Arguments against anti-puppy mill legislation are bark with no bite

The news stories and editorials I’m always reading on the topic of proposed puppy mill legislation always seem to be magnets for a lot of comments from readers.

Just about without fail, comments (and some editorials) crop up to toss out the strange notion that regulations specifically targeting breeders who house their dogs in small, cramped cages and don’t supply clean water and never let their dogs out of the cages for exercise is an attack on the good breeders across the country. I’ve even read comments stating regulations such as those I’ve noted will do nothing shut down puppy mills and will only hurt good breeders.

Of course, this makes no sense whatsoever.

This warped non-logic is basically suggesting good breeders are housing their dogs in poor conditions and we shouldn’t force them to allow their dogs to exercise. If they were to leave this alternate universe and come back home, they would see that only the breeders who fail to meet the minimum standards of care will have anything to fear from any of these state bills or from the legislation working its way through the US Congress.

When they realize it’s not Opposite Day at school, they’ll see that we need these minimum standards of care. As it stands now in most states, law enforcement has to see conditions reach horrible before they can move in.

One of the major aspects of most of the bills I’ve read of late is the requirement for daily exercise outside of the cages. As a society, we can no longer look the other way while dogs suffer the mental anguish of being caged 24/7, as nothing more than breeding machines.

On this subject of the bills hurting or targeting good breeders, I’m yet to read an explanation or specifics on how the regulations will hurt good breeders. It’s just typically a blank statement that good breeders will be impacted negatively.

And then there are the folks who don’t want bills targeting puppy mills to include the phrase “puppy mills.” It’s like suggesting any bill targeting bullying at school shouldn’t use the phrase “bullying” or “schools.” Or any bill designed to increase penalties on drunk driving shouldn’t contain any phrase that might offend those who drive drunk.

And there’s the slippery-slope argument. Those who don’t feel we need better protections for puppy mill dogs suggest if laws are passed, then we’re on a slippery slope to make life more humane for other animals. Or we’ll soon end up eating only rocks shipped back from the moon.

To tie in to the prior example, these same individuals might suggest if we seek to punish those who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, then it’s a slippery slope to people being banned from driving after a few shots of orange juice.


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