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Puppy Mills - Overview
 

Puppy Mills - Overview

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  • Accurate for sure, but doesn’t cover the issue
  • Garrett County, MD Unlicensed operator Some dogs had loads of room, others not, some are tethered due to escaping No way to sanitize
  • Garrett County, MD Unlicensed operator Some dogs had loads of room, others not, some are tethered due to escaping No way to sanitize
  • One of the dogs HSUS rescued and local shelter took to adopt
  • Ready to whelp…this was her “whelping box” She delivered two pups (one dead) the next day
  • housing
  • PA breeder bust
  • Been around for decades, classic sales channel was pet stores this played into how USDA interprets the Animal Welfare Act and thus how they write regulations to enforce the law note AWA requirements for licensing definition of “retail sales” which remains unchanged despite efforts to pass legislation as well as court challenges major busts and lots of press in 1980s pet store sales declined but are coming back up
  • Public misconception that they are illegal difficult to understand why such conditions are allowed questions as to why we can’t just outlaw them think pet stores who sell sick dogs would go out of business efforts to classify dogs as “farm products” or “agricultural animals” lack of awareness and understanding of how mills thrive and where puppies are sold
  • SERO assisted
  • Common problems with puppy mill dogs what you would expect to see in any operation with large numbers of animals without proper care protocols socialization issues
  • SERO assisted
  • VA
  • VA
  • Must show animals were bred and raised on the property unless obtained from a pound or shelter
  • CJ the day she was rescued from the puppy mills by the HSMO
  • CJ after months of foster care Story is on www.humanesociety.org/puppymills
  • USDA inspections vs. state inspections neither works perfectly, some areas worse than others Example: Ongoing USDA enforcement problems, MO audits showed USDA did a better job there than state state inspections vital because of growth of non-wholesale puppy mill industry ala internet sales new wrinkle is import problem history and growth of import situation oversight challenges (CDC/USDA)
  • State issues puppy mill problem growing migration from PA puppy mills current laws not strict, but not out of line with the pathetic laws in most states
  • How do we solve the problem? Education and Legislation/Enforcement
  • Education meeting people where they are at focus group data (don’t believe their puppy could have come from mill, think they can spot an unhealthy puppy, think the can judge breeder based on pet store environment, think “the humane society” is doing/should do something about it) general public education talking about good breeders setting aside spay/neuter and backyard breeder issues working with good breeders explaining the reality of “papers” giving one consistent message: “know your breeder”
  • Good breeding situation, Clumber Spaniels
  • Good breeding situation, Clumber Spaniels
  • Good breeding situation, Clumber Spaniels
  • Legislation Passage and improvement of state laws Following up on enforcement issues, keeping pressure on those agencies (note state law chart for mills and pet stores) Federal legislation (note visiting humanesociety.org or fund.org)

Puppy Mills - Overview Puppy Mills - Overview Presentation Transcript

  • Animal Law I
  • What is a “Puppy Mill” ?
  • Merriam Webster defines as:
    • Main Entry: puppy mill
    • Function: noun
    • Date: 1973
    •  a commercial farming operation in which purebred dogs are raised in large numbers
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  • So what is this all about…
    • Each year American consumers purchase dogs from unregulated dealers who sell animals from their premises . Many of the animals are sold through newspaper advertisements and via the Internet , which means the purchaser can't see the conditions in which the dogs live.
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    • U.S. animal shelters euthanize 3 million to 4 million cats and dogs every year, and yet pet industry statistics show that about one third of the nation's 11,000 pet stores continue to sell puppies.
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  • Puppy Mill History
    • Decades-old industry
    • Pet store original sales channel
    • Pet store decline and rebound
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  • Aren’t puppy mills illegal?
    • “Why don’t you just outlaw them?”
    • Bad business practice = failed businesses (right?)
    • Do dogs = corn? (or cows?)
    • “But I’m in [state x] and we don’t have puppy mills here.”
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  • Common problems with puppy mill dogs
    • Parasites
    • URI/pneumonia (puppies)
    • Giardia
    • Parvo
    • Ears
    • Teeth
    • Skin
    • Kidney and liver problems (puppies)
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  • Animal Welfare Act
    • About thirty-five years ago, Congress passed the AWA to, in part, ensure that breeders provide humane treatment to animals in their care.
      • AWA requirements include adequate housing, ample food and water, reasonable handling, basic disease prevention, decent sanitation, and sufficient ventilation.
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    • So, the United States Department of Agriculture regulates (through licensing and inspection ) "commercial" breeding kennels.
      • A "commercial" breeder is an operation with more than three breeding females that sells dogs or cats to wholesale dealers ( middleman ).
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  • Puppy Mill Chain Puppy Mills Dealers (Exempt from USDA Licensing and Inspections) Can also be Puppy Mills Pet Store (Retail Dealer) Commercial Breeder Regulated by USDA Licenses and Inspections Public Broker Wholesaler Research Facility Other Pet Dealer
  • Dealing Dogs Chain Class B Dealer (Subject to USDA Licensing and Inspections) C.C. Baird Laboratories Institutions Other Dealers for Research Testing Education Bunchers Flea Markets Auctions Individuals Pounds Shelters Other Dealers
  • The "Retail Pet Store" Exemption Problem
    • The USDA has never required dealers who sell their animals directly to the public to apply for licenses , regardless of the size of the operation.
    • It is the USDA's position that these dealers are retail pet stores .
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  • Why is this significant?
    • The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) excludes "retail pet stores" from its minimum humane care and handling requirements !
    • Many think that a person breeding animals on his own premises and selling them directly to consumers is not a "retail pet store.“
    • Puppy mills can get around USDA licensing requirements by selling directly to consumers , and many simply rely on the limited reach of the law—with so few inspectors and only minor fines in place, it's often easy for puppy mills to stay in business.
  • Who is (or should be) looking at puppy mills?
    • USDA vs. State
    • Difference in state laws and enforcement
    • State inspections vital for all operations
    • Imports
  • New York
    • Growing problem
    • Migration from Pennsylvania
  • Solving It
    • Education
    • Legislation/Enforcement
  • A good breeding facility law: 
    • applies to all breeding operations with animals or animal sales numbering over a specified threshold.
    • requires a licensing fee and pre-inspection .
    • includes routine, unannounced inspections at least twice yearly.
    • is enforced by an agency with adequate funding and properly trained and tested staff.
    • rotates inspectors to cover different areas of the state.
    • is equipped with strong penalties when facilities are in repeated non-compliance, including but not limited to cease and desist orders.
  • Education
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  • Warning Signals
    • Wants cash payment
    • Won’t let you visit the kennel and meet mom and dad
    • Meets you somewhere else for “convenience”
    • No AKC papers
    • Stops answering phone or emails
  • Puppy Mill Solutions
    • Apply care standards to both licensed and unlicensed facilities
    • Authorize Ag. & Mkts. to enter premises to assure compliance
    • Put inspection reports online
    • Require advertisements to include name and address
    • Require Ag. & Mkts. to report cruelty and neglect to local authorities for follow-up
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