Puppy mills continue to be problematic in Texas and Oklahoma

As I’ve suggested before, when it comes to the issue of puppy mills, it’s a case of – the more news stories the better.

While the stories are always laced with depictions of cruelty, more people need to know what is happening across the country. If just a few more people become better-educated each time a report runs in a local newspaper or TV news shows or on the Web, then we’re making headway.

On Monday, it was the Dallas Morning News that ran a piece about Texas and the growing concern that this largely unregulated industry is a growing problem in the nation’s largest state.

The highlights –

One raid on a breeder last summer resulted on the confiscation of 550 dogs.

Quote from the piece – “” Dogs were crammed in wire cages, many sick, with missing fur and skin diseases, surrounded by feces smeared on the walls and trash strewn throughout the buildings. “”

Yet, the breeder claimed she did not harm the dogs.

Newly proposed legislation in Texas would require licensing of commercial breeding operations and would allow annual inspections, based on USDA guidelines. A commercial breeder will be defined as having 11 or more females used for breeding for the sale of animals.

Some groups continue to claim new regulation is not needed and the current system can work just fine. But we know this isn’t true. In too many cases, enforcement is only complaint driven. And as the Dallas Morning News story notes, the current Agriculture Department regulations do not cover breeders who sell through the Internet, flea markets or classified ads.

The regulations need to cover all commercial breeders. And of course, state anti-cruelty laws are far too often too weak. Local law enforcement departments often complain they have to jump through too many hoops and conditions must reach an extreme degree before they can move in.

This Sunday morning, I found a story on NewOK.com reporting on a raid of an alleged Oklahoma puppy mill. Seventy dogs were rescued.

The dogs were reportedly covered in feces, urine and fleas and were housed in building where the temperature was recorded at 102 degrees.

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