Pack of Puppy Mill Musings

I’ve got a trio of stories linked here relating to the puppy mill industry. If this upward trend in focus on this issue – in the national media and in larger, regional media outlets – continues, maybe the pressure will actually build for better legislation to attack this problem across the nation.

MSNBC.com ran a story on May 27 concerning the movement in a number of cities across the map to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. Of late, West Hollywood, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., and South Lake Tahoe, Calif. have placed bans on this practice.

Albuquerque seems to be a real success story. The MSNBC piece notes since the ban there went into affect there in 2006, adoptions have increased 23 percent and the euthanasia rate in city shelters has dropped by 35 percent.

The Morning Call out of Allentown, Pa. published a story this morning on the recent report showing the USDA has failing grade on its oversight under the Animal Welfare Act and has been letting puppy millers off the hook for some time now.

And then we have the news – from the Chicago Tribune – about the Illinois State Senate’s positive vote on the legislation. If signed into law, the Tribune notes the bill would require pet stories to “post information outside each dog and cat’s cage that allows consumers to conduct further research” – and would require a posted record “of all veterinary conditions and treatments; and any known information regarding congenital or hereditary defects of the animals’ parents.”

The bill had already passed in the State House before winning approval in the Senate.

It is interesting to note that in a number of interviews I’ve seen of late with store owners who sell puppies, they try to support the practice by stating their puppies are bred by USDA-approved breeders. Well … now we know the level of assurance that statement offers – for the buyer and more importantly for the dogs living in horrible conditions in puppy mills.

It would be like your plumber telling you the drain system he just installed in your basement was approved by BP.

Again, I sometimes feel like a broken record on this puppy mill issue. But with the increase in the number of stories showing up in my news alert system and in my in-box, I’m compelled to keep passing the news along. And more importantly, I feel education is one of the key elements in battling this problem.

The more people become informed, the fewer dogs and cats from mills will be sold. And if the church choir I’m preaching to will sing the song to anyone who will listen – at the grocery story, in church, at the mall, on Facebook, etc – we’ll make even more headway.

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