The pet overpopulation problem will only get worse if puppy mills thrive.
While thousands of dogs are destroyed in animal control facilities throughout Texas each year, underground puppy mills in untold numbers churn out thousands of puppies each week to be sold at pet stores, on websites or through newspaper ads.
These mills, operating in deplorable conditions that are both unsanitary and inhumane, flood the pet market with unhealthy puppies who often bring with them serious medical problems and possible tragedy when even the best of medical care is not enough to save them.
"Don't breed or buy while animals in shelters die" is a bumper sticker slogan worth taking to heart. As long as there is a market for "puppy milled" dogs, there will be puppy mills.
Visit the home of a responsible breeder to ensure that the dog was bred in humane conditions and through responsible breeding practices. The Network encourages you to adopt a dog from a local shelter or rescue group and have him or her promptly spayed or neutered.How do I report a puppy mill? Both the ASPCA and HSUS have places to report puppymills:
HB 1451 - PUPPY MILL REGULATION
In 2011, THLN was instrumental in passing HB 1451 which licenses and regulates large scale commercial dog and cat breeders (those having 11 or more intact females and selling 20 or more puppies or kittens per year). HB 1451 provides basic protections for tens of thousands of dogs and cats confined and raised in large scale breeding facilities by requiring humane housing and care standards and needed veterinary care. The law will be administered and enforced by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and will require periodic inspections and annual veterinary care. Those breeders required to register must do so by September 1, 2012 and meet all required standards prior to registration.
In light of the new Texas law, the Better Business Bureau is advising consumers to thoroughly research dog breeders and brokers before purchasing a puppy. The BBB recommends consumers personally inspect the breeding and living areas of any puppy they purchase, ask the breeder questions and meet the puppy’s parents before taking a puppy home. This advice applies to puppies found online and through other sources. Click here to read the Austin Better Business Bureau's press release.
Click here to view the Puppy Mill Bill and Rules Update | FACT SHEET AND OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION REGARDING THE DOG AND CAT BREEDERS ACT (PDF format)
Click here to view HOW YOU CAN HELP LOCATE AND REPORT PUPPY AND KITTEN MILLS (PDF format)
Click here to report unlicensed activity of dog or cat breeders online.
http://www.maal.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Dog-Victorious-in-Legal-Battle.pdf - 7.23.13 | A group representing 83 dog breeders in the state of Missouri brought a lawsuit to thwart the new regulations promulgating humane standards of care for dogs confined in puppy mills. These new regulations are the result of the passage of the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act in 2011
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jul/09/san-diego-bans-retail-sales-dogs-cats/ - 7.09.13 | San Diego joins Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Glendale, and several other cities in California and across the country in prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. Responding to complaints about the sale of sick and ill animals in pet stores, more and more municipalities are taking action to protect consumers. The documentation of abuses at Midwest puppy mills that supply puppies to pet stores is another significant reason for the adoption of such prohibitions. In many cases, pet stores are nothing other than outlet stores for cruel puppy mills. Los Angeles's ban was predicated on the number of ill dogs originating from Missouri breeders. San Diego's new ordinance will allow pet stores to partner with local shelters and rescues in helping to adopt out dogs and cats.
7.01.13 | The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation's (TDLR) new "Report the Activity of an Unlicensed Person" online link makes reporting unlicensed activity easier for Texas consumers and will enable TDLR's staff to fast-track the Department's investigation.
http://nopetstorepuppies.com/ - 6.12.13 | ASPCA's "No Pet Store Puppies" website allows consumers to link pet stores that sell puppies with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed commercial dog breeders that supply puppies to pet stores around the country.
http://www.gmoutlook.com/news/2013/apr/06/house-bill-address-puppy-mills-vermont/ - 5.05.13 | The Vermont Legislature is looking to implement a bill that aims to provide clear definitions, eliminate loopholes and give officials the tools they need to enforce laws protecting breeding dogs from inhumane, unsanitary conditions.
http://www.register-herald.com/local/x1340803650/Senate-committee-approves-of-puppy-mill-registration - 4.02.13 | A years-long crusade to crack down on suspected abuse at commercial dog breeding facilities in West Virginia took another stride forward Monday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Awards/BestOfAustin?SearchTerms=puppies&Year=2012&Poll=&Sort=Year%2CAwardTitle&Display=Long&Search=1 - 11.24.12 | THLN wins award from the Austin Chronicle for the passage of a groundbreaking Texas law to regulate large-scale dog and cat breeders, and to put out of business those among them that operate unsanitary and inhumane puppy mills.
http://www.ksat.com/news/defenders/New-Texas-law-regulates-animal-breeders/-/478436/17472320/-/15it94bz/-/index.html - 11.20.12 | Goal is to eliminate dangerous, unsanitary puppy mills.
