Texas legislature is preparing to gut the state program that prohibits puppy mills

Jun 6, 2020

We wanted to immediately alert you to a disturbing development: the Texas legislature is preparing to gut the state program that prohibits puppy mills. If you are one of the animal lovers who helped us pass the 2011 Texas Dog & Cat Breeder Act to regulate the conditions in large-scale animal breeding facilities, or one of the many Texans who understand that if unregulated,  large scale breeding facilities become inhumane puppy mills producing dogs for profit in the cruelest condition, we know you will share our alarm.

You may be wondering how this is happening now, when the legislature isn't even in session.  By law, Texas requires a "Sunset Review" of state agencies every 12 years to determine whether that agency should continue to exist. During that process, programs and departments within the agencies under review can be changed or abolished. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is currently under review and must be reauthorized by the Legislature during the 2021 Session. In advance of the vote, the Sunset Commission reviews the agencies in depth and makes recommendations through a Staff Report. That report was just released. 

During the review process, THLN provided information and data demonstrating the importance of the program licensing and regulating large scale commercial dog and cat breeders created by the 2011 passage of The Dog and Cat Breeder Act. Despite that, in the Sunset Staff Report, the Sunset Commission advised that the breeder program is not necessary to protect the Public and therefore states that the breeder program "could be safely eliminated."  

Elimination of the program would certainly NOT be safe for the dogs in large scale breeding facilities, the puppies produced for profit without even the minimum care, and the unsuspecting public defrauded through puppy store sales of puppies with serious illnesses and health conditions. It's our job, just as it was in 2011, to remind legislatures of the risks.

Under the current program, and as defined by The Texas Dog and Cat Breeder Act, large scale breeders are required to provide basic protections for thousands of dogs and cats confined and raised in large scale breeding facilities by requiring humane housing and care standards and needed veterinary care. Because a law doesn't work unless it can be enforced, the TDLR Breeder Program requires periodic inspections and annual veterinary care. Anyone who has 11 or more adult intact female dogs and /or cats and who sells or offers to sell 20 or more dogs or cats in a calendar year must be licensed. The law provides exemptions for certain types of dog breeding, including dogs bred for herding livestock, hunting, or competing in field trials. If a breeder is operating without a license but meets the requirements for licensure, the business will be subject to enforcement actions, including administrative penalties and sanctions. 

As we develop a plan to move forward, our goal is to protect this incredibly important program, which was created by the legislature with the support of thousands of Texans. An administrative review should not be able to deconstruct and dismiss a law that was passed by the legislature, and a program that is critical to protecting animals and humans of Texas. And we can't make forward progress if we are forced to start all over with a fight we already won. 

We will have more information to share with you in the days and weeks to come as we continue to analyze the report and prepare an outreach plan. We did not want to waste any time in alerting you about this important development. 


Showing 27 reactions

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  • Becky Norman
    This is so ass backward and needs to be stopped. There should be no puppy mills!!! They are a breeding ground for disease, cruelty, overpopulation of pets and Is partially responsible for the increase in shelter animals and strays. Houston is one of the worst cities in Houston with pet overpopulation and strays and it is all so totally preventable.
  • Cristina Thompson
    NO PUPPY MILLS ,, NO BACK YARD BREEDERS ,NO TETHERING-24 HOURS A DAY ..(NO MORE THEN 4 HOURS,),DOGS NEED TO BE LET RUN FREE IN FENCED AREAS , ,,AT SAME POINT >>MANDATORY SPAY /NEUTER IS A MUST> OVERPOPULATION IT IS OUT OF CONTROL >>AND MANY RESCUES USE AND ABUSE DOGS AFTER COLLECTING PLEDGES..(THAT SHOULD BE CRIMINAL ACT )>JUST STATE LICENCED INSPECT IT BREEDERS SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO KEEP THEIR DOGS INTACT ,,IT IS TIME TO MAKE THIS STATE CIVILIZED.
  • Cristina Thompson
    We can not allow puppy mills ,we have way to many problems with the over breeding of dogs ,,I have sent to my congress woman in my county horrendous photos …and also of rescues ,, they never did answer me ,and i am very disgusting with our government as it is ,,we need more laws to protect our animals ..also we should make it mandatory any time of back yard breeding..if anyone what to breed the state should know ..Please do not allow i am tired of animal abuse and neglect ,, why creating jobs by killing instead of putting control at the root of the problem , by making mandatory S/N ..I was disappointed with our governor when my husband wrote him about making that law ,,he wrote back to work with ou cities and counties NO..WE NEED A BETTER STATE LAW .. create jobs like that ?..
  • Erin Hamilton
    Puppy mills are disgusting, and most people that buy from them don’t know how terrible these things are run. They produce sick puppies, abuse mama’s, and everything about them are inhumane. NO PUPPY MILLS. WE NEED LAWS.

    I did an entire research paper over this is college (A&M) and many of my classmates had NO idea that they were so bad. THEY NEED TO BE GONE.
  • Erin Hamilton
    Puppy mills are disgusting, and most people that buy from them don’t know how terrible these things are run. They produce sick puppies, abuse mama’s, and everything about them are inhumane. NO PUPPY MILLS. WE NEED LAWS.

    I did an entire research paper over this is college (A&M) and many of my classmates had NO idea that they were so bad. THEY NEED TO BE GONE.
  • Joanne Kelly
    We can’t allow people to start breeding their animal just because they won’t to live off the money. There is a regulations and is made sure to be followed for a reason. “NO PUPPY MILLS
  • Cristina Thompson
    We need to have every breeder licence ,,,,laws need to be improve to protect the dogs TO MUCH OVER BREEDING …WE NEED MANDATORY SPAY AND NEUTER FOR ALL STATE,,JUST STATE LICENCE
    STATE INSPECT IT BREEDERS CAN BREED..,,THERE IS WAY TO MUCH OVER BREEDING IN THIS STATE AND COUNTRY ,,IT MUST STOP !!!!!
    WE NEED TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL RESTRAIN DOGS FOR MORE THEN 5 HOURS AT THE TIME.. BY TETHERING.. ,,TYING A DOG TO A CHAIN ..IT SHOULD BE MADE ILLEGAL ..YOU ALL MAY WANT TO LEARN SOME LAWS FROM WESTERN EUROPE LOOKS LIKE IN THIS COUNTRY YOU ALL ARE TO PRONE TO INCIVILITY>>> STOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPEDUCATE YOUR CITIZEN>>
  • Rosemarie Lauro
    If the state don’t help theses animals they will die please step up save them
  • Cristina Thompson
    Please ,we need to keep the laws we have PLUS we need to add need ones..and more restricted ,,we can’t allow backyard breeders either ..our shelters are full to much over breeding abuse neglect ..LET STOP THE KILLING IN THIS STATE ,,PLEASE no one should breed without a licence ..a business needs to be run like a business ,,and humanity !
  • Cindy Butler
    This must not past breeders mistreat theses animals they don’t care about birth defects or conditions not to mention illness only profit
  • Cindy Butler
    This must not past breeders mistreat theses animals they don’t care about birth defects or conditions not to mention illness only profit
  • Cristina Thompson
    Excuse me? I am not anti animals I am all for the welfare of the animals I am Western European also if I lived in Texas for the last 41 years – if I made some comments that were misunderstood please delete them- I did made many copies and paste of comments – of people that were complaining like me of a license breeder that was trying to turn puppy mill- those were all the complaints – breeders needs to be supervised and licensed inspect from the state – not just here in Texas – nationwide – backyard breeders needs to be fine and shot down – PLUS dog should NOT be tether ( chain – tied up restrain ) however you all want to understand it -? Please stop the madness this country needs more civilization – No puppy mills – NO backyard breeders!!!!!!! NO NO restrain (tether) on dogs – unless in extreme circumstance if necessary -Plus also if dogs are consider proprieties ? – cars are also proprieties but we need to maintain them as the law requires – same for houses – please – stop !
  • Marianne Ewing
    you as the most demented state really need to get your act together we love animals and you will pay for your anti animal acts
  • Cristina Thompson
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    Patty Buckman-Kramer
    Patty Buckman-Kramer Thank you so much for the info… I have called several places… The one running club/the blue Weimaraner club/ The Humane Society. I don’t think any of them did anything but I did report it. Obviously I didn’t have the right information where to go hopefully this information will help to stop her from hurting those dogs !
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    Cristina Thompson
    Cristina Thompson Patty Buckman-Kramer I am glad I did run into this page – cause what I saw and I also if at almost 70 years old and came from the country – I never saw dogs used breed and just make money just disposable – and made me believe from what I was seeing …See More
  • Cristina Thompson
    Comments from a customer of the breeder i am posting that was trying to let her licence go for good ..you all better make it better .. the way it is it isnt good ..Yes it’s all about the dogs… I came to the conclusion that I was there to help save those dogs not to purchase a dog. I was devastated I was in tears for days months… Karma is a bi### and I really hope she gets what’s coming to her. Those dogs need to be put in a rescue or loving homes. Please keep me posted on what’s going on ♥️🐶♥️🐶
  • Cristina Thompson
    Patty Buckman-Kramer doesn’t recommend Top of the Rock Weims llc Review page.
    January 29, 2019 ·
    There are 45+ dogs in cages. I saw Mom stepping all over the puppies. I saw dogs attacking the puppies. I was also towed about Giardia and parasites.
    7 Comments2 Shares
  • Cristina Thompson
    Jillian Wilson doesn’t recommend Top of the Rock Weims llc Review page.
    January 28, 2019 ·
    We got our blue female weim from top of the rock on aug 2017.
    I live in Oregon so I could only text and call her. We met a top of the rock weim in Portland, named Fitz, the one who has now been diagnosed with hip dysphasia. We contacted Roxanna and was told our puppy had the same dad as Fitz which made us even more excited since Fitz parents & I had become friends. All of those messages were scrabbled, I would constantly ask for photos of the pups and the parents, she would give me excuses and I would get 1 or 2 days/weeks later. Never straight forward answers. I was flying into Dallas to fly Ellie as my carry on, I paid $1000 for her and she agreed to meet me at the airport. Plus $125 to fly her as my carry on.
    When I finally few into Dallas to pick up my pup, she asked me for an extra $100 in gas money to drive an hour to meet me! I said no, since I’m paying for the dog, plane tickets, extra for her to be my carry on and she got very upset. She was over 2 hours late to come and didn’t even show up, I got more excuses and she sent her husband.
    Ellie came with all sorts of parasites in her stool and vaginitis that never went away, so we had to put her through a heat cycle in order for a 90% chance to get rid of it, which luckily it did. Now we found out that Fitz and Ellie aren’t even related! Roxanna has no idea who’s who with all of her weims, we had to tell her multiple times who’s parents are who! she’s didn’t even pull Fitz dad out of the breeding lines! Ellies dad, who is smokey is now confirmed 3 months ago to have bad hips according to her.
    it has all just been a mess! we will be getting Ellies hips X-ray in the next few months to check for issues!

