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Page updated 4/28/15 – Montana legislature update; earlier with AKC: Puppy mills’ champion? (scroll to AKC graphic); Chicago ordinance goes to court; Thompson Falls, Montana animal shelter puppy mill rescue (scroll down to MT map); scroll down page for a series of videos.
***MISSOULIANS: REPORT ROAD-SIDE PUPPY SALES! Click here for details.
NEW: PUPPY MILL MAP of state regulations from ASPCA – click. Montana is among the 21 states without ANY regulations.
RECENT: 3/4/15: “Chicago’s puppy mill ordinance on hold due to court fight” (video). Check out the City Clerk–she totally rocks!
11/21/14: “Ohio house bill to weaken puppy mill provisions” – click; “Dogs rescued from puppy mill ready for adoption” – (Atlanta) click; “Charges filed against accused puppy mill owners” – click. Note on this last item: “cruelty, neglect and abuse” of over 170 animals…and it’s a MISDEMEANOR! “The charges carry fines but no jail time.”
11/9/14: “About 100 dogs rescued from alleged puppy mill will soon know what compassion is” news item from Humboldt, TN – click.
10/12/14: “Serious violations of Animal Welfare Act doesn’t [sic] mean quick removal” – So-called regulation of puppy mills really doesn’t fix much, according to this report from Iowa.
7/26/14: “Animal rights group warns Missouri ballot measure would protect puppy farming” – Article here.
7/14/14: “Animal advocates petition legislature for new committee” – Activists in TN look to side-step anti-animal agriculture committees in state legislature (this is why puppy mill legislation fails in MT, also). Article here.
7/8/14: Is Wisconsin licensing puppy mills? A cautionary tale on state legislation meant to provide minimum standards while tracking breeders. In spite of this, dogs remain vulnerable.
“The history of puppy mills and why you should care” –here
HSUS investigative video on pet store sales of puppy mill puppies – here.
9/10/13: The ASPCA applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture for issuing a final rule establishing greater federal oversight of puppy mills and online dog sales. The new rule closes a regulatory loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA)…continued here. Also see the HSUS blog.
Puppy mill congressional district: Do the dogs get to vote? A Missouri puppy miller is attempts to move from the state legislature to the U.S. Congress in a special election on 6/4/13. Read more here. “Show me” some justice for dogs, Missouri! UPDATE: The odious puppy miller won the race. Grrrr…
Loophole lets accused puppy mill operator sell dogs online: After run-ins with Seattle area authorities, this puppy miller then moved to Missouri, puppy mill capital of the U.S. (with Montana close behind–see item below on MT legislature). “The internet is a puppy miller’s best friend,” says one expert. Story and interesting TV news video here.
2015 MONTANA LEGISLATURE
HB 608: Revise commercial pet breeder laws (PUPPY – KITTEN MILL BILL). Here we go again! As a largely rural and isolated state lacking regulations, Montana is fertile ground for puppy mills. The Montana Commercial Pet Protection Act will: establish an oversight board of commercial pet breeders; require commercial breeders to be licensed by the board of commercial pet breeders; require breeding facility inspections; and establish civil and criminal penalties. The exploiters win again–the bill died in committee. The American Kennel Club (AKC) lobbied against it. Want to thank the bill’s sponsor? Reach her here.
Past effort: MONTANA LEGISLATURE 2013: House Ag Committee strikes again; puppy mill bill fails. House Bill 439 (text only) would have created the “Montana Commercial Pet Protection Act” in an effort to ensure that commercial pets that are bred, sold, exchanged, or made available for adoption in Montana are healthy. It also included requirements for recordkeeping, inspections, and fees. The bill was supported by the Montana Veterinary Medical Association, among others. HB 439 was introduced on February 11th and sent to the House Agriculture Committee. The bill was tabled (killed) in executive committee action on March 7th (click here to watch video; discussion of this bill starts at the 2:53:00 mark). Rep. Krayton Kerns, the veterinarian who moved to table Montana’s attempt to criminalize attendance at dogfights, also moved to deny humane treatment for puppy mill dogs. The exploiters won’t risk allowing these bills to proceed to the full chamber for discussion–where compassion and justice might overrule greed and special interests.
Scroll down to “Montana puppy mill justice” to understand why oversight is needed for these cruel and irresponsible breeders. According to ASPCA, 21 states have no laws regulating commercial breeders. Breeders regulated by USDA under the federal Animal Welfare Act must provide “merely survival standards for dogs” (according to ASPCA) and “violations often go unpunished.” To see some photos from USDA-licensed puppy mills, click here.
***“Something Stinks: The need for environmental regulation of puppy mills”: a researched and footnoted paper from Villanova University. Find it here.
