Previously fined and jailed breeder reportedly uses loophole to sell puppies over the Web

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This is clearly an example of why we need to close the huge loopholes in our breeding regulations. For the folks who always claim that all we need to do enforce existing laws, this story referenced below is one of the important examples of why they are so wrong.

KOMO News out of Seattle, Wash. reports on a breeder who is back in the business of selling puppies, despite having been repeatedly fined, having her license suspended and serving jail time for “animal-related violations.” This breeder is using the Internet loophole in federal regulations to breed and sell puppies.

The breeder reportedly moved her operation to Missouri, one state where the regulations are still rather weak on puppy mills. In 2010 and 2011, her operation made the Humane Society of the US’s “dirty dozen” puppy mills in Missouri.

The amount of evidence against this breeder, referenced in the KOMO News story, is extensive. And I give a lot of credit to the outlet for its reporting on this case.


Animal Welfare Legislative News out of ND, SC and Minn.

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I found three articles on the Web over the last couple of days, concerning animal cruelty or puppy mill legislation or the lack thereof in three states – North Dakota, South Carolina and Minnesota.

North Dakota: An editorial by Kristie Skunberg, the chairperson of North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty, appeared Thursday on the Grand Forks Herald website. Skunberg notes the latest anti-cruelty bill working its way through the state legislature has some good and bad elements.

She explains that “a provision of the bill would let criminal defendants escape prosecution if they can show they are breeding or training animals, potentially creating a loophole for cruelty and neglect by puppy mills and other large-scale breeders.”

WHAT? – How is that anyone could think breeders and trainers should get a free pass from being charged with cruelty. Skunberg is right to point this out.

And there are other problems.

South Carolina: Joe Elmore, the CEO of the Charleston Animal Society, calls the state’s cruelty laws “very weak.” And he’s right. The HSUS ranks SC at No. 47 out of 50 states.

WMBF reports a bill is limbo that might set longer jail time for abusers and increase criminal fees. The article also notes the state does not have regulations in place to ban the possession of animals by those convicted of cruelty.  And sadly, it is one of ten states with a felony cockfighting law.

Minnesota: The state legislature here is considering a bill that could institute a system of inspections for breeding operations, something vital in uncovering puppy mills. And WDAZ notes the state does not currently license breeders.

But the Minnesota Pet Breeders Association is against the proposed regulations. Once again, we find a breeding association that is fighting against laws to protect dogs from cruelty. No one should support these associations.


North Dakota Senate acts to weaken animal-cruelty law

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Why is it that some elected officials across the country regularly act to protect criminals and punish victims? We see this too often in actions to protect violent offenders, those who abuse children, drunk drivers and those who engage in cruelty to animals from harsh criminal penalties.

Other than law enforcement officers, the criminal justice system seems hell bent on making sure criminals get off easy. The people who defend this system or prop it up seem to have very little regard for the victims of crime – humans or animals.

We find the latest example in North Dakota, where the Bismarck Tribune reports the state senate has voted to weaken the animal welfare bill. The article states animal abuse, neglect or abandonment is a misdemeanor for a first offense and then becomes a felony for a second or subsequent offense within a five-year period.

The wacky ND Senate has acted to keep the second offense a misdemeanor, while extending the frame to 10 years. But why give someone a pass for a second offense? Do we have to continue to be soft on crimes such as this?


More great news: Cosmetic testing on animals banned by European Union

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In a move that should have happened long ago in the United States and across the globe, the European Union has banned the testing of cosmetic products on animals – effective March 11.

Why the United States has not taken this step is beyond reason. These companies no longer need to torture animals. As the Mother Nature Network reports, the industry will now use “agreed-upon methods of non-animal testing.”

It is 2013. The science is on the record and has been for some time on these products and where it necessary to extend the testing, non-animal means can be used. Cosmetic testing on animals is an industry we need to sweep into the dustbin of history.

So on this news anyway, the European Union gets a Pack of Compassion Award.