© Julie Wolfsone

I came across an interesting article this morning about Illinois Pet Stores and a new requirement they now have to follow starting this year, and we think it’s hopefully the start of something that will start to get picked up by other states.  Honestly, I had no idea that this new law was taking affect (and so close to Indiana where we live!), but we’re sure glad that it passed!  This is certainly something that all pet stores around the world should be implementing, and information that pet owners should know and WANT to know.

Fido’s Now An Open Book

By:  Stephanie Lulay

Starting Saturday, pet buyers will potentially receive much more information about their puppy’s origins than those who bought a dog in 2010.

Animal advocates are hoping that a new state law will help diminish the number of puppy mills and unlicensed breeding facilities in Illinois, where animals can potentially live in substandard conditions that cause serious illness.

Beginning Jan. 1, pet stores and animal shelters are required to post the history of a dog or cat, disclose the name and address of the animal’s breeders, keep a record of medical conditions, vet treatments and vaccinations and any known congenital or hereditary defect of the animal. The animal’s parents, date of brith and breed also must be disclosed.

The animal’s history must be signed by the customer and a pet shop representative before the sale or adoption can be finalized and the pet is taken home.

Previously, stores were required to disclose this information only when requested by the buyer. In some cases, the information wasn’t provided until the sale was final.

The legislation, signed by Gov. Pat Quinn in August, is designed to protect consumers from unknowingly buying or adopting pets that come from substandard facilities as well as to hold breeders accountable for the health and quality of their animals.

In a letter to Illinois pet shelters, state veterinarian Mark Ernst of the Illinois Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare, wrote that the new records will be reviewed during routine inspections.

While the law strengthens disclosure requirements, Linda Nass, manager of the Aurora Animal Control shelter, said she isn’t sure the new regulations will protect pet buyers.

“(The store) has got to show where it’s coming from, but that doesn’t ensure anything,” she said.

Nass said she adopted a dog from the Aurora shelter and knew of the pet shop and breeder it came from, but when she researched the breeder, “I couldn’t find anything,” she said.

Mary Lawrie, administrator at the Kane County Animal Control shelter in Geneva, said she thinks the information that the state is now mandating will help people, but she’s not sure how much.

“The requested information will help people, and if they understand what they need to look for, that will be a good (change),” Lawrie said.

But Greg Gordon, owner of Naperville’s Dog Patch Pet & Feed, said he doesn’t think the new rules will work.

“I don’t think there’s enough teeth in this to get anybody unscrupulous to stop doing what they are doing,” Gordon said. “… There are always going to be people who find their way around this.”

That includes the “Basement Pirates,” people who have made a business of selling dogs out of their basements or at highway stops. Falsely representing themselves as reputable breeders, they have no qualms about lying about the origin of an animal, Gordon said.

“If you pick up the classifieds, you will find 10 of these,” he said. “Those guys aren’t going to be affected by (the law.)”

Gordon closely followed the passage of this bill in Springfield this year. In anticipation of it becoming law, he said his store has been posting the histories of its dogs for the past six months. Previously, that information was given only to the person buying the dog.

The new rules won’t change business practices at the Aurora and Kane County shelters, which already were in compliance.

Nass said the Aurora shelter started using kennel cards with all of the same information when they changed software systems a few years ago.

“When they go to adopt, they get everything,” she said.

Lawrie said the Kane County shelter already has been 99 percent compliant with the new law.

“We’re an open-book facility,” Lawrie said. “We already provide that information in one place.”

With any pet purchase or adoption, Nass said it is the best decision to get the animal checked out by a family vet. If the vet certifies the animal has a health problem, the Aurora shelter will allow an exchange of the animal.

With any purchase, it’s all about doing your research, Nass said.

“If someone goes to a breeder or a pet store, they really need to do research on that animal,” Nass said.

While I don’t strongly support pet stores selling puppies (or kittens), this certainly is a step in the right direction.  Although I know that mass production puppy mills will probably find they’re way around this law easily, like the article said, but now they’ll have to work a little harder.  Pile on the laws to the point where it’s too difficult to maintain their operations, and hopefully they’ll just quit and give up!  We can dream, and hope, but until these types of breeders are brought to their knees and shut down one-by-one, dogs will continue to suffer their entire lives not knowing what it’s like to be a dog.

Way to go, IL!

 

cesar-millan

 

Don’t forget that today our beloved Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan will be covering and going Inside Puppy Mills.  It will air on his regular channel, National Geographic, at 9pm.

I recommend reminding your friends, family, and co-workers to tune in too so we can get the word out about this horrendous business, especially if you missed Puppy Mills:  Exposed on Animal Planet that aired last week.  It’s important to spread the word.

Visit Cesar’s website for full details!

Will YOU be watching and encouraging everyone you know to do so too?

 

 

animal-planet-audio-logo

DON’T FORGET!

