State News

Supporters of puppy mill bill speak out

Posted June 22, 2010

— Animal welfare activists showed their support Tuesday for a bill to help prevent breeders from keeping dogs in unsanitary living conditions.

Senate Bill 460 passed the Senate last year but has languished in the House since then. The House Finance Committee is expected to discuss the legislation this week.

The measure requires breeders with at least 15 female dogs and 30 puppies to be licensed and meet care standards, such as providing adequate daily exercise and housing.

The bill was introduced after the seizure of almost 300 dogs in February 2009 from what authorities say was a puppy mill in Wayne County.

More recently, a kennel owner in Greensboro was indicted on a dozen counts of cruelty to animals after police seized about 100 dogs from the kennel in April.

"I've seen the impact of commercial breeding, and it's very hard to see and it's harder to remove the emotion from it," Krissie Newman, wife of NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, said at a Tuesday news conference led by Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene, who sponsored the pending legislation.

Despite the star power lent by Krissie Newman and Kelley Earnhardt, sister of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ollie the boxer was the focus of attention at the news conference.

Ollie the boxer, rescued dog from puppy mill Rescued dog becomes image of puppy mill rules

"Ollie likes to be a representative for other dogs, hopefully to raise awareness so they don't have to live the way he did," said his owner, Molly Goldston, noting that he was rescued from a puppy mill.

"He had a lot of parasites, lots of worms and fleas and ticks, and he had to be neutered and had a respiratory infection," Goldston said.

Davis said the North Carolina Sheriff's Association, along with animal advocates, supports his bill.

Still, opponents say there are already laws that cover the issue, so another one isn't needed.

"We feel there's no need for a second definition" of commercial dog breeders, said Steve Wallis, president of the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs.

Supporters said the current definition of commercial breeders covers only those who sell to pet stores, research labs and other dealers. The legislation, which exempts breeders of hunting dogs and show dogs, would close a loophole and would affect roughly 300 breeding operations statewide, supporters said.

"The majority of breeders in North Carolina sell to individuals. There's a very, very small amount that sell to pet stores and research labs," said Kim Alboum, state director of the Human Society of the United States.


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  • HtheQueen Jun 28, 2010

    A responsible breeder has nothing to fear from this law. All it does is require a $50 dollar license and a yearly inspection. I don't understand what the upraor is about from supposed dog lovers. All the people I know that are involved in animal rescue, of both mutts & prue breds are in favor of this bill.

    @ dgraves - all of those groups that you mentioned below that are against this bill make money off animals. And the National Animal Interest Alliance is a front group for people that expolit animals as part of their business.. check out their board of directors. It is full of the folks from the cattleman's association, dog breeders and animal research facilities ... some how I think their interests in animals is probably more focused on their pocket books than on well being & welfare.

    Let's be real. This is a good bill that will help prevent puppy mills in NC. It needs to be passed & people (not businesses & organizations) who really care about dogs support this bill.

  • dgraves Jun 25, 2010

    A large coalition of groups that are truly concerned with both dogs and their owners remains steadfast in opposition to S 460. The coalition includes The American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, the American Veterinarian Medical Association, the North Carolina Agribusiness Council, the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs, and the North Carolina Sporting Dogs Association, to name just a few. Also opposed to S 460 is the National Animal Interest Alliance, a national group that promotes animal welfare (not “animal rights”) without promoting an anti-hunting agenda.

    Next week could be the final chance for HSUS to gain a foothold in North Carolina. Passage of S 460 would be devastating to not just commercial dog breeders and dog lovers, but those who hunt with dogs or enjoy any kind of hunting. If HSUS is successful with its apparent goal of eliminating commercial dog breeders, then hunting with dogs will quickly become an activity of only the wealthy who can afford dogs

  • BlueForever Jun 23, 2010

    The Wayne County breeders were not all charged. There were several family members who were running breeding kennels out of their homes and as the word got around, they hurridly got rid of the dogs. I know someone who got one who is extremely traumatized still. This was a two year old dog who had never seen the light of day. She lived all day in a pen that was washed with a hose while she was in it. she was alive purely to breed. Picture your dog in such an environment. There are many cruel people out there that are out to make only a buck. Who is against this bill are the hog and poultry farmers. Search for the articles. When this bill came out they spoke against it at their gatherings because they were afraid this would one day be expanded to cover how they treat animals raised in hog and poultry houses.

  • enigma1469 Jun 23, 2010

    It is a persons right to raise dogs for profit if they treat them well. The problem with government is a samll minority wines and the larger majority does not speak out.

  • Love it or leave it Jun 23, 2010
    HSUS is not helping your local shelter as you may think. Donate directly to your shelter, not lobbying groups like the HSUS.

  • howdiditgettothis Jun 22, 2010

    How about banning puppy mills period?

    End of discussion!

    Anyone who sells animals for profit should register with the state and meet the same requirements as PetsMart, and other stores like it.

  • pcredbone316 Jun 22, 2010

    SB460 is an unfunded mandate to local authorities at a time when budgets are being cut reducing funds for public schools, libraries, veterans, and health and human services programs.
    In addition, SB460 should not be given any consideration by legislators at this time of financial crisis in our state. According to Governor Perdue, the likely loss of about $500 million in federal stimulus funds could bring North Carolina 's budget shortfall to $1.2 billion dollars and cause thousands of jobs to be eliminated.
    Lastly, and most importantly, this very article provides PROOF that SB440 is not needed in that the Wayne County and Greensboro kennels were there's already laws proof that we do not need more laws but rather better enforcement.

    Oh yeah, I volunteer a couple of times per year for my local animal shelter in Louisburg, NC - you won't find HSUS there, they are too busy playing media blitz trying to get new laws passed....Don't be fooled by HSUS or Amanda Arrington, donat

  • lrfarms27572 Jun 22, 2010

    In the end this bill is a power grab by senator Davis, he a freshman politicain at best. The backers of this bill have an agenda, not a cause.

    HSUS, PETA, etc are a business! Plain and simple. These groups prey on the pockets of those who don't know better.

    Stop supporting these groups. Donate directly to your local animal shelter, veterinary clinic, volunteer, etc. Please don't give another nickel to these money mongers!

  • lrfarms27572 Jun 22, 2010

    There is NOTHING in this bill about how the dogs at puppy mills are to be treated it establishes nothing but e standards of "what" a "puppy mill" is. The bill is too vague and there is NOTHING in this bill that distinguishes a person who breeds for hunting purposes against someone who breeds for profit.

    I dispise puppy mills, BUT, this bill has far reaching collateral damage that has not been addressed and has been all but IGNORED by those in support of it. One of the represenatives in support if this bill on the Finance committee HUNG UP ON ME when I tried to discusss the ill effects of this bill.

    I think we need regulation of puppy mills, but this bill does NOT do that.

    PLEASE call you state reps and senators and ask for them to significantly REVISE or vote NO to Senate Bill 460!

    Tell them THERE IS A BETTER WAY! They can regulate and check through business license's, if a kennel doesn't have one, even better, more fines/charges to those who mistreat man's best friend

  • dgraves Jun 22, 2010

    I think it's funny how noone mentions that the AKC, North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board, NRA, and almost every other organization is against this bill. I know several Vets and every one of them are against this bill. The only support s460 has is from the HSUS. I hate puppy mills as much as everyone else, but a bill that has no real definition and guidlines is not the answer.