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Activists pushing for state puppy mill law

Posted February 12, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Animal rights activists met at the North Carolina Legislative Building on Thursday to urge lawmakers to create legislation to protect animals, including strengthening protections for dogs at puppy mills.

The rally comes on the heels of what authorities say was the largest puppy mill bust in the state. They seized 283 dogs from a Mount Olive kennel last week.

puppy Animal activists want stronger pet laws

North Carolina doesn't have a law regulating puppy mills – breeding facilities that mass produce puppies for sale. Legislation backed by Sen. Don Davis, D-Wayne, could be introduced next week, however.

Davis said the bill is still being drafted to make sure it is fair for reputable breeders, but the Humane Society of the United States, which organized Thursday's meeting, said the legislation could require oversight and a license for breeders with 20 or more adult females.

Davis said he had begun working on the bill prior to last week's raid, but seeing the condition of the confiscated dogs has pushed him to get the bill introduced this legislative session.

"(They were in) just very, very poor condition," Davis said. "Whether you're an animal lover or not, at some point, I believe that this begins to be a reflection of who we are as a people in society."

Lobbyists were meeting with lawmakers to get more support for the bill, as well as legislation that would limit dog-tethering.

Meanwhile, the Humane Society is working to send the dogs from last week's seizure at Thornton's Kennels to 11 animal shelters across the Southeast for adoption.

Justin Scally, director of Wayne County Animal Control Services, said Wednesday that the county shelter cannot properly handle caring for and placing all the dogs because of the estimated 7,000 other animals that go through the facility every year.

"I can't, in good conscience, euthanize any of those animals simply to make space for these dogs when I know the Humane Society of the United States can find good homes for each of the animals seized from Thornton's Kennels," he said.

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  • alwayslovingu30 Feb 12, 2009

    Any breeder should not have more than 10 or 15 females an they should be made to skip A cycle.It is not fair to make A dog pregnant every time it comes into heat.It is unfair.what if people were made to have kids everytime they got it.It should be illegal period.Puppy mills R not A help they R bad places.I had A friend that had A bunch of hampsters pet smart would not take them they said they only buy from specific breeders we tried to give them up.she finally turned them loose in the yard

  • St Ives Feb 12, 2009

    I detest the thought of backyard breeders, I have taken care of the puppies that are produced and not wanted. I doubt any rescue group wants you to declaw a cat, I think the rule to keep the cat inside is just good sense. Those rules foster and rescue groups have are to stop thoughtless people who get a dog put it in the yard and feed it once a day, if they remember, or let a cat roam until it is killed by a car or worse.

  • ghwhitaker1_old Feb 12, 2009

    Considering I have three dogs and four cats and foster for a rescue group, that's pretty doubtful. I do want animals to be treated better than they are in NC. Our laws stink when it comes to protecting the innocent animals.

    You must run a puppymill. Admit it!

    See how silly it sounds to jump to a conclusion because someone not only disagrees with you, but points out when you are in error.______________________________________________________
    You still haven't defined what exactly a "puppy mill" is. The animal rights fanatics I have encountered consider anyone who raises puppies to be operating a "puppy mill". They don't believe anyone should raise dogs for sale. To say that animals are treated badly in N.C. is a gross generalization. I detest cruelty to humans or animals. Problem is the fanatics think animals should be elevated to the status of humans, which will never happen. What laws in N.C. "stink" when it comes to protecting animals? Please be precise.

  • dxedame Feb 12, 2009

    ..also, can we call this law "Thornton's Law"?
    What happened there needs to be remembered.

  • dxedame Feb 12, 2009

    At some point it comes down to right & wrong.
    The Thornton puppies were wrongfully treated.
    Don't make it complicated.

  • PaulRevere Feb 12, 2009

    The ultimate goal of "animal activists" is to demote humans, not promote animals.

  • rescuefan Feb 12, 2009

    rescuefan: you allege cruelty and neglect in "puppy mills: please define a "puppy mill". N.C.'s animal cruelty laws and the Civil Remedy for Cruelty to Animals Act found in chapter 19A of the General Statutes address both situations. What you actually want to ban is the ownership of animals. Admit it!!!
    Inter Alios
    ____________________________________________________________
    ____
    Considering I have three dogs and four cats and foster for a rescue group, that's pretty doubtful. I do want animals to be treated better than they are in NC. Our laws stink when it comes to protecting the innocent animals.

    You must run a puppymill. Admit it!

    See how silly it sounds to jump to a conclusion because someone not only disagrees with you, but points out when you are in error.

  • rescuefan Feb 12, 2009

    There is a huge difference between animal welfare and animal rights. The HSUS believes in animal rights, I believe that the majority of those involved with rescue are actually supporting animal welfare. Banning puppymills is in the best interest of the animals welfare. It's really not an extreme measure at all. Our existing laws do not protect the helpless animals nearly as well as they should. If they did, we wouldn't need the puppymill ban.

    And it's a shame to me that one bad rescue experience would actually cause someone to support backyard breeders and to say that they no longer support any rescues because of it. That is really shortsighted and selfish. As usual, it's all about immediate gratification. Regardless of how it hurts the animals. How sad. I imagine the children are being raised with those same values, or lack thereof.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 12, 2009

    justamommy, if you really think a shelter has more rules than you do for your child, we may be reading about them in this here paper real soon. ;-) Seriously though, those rules are there because shelters end up killing 250,000 in NC every year because people are either ignorant or irresponsible. They don't want to a revolving door on animal adoptions, so they screen well. Keeping a cat indoors is the law in many cities here...as if anyone cares. I've never heard of a shelter requiring an animal to be declawed (since it's like removing the tips of all your fingers), but declawed cats should not go outside, since it's too dangerous for them.

  • ghwhitaker1_old Feb 12, 2009

    rescuefan: you allege cruelty and neglect in "puppy mills: please define a "puppy mill". N.C.'s animal cruelty laws and the Civil Remedy for Cruelty to Animals Act found in chapter 19A of the General Statutes address both situations. What you actually want to ban is the ownership of animals. Admit it!!!

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