Legislation to ban shelter gas chambers and a proposed ban on in-store pet sales

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Two important bills are in the works in Michigan and Virginia and we can only hope the movement spreads.

In Michigan, the legislation could shut down gas chambers at animals shelters. It is a cruel practice that does not take into account the emotional and physical pain the animals suffer.

While it is a tragedy each time a homeless pet loses their live in a shelter, the only acceptable method should be injection.

Over in Virginia, the state legislature is considering a ban on the sale of pets from puppy mills in stores. Bailey’s Law – named for a puppy mill survivor – made it through a Senate committee on Thursday.

Of course, any such legislation should involve an outright ban on the sale of dogs and cats in stores.

Minnesota considers bill to regulate pet breeders

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The state legislature in Minnesota is considering a bill to license pet breeders and set up a system of inspections. Both requirements are needed everywhere – to help shut down puppy mills.

The licenses would cost breeders $10 per animal, up to a cap of $250 per year. And MPR News reports the inspections would be conducted by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. The article notes licenses would be required for breeders with “10 or more breeding animals that produce more than five litters a year.”

The Minnesota Pet Breeders Association and the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association are supporting an alternate bill which would have inspections conducted by veterinarians. My concern here is that the breeder might use a veterinarian they have a connection with.

But one of the key sentences in the article relate to Rep. Tim Faust –

He does not think it’s a conflict of interest for breeders to select and pay the vets who inspect them.

Faust clearly does not understand – or does not want to understand – how this certainly can lead to a conflict of interest. He doesn’t just ignore the obvious, he flips the obvious on its head.

Faust also told the reporter he felt the bill proposing licensing and inspections penalize good breeders. I’ve heard this excuse more times than I care to count. When someone makes this statement it can be translated to say – good breeders have standards below very basic standards of care. How can that be? Are quality breeders forcing their dogs to live in cages 24/7? Are good breeders failing to offer their dogs veterinary care? Are good breeders not keeping the animals in clean enclosures? Are good breeders not allowing their dogs time for exercise?

Quality breeders should already maintain the minimum standards in every proposed piece of legislation I’ve read over the last many, many years. Anyone not providing minimum standards of care for their breeding animals should be shut down. It’s the point of having breeding regulations.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Breaking News meets Great News: NC anti-puppy mill bill introduced

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A press release this morning from the Humane Society of the US and the ASPCA reports a new bill has been introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly – to regulate dog breeding and crack down on puppy mills.

Thousands of dogs are suffering today and this suffering has gone on for decades in North Carolina puppy mills. It is long past time for this legislation to become law. Efforts to pass regulations on dog breeding have failed in years past in North Carolina.

I read over HB 930 and find it to be balanced and reasonable. There is nothing excessive or prohibitive for quality breeders. Quality breeders already provide at least the minimum standards of care outlined in this bill.

The bill will be attacked by some groups and individuals, as somehow a violation of property rights or an attack on breeders – or some other fictitious issue. All any reasonable person needs to do is read the bill.

Polls are showing an extremely high level of support from the citizens of North Carolina for regulations on dog breeding, to provide minimum standards of care. This is a clear case of where the will of the people and the welfare of animals should take precedence over the lobbying efforts of special interest groups.

This should be the year when animal welfare in the state of North Carolina steps into the 21st Century.

The full release:

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Animal Advocates Praise North Carolina Lawmakers for Introducing Bill to Crack Down on Puppy Mills

(April 12, 2013) — Animal welfare advocates including North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare, Susie’s Law, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Humane Society of Charlotte, SPCA of Wake County, United Animal Coalition and The Humane Society of the United States applaud Rep. Jason Saine, R- 97, for introducing a bill to ensure that dogs are treated humanely in commercial breeding facilities.

HB 930 establishes commonsense standards of care that include: daily access to fresh food and water, appropriate veterinary care, and housing that protects dogs from the elements.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

NC bill would allow for immediate rescue of pets found locked in hot vehicles

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Amazingly enough in North Carolina, current law reportedly restricts the authority of even law enforcement officers from rescuing pets locked inside vehicles during a summer heat wave. I find this hard to fathom.

But an article posted Monday on the WRAL.com site states this. The article suggests law enforcement can only try to locate the owner of the vehicle – while the dog or cat continues to suffer and maybe dies. But now thankfully, a bill has been introduced to allow them to enter the vehicle after reasonable effort to find the owner.

North Carolina is my home state and there are a lot of highly debatable pieces of legislation under review this year. This bill however, should gain unanimous approval. I can’t see how anyone could be cold-hearted enough to vote against it.

The other thing is, how could anyone challenge the actions of an individual who saved an animal from suffering in this way – certainly if the weather conditions clearly warranted their actions? Would I be charged with a crime for breaking out a car window to save a baby near death in hot car? – No.

We really should not charge people with a crime for acts of compassion.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Bill could ban sale of animals at swap meets in Nevada

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A new bill working its way through the Nevada State Legislature would ban the sale of animals at swap meets. It should go further – in banning the sale of animals at swap meets and fairs, yard sales, auction events, flea markets and along roadsides.

KTNV reports opponents of Assembly Bill 246 claim changes have been made at the Broad Acres Swap Meet, where conditions for the animals will be improved and only licensed breeders will be allowed to sell pets. Clearly, this is not enough – not even close to being enough.

Selling pets at a swap meet is similar to selling pets in pet stores. Both should be completely banned.

