but is not reconsidering the move.

Another troubling aspect to the story –

Pechart says he is being pressured by Esh’s lawyer Jeffrey Conrad, of Clymer, Musser & Conrad (founding partner Leonard Brown is now a Lancaster County judge). a self-described defender of individuals charged with animal abuse.
There is a big red flag on this case. It is a no-brainer. The license should be denied, along with the enforcement of a lifetime ban on possessing animals.  When are we going to more examples of more communities and states really cracking down on puppy mills.?
PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Two articles – two peculiar statements – on dog racing and puppy sales

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Regular visitors to the Pack Mentality Blog know the disdain I have for greyhound racing. So when I read articles about the horrible industry and I see wacky comments from supporters of dog racing, it really gives me the finger-nails-on-the-chalkboard feeling.

I’ve read a couple of articles over the last week about a report sponsored by the Florida state legislature, a report that called dog racing a dying industry. The Florida Times-Union story from July 6 notes even those operating tracks in the state want out. But a lobbyist is quoted as claiming one problem is the condition of the racetracks – and the report claimed he said going to the track was unpleasant for visitors.

My response is this – Tell it to the greyhounds. It’s more than unpleasant every day for them. But I guess that doesn’t matter for some people.

Then we have a quote from Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown’s attorney, after his previously seized dog and her pups were returned to him. Authorities took a number of dogs from a property where the owner was charged with mistreating animals and operating a dog-breeding operation without a license.

In a Leader Telegram story from June 28, Brown’s attorney made a claim about the “value of puppies” decreasing the older they get.

“It’s a lot easier to sell 8-week-old puppies than it is to sell eight-month-old puppies.”

The fact is – puppies should not be sold at 8 weeks old. Puppies should remain with their mom and siblings for at least 12 weeks. They learn important social skills over this span. And of course the real “value” of dogs has nothing to do with sale prices.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic