Going after puppy mills for tax evasion

Janet Novack, on her Forbes.com blog, reports on a different approach to shutting down puppy mills. In Indiana, the state is going after mill operators who aren’t playing taxes.

Property can be seized – the dogs – along with bank accounts. Novack reports the state of Indiana shut down two puppy mills last year, rescuing 318 dogs. The state also will make use of its new law, with regulations on exercise and cage sizes.

I really like the idea of using the tax laws to go after puppy mill operators. Those who are not filing taxes are probably among the more seedy of the operations.

But the fact that Indiana has new regulations that cover cage sizes and exercise is really important. It’s great to see more states and their elected officials showing an understanding of animal welfare and how important it is to free the dogs of 24/7 confinement.

No breeder should force their dogs to live like this. The good breeders of the country do not operate under these conditions.

Dogs need love, socialization, exercise, play and proper food and water supplies. If the dogs are getting nothing more than a few minutes out each day to pee – or less – that’s not enough. The first concern should be the welfare of the dogs.

If the breeder is caging the dogs without playtime and socialization each day, that’s an operation that should be either forced to offer this care for the dogs or be forced to shut down – period.

Current laws in too many states do not regulate cage sizes and exercise. This where the opponents of new laws, who say current regulations are enough, are simply wrong. I suspect some of these people don’t better regulations because they want things to stay the way they are now.

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