    she was from the litter of LOLA AND SMOKEY JUNE 18,2017

    FITZ PARENTS ARE VALKYRIE & MOMS AKA NAME IS TOTRW HALOS STREAK OF BLUE MOON TURQUOISE (IDK WHERE AN ACTUAL NAME IN THAT IS)

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    Cristina Thompson
    Cristina Thompson here ,this needs to be report it !FILE YOUR COMPLAINT
    If you do not know if a person or company is licensed, use the Unlic
  • Cristina Thompson
    I just wrote a comment ..this i will keep it short ..i lived in Texas 41 years now of my adult like,I must say we need to keep puppy mills illegal ,also I must admit we need to improve the way dogs breeders care for the dogs ,I know cause i did report a licence breeder that was trying to turn into a puppy mill..i left with a heavy pain in my chest after getting to the residence..and see how the dogs an puppies were care for,,i found out later ,,SHE WAS NOT PLANING TO RENEW HER LICENCE.. many of those puppies end up with intestinal infections ..to many puppies for 1 person to care for ,,I was there i was the first one to pick up my puppy..5 litters ,she had all in line .. fence in in small areas with their mom .in the wet concrete ..,Plus i must add AS a 60 plus 64 year old woman and did travel the world and been around also farm animals..never saw a dog mom ..with her puppies with a skin of her belly touching the ground .. of course i start questioning and ask what it was wrong with the mom .. of course the breeder went silent ..my daughter did her best to get me change the comment ..still didn’t like it ,,I did talk with the inspector about that ..we need laws ..breeding dogs and cats it is a business and it MUST LICENCE WITH BETTER LAWS AND HAVE THE BREEDER FOLLOW ALL THE STANDARDS TO ANY LEVEL ,,AS OF TEMPERATURE CONTROL,,I wish i could go and make copies and paste of the complaints ..from customers from Oregon to California,, plus the AKC ..wouldn’t do much to the breeders it live it all up to the counties ans states,,i spoken with them ..and they will not do nothing until the case go to court ..SO PLEASE LET KEEP THE LAWS WE HAVE AND LET IMPROVE THEM..WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO BECOME A CIVILIZED STATE ..Sorry for my English grammar,I am working .it isn’t my mother language.. BUT I DON’T WANT YOU ALL TO MAKE ME FEEL SORRY TO HAVE LIVED SO LONG IN THIS STATE AND NEVER NEVER KNOWING HOW BAD IT IS HOW THERE ..
  • Cristina Thompson
    I must say that I had my husband write to our governor also this past year,in regard of all it is happening in our state,he is Texas born I am European , he travel most of this world
    as a ex military federal employee ,saw many third world counties from east to west ..he is came to realize that this state isn’t much better them any other third world countries he saw..and he is perplex how we can be this way ,,I must say we need to improve our laws .. for the wellfare of the dogs and animals in General ,,Politics aren’t part of my life i must say we have a president that as Americans we must be shame .he don’t care for the animals BUT AS A STATE AND ONE OF THE BIGGER OF THE UNION,,WE MUST BE BETTER ON OUR OWN,, As the governor wrote back we must work with our cities and counties,,WELL WE NEED A STATE LAW TO GO BY ,that needs alot of improvement please i will keep an eye ..and i will vote for who stands for better care and betters laws for the animals ..Humans can protect themselves, animals can not !
  • Rita Leeson Schrimpf
    Texas has one of the biggest problems with strays, people dumping dogs then they either starve get run over or used for bait dogs in dog fighting which is obviously illegal too but the law will not enforce any of these laws, it’s like it’s a pain in the butt to them ! You have no idea how many times the law is called about animal cruelty and dumped dogs and their response is we don’t handle that or we will be right there and never show up! Before you do this get on Facebook look up all the lost sites in different counties, look at the thousands of dogs and cats either abused or dumped !
  • Doris Fletcher
    Please leave this program in place. The only reason to abolish this program is to benefit those that run puppy mills. This is a cruel thing to do. After all, we are Texans and we love our animals, so please leave this program in place. After all, a dog is a man’s best friend.
    Doris Fletcher
  • Jen Fromme
    I find it odd that one of the biggest Puppy Mill traders happen to be in Canton, TX, known by all as DOG ALLEY. Really? I know that anti-murder laws don’t prevent murders, but come on, everyone knows about this place!!! I’m so tired of apologizing for the way Texas treats her animals. It’s really sickening. Please look to PNW or East Coast for more CIVILIZED reform. That’s where all the forgotten and ABUSED animals from Texas have to go.
  • Cristina Thompson
    We need better laws for the protection our dogs…a matter of fact the laws we have aren’t that excellent ,I was involve in one case
    and i reported her she try to becoma a puppymill in her page of review that customer like me had many complaints ..from Oregon to California ,,they couldn’t belive
    they went so far for a dog and be misslead so much in many ways then one ..their pets had intestinal parassites..plus ,,I was the one that reported her cause i check ,
    and she did let her licenced expired just in that period time..Texas don’t even have any protection for the customers that purchase dogs ,this is wrong many other states do,,we need also better laws to protect dogs from scam rescues ..we have horrif stories of rescues colceting pledges ((all tax free )and not providing for the dogs ,,the dogs end up bee abuse and neglect and suffering ,,please lets fix the big problem ..
  • Cristina Thompson
    Please make sure the law we have will be kept in force plus it must be improved – The state needs to required better living conditions for the dogs in breeding facilities also if licensed – that they required now – I know I reported one , ang back yard breeders should be abolish 100% we have way to much overpopulation of dogs -mandatory S\N – unless a person is a state inspect it license breeder.can keep dogs intact.
  • Beverly Freeman
    Please for the sake of millions of puppies, don’t abolish the state program that protects them from coming into a world that harms them. They are treated as a commodity , not as future pets for good homes. It would be cruel to gut this program that has protected the puppies. They would not be safe and protected.
  • Becky Norman
    This is inexcusable!!! There are animals being killed every day because of overpopulation basically due to puppy mills and backyard breeders. All of which in their care do not for the most part receive proper housing, medical, or proper care. All breeders should be licensed and held accountable for the atrocities they bring upon these poor animals. It is our responsibility to make it happen and the governments responsibility to follow through.
  • Texas Humane Legislation Network