There is another issue, where some are calling for the removal from the bill of an exemption for rescue groups. So this has become a debate that could hold up the bill.

We should have a nationwide ban on selling pets at events such as this. Rescue groups are another issue. Rescue groups should use a system of applications for prospective adoptive individuals and families. If a particular group attends an event such as a fair or market or store-front event, I don’t see that as a problem – as long as the application process is in place.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Factory farming industry wants to hide acts of cruelty and block any protections for the animals

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Ag-gag laws: The trend is spreading – in an attempt to cover up the cruel practices within the factory-farming industry. I found one editorial on the Global Grind website from a writer who seems to incorrectly believe these laws will protect animals. Thankfully, a number of comments below the piece might educate her.

These “ag-gag” laws are clearly designed to hind acts of animal cruelty. This industry does not want its practices shown to the public – and to date, inspections by government agencies have apparently been conducted with blindfolds.

We must have stronger regulations and until then, the only way the public and the animals can be protected is through hidden-camera video. The industry knows this.

ABC News reported March 15 on six more states looking to close the curtain on animal suffering.

Indiana state Sen. Travis Holdman was quoted in the article. He wants to protect the industry, but his comment is telling.

“We don’t need a vigilante group out there with cameras and video cameras taking pictures of things that we just don’t like.”

So is he going to make sure these acts of cruelty that “we just don’t like” are exposed and offenders punished? Probably not. So his comment rings hollow. The six states where elected officials want to hide and protect acts of animal cruelty are – Nebraska, Indiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and California.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Troubling animal-welfare news from around the globe

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The week isn’t turning out to be a great one on the Pack News Wire – in terms of news from the animal-welfare front.

IN CHINA: The New York Times reports protections for animals are still far down the road in China, where torturing animals is commonplace and the government looks the other way – entirely. The No. 2 economy on the planet gets a huge F in caring for animals.

The China Animal Protection Law, proposed in 2009, is gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.

The NY Times blog post linked above details the horrible dog trade, where they are tortured – stuffed into small cages without food for water for days on the back of trucks, before being thrown off the trucks and beaten to death. The people who engage in this practice are part of an evil club that includes poachers, dog fighters, bear bile farmers, puppy mill operators and anyone who tortures animals for profit or entertainment. Members of Club Evil also include individuals who abuse kids.

How anyone can be this evil is beyond comprehension. As is the case in other countries, I’m sure the majority of the people of China do not support the abuse of animals. But the government seems hell-bent on allowing the suffering to go on.

INTERNATIONAL: At an international summit held in Bangkok, a proposal to grant more protections for polar bears was rejected. This happened at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

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Animal Welfare Legislative Update for March 2

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A number of areas in the country are debating new animal-welfare regulations. I hope this is a good sign.

Nevada: The state’s lawmakers are considering two bills – in regard to reporting animal cruelty data and to toughen anti-cockfighting rules.

Ohio: The State House is looking to increase the penalties for the mistreatment of kennel animals. For current law, it is a misdemeanor. One representative can’t understand how Nitro’s Law has passed twice before in the House, but failed in the Senate.

New York: An assemblyman in Albany, NY is calling for harsher criminal penalties for cases of animal cruelty. The bodies of two Pitbull-Sheperd mixes was found on train tracks last week.

Alabama: A bill to increase the penalties for animal cruelty and expand the definition made its way out of the Alabama House’s agriculture committee on Wednesday.


More info on PUPS Act

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The reintroduction of the PUPS Act in the US Congress, which would close the Internet loophole for puppy sellers – and help crack down on puppy mills – is incredibly important.

I want to publicize this as much as possible, so when I see news stories or columns cross the Pack New Wire, I will post them here on the blog.

KOMO News reports breeder Wendy Laymon’s kennel facility –

….has not been inspected by the USDA since the feds pulled her license. Her puppy mill in Snohomish County was raided in 1999, dogs seized, and Laymon sent to jail.

And Opposing Views highlighted Laymon’s operation Friday, reporting she began selling dogs over the Web as soon as she was released from jail – through the Internet loophole.

AND in related news, protestors from Maine Citizens Against Puppy Mills lined up outside a pet store on February 23. The Scarborough Leader ran an article on Friday about the group’s effort. A quote from the store’s website was included, claiming over 8,000 breeders are regulated by the USDA. – Really? – Is this suppose to give customers some confidence?

We need to see the passage of the PUPS Act, to close the gaping loophole in the laws, and we need more effort poured into enforcement and regular inspections for all commercial breeding operations. Shutting down puppy mills and seriously regulating dog and cat breeding will save taxpayer funds in the long run. And it will help to save lives and end suffering.



PUPS Act – to close the Internet loophole for dog breeders – was introduced on Wednesday

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Great news today. The Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (The PUPS Act) was introduced Wednesday in the US Congress. And in equally good news, it is a bipartisan effort. The bill’s sponsors, as reported by the USA Today, are Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif.

Online puppy sellers are slipping around USDA regulations and inspections, because the Animal Welfare Act became the law of the land before the Internet rolled around. So the USA Today story notes

The PUPS Act will require all breeders who sell more than 50 dogs annually — whether through pet stores or online — to undergo inspections and meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for caring for the dogs.

This should be a sweep in both the House and Senate, but I can image a few uneducated elected officials voting with their special interests puppet masters and against this important legislation.

If passed, we need to see funding made available to the USDA for inspections and more enforcement.