https://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagnews/release.php?id=4147 - 9.14.12 | Puppy Love, JustYourPup.com agree to create limited $2,500 restitution pool
http://www.americandogrescue.org/for-the-love-of-dogs/ - 5.12.12 | Skip Trimble of the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) stopped by to discuss with Arthur and Farah of America Dog Rescue some of the specific reasons why puppy mills are not a humane option for breeding puppies.
http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/pets/dogs/story/2011-10-11/Puppy-mills-leave-lasting-emotional-scars-study-finds/50722874/1 - 10.12.11 | The psychological damage suffered by dogs living in puppy mills is profound and exists long after they've been rescued, a new study shows.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whz0fkWN9z8 - 8.10.10 | View video for Puppy Mill Awareness day in Austin, Texas 9/19/2010
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=16&articleid=20100526_16_A9_JohnRa280060 - 5.26.10 | The report criticizes a federal agency's lack of enforcement against so-called puppy mills.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/25/national/main6518048.shtml - 5.25.10 | USDA Doesn’t Enforce Rules, Even for Repeat Violators, Inspector General’s Report Finds
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=61&articleid=20100503_11_A15_Oklaho468988 - 5.07.10 | Governor Henry has signed the Oklahoma puppy mill bill, SB 1712. A few days ago, the Tulsa World ran a good editorial on the passage of this bill by the Legislature.
5.02.10 | View a video produced by the Texas Humane Legislation Network on the topic of Puppy Mills.
http://www.kens5.com/news/Dozens-of-dogs-in-horrible-shape-rescued-from-puppy-mill-85373182.html - 2.26.10 | Kudos to THLN board member and HHS executive director Sherry Ferguson and her team for their outstanding work in saving these dogs.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6817112.html - 1.15.10 | Police and the Houston SPCA raided a suspected puppy mill in Alvin where they found more than 75 animals, including miniature horses, held in deplorable conditions.
http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2010/jan/13/small-dogs-lived-amid-filth/ - 1.13.10 | The Humane Society of Young County took custody of 72 small-breed dogs the executive director said were living in filthy conditions at a puppy mill outside Graham. The dogs have been groomed and are receiving care, including vaccines, worming treatments, spaying and neutering and other treatments.
http://www.abc40.com/Global/story.asp?S=11799434 - 1.10.10 | Many commercial breeding kennels in Pennsylvania are run by Amish and Mennonite farmers in Lancaster County. With milk prices in freefall, dairy farmers have increasingly relied on dog breeding to help pay the bills, selling to pet stores or directly to the public via the Internet.
1.06.10 | Who is the “Responsible Pet Owners Alliance?” and Why Do They Oppose Animal Welfare Groups’ Efforts to Protect Animals from Cruelty?
http://www.fwweekly.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2297:breeding-trouble&catid=30:cover-story&Itemid=375 - 12.30.09 | In the August heat, more than 500 dogs sweltered in un-air-conditioned kennels on a farm near the town of Mabank in Kaufman County. They panted in wire cages stacked atop one another, fleas swarming, many of the dogs sick, most of them filthy. Near the gate across the gravel drive, part of a dog's skeleton lay like an omen.
12.15.09 | While puppy mill operators celebrate the holidays in the warmth and comfort of their homes, their "breeding stock" and newly born puppies will be living in misery and filth.
http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2009/12/WI_signs_puppy_mill_bill_120109.html - 12.01.09 | Gov. Doyle signs bill supported by The HSUS during National Puppy Mill Action Week
http://www.cbs19.tv/ - 8.14.09 | Protecting Animals from Puppy Mills Video
http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2009/07/18/hate-fear-and-the-politics-of-puppy-mills/ - 7.22.09 | With puppy-mills, real change will come only when everyone knows what’s behind those cute puppies in the pet-store window or on the pictures on an Internet site.
http://www.dailytexanonline.com/top-stories/petland-on-bad-side-of-city-ordinance-and-activists-1.1775836 - 7.22.09 | They come small and large, fluffy and smooth, but they all have wet noses and cute little paws. But not many future pet owners realize the costs of their four-legged companions extend beyond simple price tags.
http://abcnews.go.com/NIGHTLINE - 3.31.09 | A "Nightline" investigation into a secret world in Amish Country.
http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2008/06/baby-jana-kohl.html - 6.03.08 | Yesterday, Jana Kohl, my friend and one of the top animal advocates in the nation, appeared on Good Morning America to talk about her new book, "A Rare Breed of Love: The True Story of Baby and the Mission She Inspired to Help Dogs Everywhere." She did a magnificent job, and so did Baby—the gentle little dog who survived nine years as a breeding female at a puppy mill and whom Jana rescued from that grim fate.
[Stop Puppy Mills graphic courtesy of HSUS.org]
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