Last Chance for Animals: Ban puppy mills – click
Puppy Mill Awareness on Facebook
The Puppy Mill Project – click
Prisoners of Greed: Puppy mills breed misery – click
Puppy mills thrive thanks to internet loophole – includes video – click
Puppy Mill Rescue – click
ASPCA’s Puppy Mill FAQs – click
NEW: National Mill Dog Rescue – click
NEW 3/24/15: AKC: The puppy mills’ champion? here.
NBC report exposes AKC – here. (AKC has lobbied against Montana bills–scroll down to section beginning, “Why are puppy mill regulations so hard to pass?”)
In North Carolina, overwhelming support for puppy mill rules: “A growing movement to end puppy mills has been sweeping the country, and it has landed in North Carolina, where an effort to enact common sense legislation to regulate the state’s commercial dog breeding facilities has taken hold.” 3/6/13 NewsObserver.com
Ohio sends puppy millers a message with new law! “Ohio, one of the epicenters of cruel “puppy mill” style dog breeders, passed a landmark bill on Tuesday (11/28/12) restricting the ability of breeders to mistreat the dogs they are raising for sale. Because Ohio had virtually no legal oversight of breeders, it became “one of the biggest unregulated states” for puppy mills…” Read more at Think Progress.
LA to become largest city to ban pet shop puppy mill sales: “The new law will require retail pet stores to only sell rescued animals.” Read more at the Los Angeles Times, which also offers a brief news segment video. Care2 also reports this story, with additional links. A related item: Last year, mall developer Macerich Properties banned the sale of live animals in more than 70 malls nationwide.
12/8/14: “Thompson Falls animal shelter rescues 30 dogs from alleged puppy mill” in Plains, MT; article at the Missoulian.
MONTANA PUPPY MILL JUSTICE! (A state law mandating inspections would’ve likely prevented this terrible suffering.)
***7/8/14 UPDATE: MT Supreme Court denies appeal here (see item below for previous update)
***2/6/14 UPDATE: Missoula Independent “Stuck in the doghouse” covers this breeder’s appeal to the MT Supreme Court, here.
“The wheels of justice turn slowly, but in this case, they turned correctly. This was one of the most egregious cases of animal abuse I’ve seen in my 16 years in the business. A year ago the dogs were in terrible shape – sick, emaciated, infested with parasites. Several had open wounds when we got them off the property. It was sickening. They are now healthy and happy. This conviction will hopefully send a message to other puppy mill operators that this kind of neglect and abuse will not be tolerated.”
~ Director, Lewis & Clark Humane Shelter (read more at that link)
A puppy miller has been brought to justice (10/18/12) in a jury trial. Rural, isolated states with lax laws (Montana fits the bill on all counts) allow this cruel industry to fly under the radar and flourish. Isn’t it about time we change that? Read on…
“A malamute breeder has been convicted of 91 counts of animal cruelty a year after officers raided his kennel in southwestern Montana and seized 139 dogs and 23 puppies. …Veterinarians testified that most of the dogs were severely underweight and malnourished and that some adult dogs that should weigh about 85 pounds weighed 40 pounds. Jurors were shown video of the kennels taken the day of the raid and a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy testified that investigators found the remains of eight dogs and two dead puppies on the property.” Read the full article at the Great Falls Tribune (article no longer online). Photo gallery of rescued malamutes at the Helena Independent Record, along with article, “Chilinski gets 30 years, 25 suspended, in malamute abuse” and article, “Chilinski malamutes can be adopted soon.” Continued below video screen.
The convicted breeder, rather than take responsibility, blamed 1) animal rights groups for harassing him out of Utah, and 2) the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), whose “heavy handed” tactics “made his kennels appear worse than they really were.” (OK, so how do you make dead and starving dogs appear worse than they really are?)
SEE ALSO: 2008 puppy mill bust in Yellowstone County, MT– Details here.
Why are puppy mill regulations so hard to pass? Because money and power come down on the side of exploitation. Montana’s previous attempts to regulate puppy mills–House Bill 515 (to provide minimum standard of care for a maximum number of dogs) and HB 390 (to require inspections)–died when they were tabled by the House Agriculture Committee in the 2011 legislature. Farmers and ranchers fear that any animal regulation will eventually impede their ability to make money off of their own sentient animals, while profit-driven pro-breeding groups like the AKC actively lobby against bills to regulate breeding in Montana and elsewhere (see also “AKC fails to oppose puppy mills“). Meanwhile, shelters kill “excess” animals by the millions. Click here to learn what you can do. Learn more: PuppyMillRescue.
Two of our paws-down favorite commercials use humor to make the point…
and both are well under one minute. We can’t install the YouTube screen on our website, so you’ll have to click here and here. (Added: Cats Against Puppy Mills!) The Pet Stop, located in Southgate Mall (Missoula, MT) sells puppies. Customer reviews are available online here. (UPDATE: The Pet Stop is no longer at the mall.) Are puppy mill dogs sold in a mall near you?
Black Eyed Peas ask: “Where is the love?” (Hint: You won’t find it in puppy mills!)