Friday, October 10, 2008

PA Puppy Mills About to Shape Up!

Pennsylvania, previously known to many in the world of animal welfare as "the puppy mill capital," has passed HB2525 to clean up, reform, and cut down on puppy mills throughout the state.

The Humane Society of America has recently stepped up their campaign to shut down inhumane puppy mills that force dogs to pump out puppies like factories. I've seen and worked with dogs that come out of these places. The dogs are constantly being bred, living in wire cages stacked high, never feeling grass or even solid floor beneath their paws. One breeder dog who was rescued from a mill in Tennessee and brought to DC had misshapen paws from the wire. Most don't even know how to be dogs. They don't know how to play or interact with people or even other dogs. Seeing the dogs who come out of these mills is one of the most heartbreaking sights I've encountered in volunteering with the shelter.

There is good news though, when these shelters are closed down and the dogs sent to shelters around the country, they can be rehabilitated. While only a few of the dogs who came to my shelter in DC were able to be immediately adopted, the rest were placed in foster homes and now, just a few months later, are playing with families and other dogs in their "forever homes."

The Pennsylvania bill bans stacking cages and wire flooring, requires exercise, twice-yearly veterinary care, and humane euthanasia from licenced veterinarians, in addition to doubling the allowable cage sizes. While I still recommend getting your new dog from a shelter (cheaper, healthier, and helping to cut down on the overpopulation problem), this bill helps make life a little better for the specialized dogs being bred to meet consumer demand. The only thing that will eliminate these mills forever will be a change in demand from purebred puppies to healthy mutts and mixed-breeds from shelters.

The legislature passed the bill on October 8 and the governor signed it into law on October 9.


Jarrod said...

Huh. I voted against Rendell (and would again), but kudos for him signing this, at least.

Anonymous said...

yay for cutting back on puppy mills!