  Tonite on Animal Planet, Animal Cops:  Philadelphia will be doing a special on Puppy Mills.  It will be airing at 9pm/10pm E/P.  Tell your friends, family, and anyone you know to tune in, and help raise awareness so that this horrendous “business” can be stopped.

Watch and learn how to find a reputable breeder HERE.

I hope that all of you will view the show in it’s entirety, despite how difficult it may be.

Share if YOU will be watching.

 

 

caged-puppy

Photo by toolmantim

The state of Wisconsin is now trying to get on board with a new legislation against their puppy mill problem, along with several others around the nation.  Introduced by Sen. Pat Kreitlow, Rep. Jeff Smith, Sen. Alberta Darling, and Rep. Christine Sinicki the new bill will hopefully establish a licensing and inspection program, and limit the quantity of dogs commercial breeders are allowed to sell to 25, so that QUALITY of life can become the main concern.

Last year, the Wisconsin Humane Society purchased and closed down one of the largest running puppy mills in the United States called Puppy Haven.  The mill housed approximately 1,100 dogs and sold about 3,000 puppies of various breeds a year.  After the owner could no longer register his dogs and puppies with the AKC due to the horrible living conditions and lack of complete records, the decision to sell the “business” came about.  You can read more about it here.

I’m glad that Wisconsin has decided to take action against their puppy mills, and now they need YOUR help to get it passed.

Here is the full version of LRB 2448/2.

Here a summary of LRB 2448/2.

You can find your legislators here.

Here is a copy of a sample letter you can use.

120x240_pm_ribbon

 

A little while back I did a post about the new peice of legislation that passed the Indiana House and was heading to the Senate concerning the state’s ‘puppy mill’ problem.  I just want to do a quick update on how the new bill was advancing, and to be honest I was a little diappoinated on how it had been revised.

According to the Associated Press, the Senate panel supported the newly changed bill, along with dog breeders, stating that the current animal abuse laws are not enough for prosecutors to go after supposed puppy mills.

“The Senate civil matters committee changed a House-passed bill on Tuesday to eliminate specific proposed standards for dogs in breeding facilities, such as sanitary conditions and under an hour of exercise a day.  Instead, dog breeders would fall under certain regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

Basically, this bill has taken a turn for the worst, and is leading us no where in the advancement of animal welfare.  I’m not the only one who opposes this newly edited version, veterinarians are also against it saying that USDA regulations were designed for livestock (cows, sheep, horses, etc.), and not companion animals.

I’m still trying to understand the reason why this change came about, and why someone would want a revision of such a bill, but my opinion is probably biased, as I am not a breeder.  Individuals who breed for monetary means, and NOT for the betterment of the breed are no friend of mine.

I hope that the House and the Senate will continue to work out this issue, and take the time to think about the animals that are suffering everyday for the sake of a buck before they get everything set in stone.

You can read the full article HERE.

Previous Post:  Help Indiana Reduce Animal Cruelty

Support H.B. 1468

 

Linda Lawson, Indiana’s State Representative, introduced H.B. 1468 to help ban puppy mills.  The bill recently passed the House with a vote of 81-14, and now heads to the Senate.  If the legislation  passes, new laws will establish a much needed standardization on the care and conditions of dogs in a breeding environment and harden punishments for those who are convicted of abuse.

Current Indiana laws state that an individual can only be convicted of animal cruelty if they neglect to provide food and water, which certainly indicates how lax Indiana has been on its some 800 to 1,500 puppy mills throughout the state. 

According to the new legislation, a “Commercial Breeder,” or a person who maintains adult female dogs that produce ten or more litters in a years time, will have to be registered with the state and follow a list of requirements.

  1. Maintain sanitary conditions.
  2. Dispose of waste, disease contaminated material, and control vermin, insects, pests, and obnoxious odors.
  3. Control pests and vermin.
  4. Have natural and artificial light where dogs are kept and must be adequate to provide efficient cleaning.
  5. Provide a sufficiently heated structure to protect the dogs from the cold and provide for their health and comfort at all times.
  6. Provide sufficient ventilation to minimize drafts, offensive odors, moisture condensation; and provide for the health and comfort of dogs at all times.
  7. Ensure that each dog that is at least tweleve weeks of age has access to an exercise area for at least one hour.  They must comply that the exercise area must allow for unfettered clearance for dogs from their primary enclosure.
  8. Implant microchips in every dog and have them registered.
  9. Refrain from hiring staff with a misdemeanor or felony under IC 35-46-3.
  10. Provide enclosures that is suited for the breed of the dog, etc.

It’s definately a jump towards the right direction.  This bill is something that the state of Indiana needs, and hopefully a bill that will be adapted by other states that are in need of new legislation against puppy mills.  If you are an animal lover who supports this bill please contact Indiana’s Senate legislators.