Associated Press writer Michael Rubinkam is reporting Pennsylvania’s anti-puppy mill law has resulted in big changes in a state formerly known as a mill-friendly region of the country.
Rubinkam writes “scores of substandard commercial kennels” have shut down, thus freeing an estimated minimum of 14,000 dogs from the horrible conditions they had living in.
The following two paragraphs tell the tale –
Key provisions that went into effect in October required large-scale breeders to double cage sizes, eliminate wire flooring, and provide unfettered access to the outdoors. The new law also banned cage stacking, instituted twice-a-year vet checks, and mandated new ventilation and cleanliness standards.
Many breeders have closed voluntarily rather than comply. The number of commercial kennels in Pennsylvania plummeted from 303 at the beginning of 2009 to 111 today — a reduction of almost two-thirds — although a few of them are expected to reopen after making renovations, while other kennels got rid of enough dogs so that they are no longer classified as commercial operations.
The regulations that went into effect with the new law – as stated above – are not at all unreasonable. A good percentage of reputable breeders across the country exceed these standards. In many cases, their breeding dogs live like members of the family, which is how it should be.
If the breeding operations that closed down for good were not meeting these standards then the dogs were indeed living in substandard conditions and have been freed from that life and will no longer suffer day in and day out.
From reports I’ve read thus far, Pennsylvania appears to be out in front on the issue and the laws there can be considered a model for other states to follow. It is possible that some of the “substandard” operations in this state have packed up and moved to states with lesser, more puppy-mill-friendly regulations. This is why I’m hoping the federal government and more states will soon attach this problem with better legislation.