Puppy mill regulations pass state House

Posted April 22, 2015

Munson the bulldog lobbied state lawmakers Thursday in favor of basic care standards for large commercial dog breeders. He was rescued during a Stokes Co. puppy mill bust in 2012.

— As expected, a bill that would regulate breeders with 10 or more female dogs began making its way through the state House on Wednesday.

The House Rules Committee gave the first official nod to House Bill 159, which mirrors a bill that passed the state House in 2013 but stalled in the Senate. Later in the day, the full House approved the measure 84-30. The bill now goes to the Senate.

As originally drafted, the measure would have required registration and stricter oversight of commercial breeders. However, Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, said that he had encountered signification opposition to that measure.

"In the spirit of compromise, we put forth the commercial dog breeder language that passed the House 101-14 in 2013," Saine said.

That old – and now current – bill requires basic standards for providing food and water, medical care and exercise.

"The bill doesn't impact anyone's right to own a dog or have any number of dogs. It simply provides basic standards for commercial dog breeders," Saine said.

Although the measure has been well received by members of the House and is backed by animal welfare groups, it is opposed by the American Kennel Club and the North Carolina Sporting Dogs Association.

"This creates another layer of bureaucracy for property owners," Henri McClees, a lobbyist for the two groups, told the committee.

She said the bill was not needed because mistreating animals is already against the law. The bill, she said, would open the door to future regulations that lead to curbs on breeding.

"I have to say the forces that are pushing these kind of bills ... have a grander scheme really against animal ownership," McClees said. "The long-term effects of this will be to draw people into these enforcement positions that don't really think I ought to own a dog, much less selectively breed a dog."

She added, "You don't have to have a puppy mill bill to prosecute and convict someone of animal cruelty."

However, organizations such as the Humane Society and some sheriffs have argued that animal abuse investigations can be time-consuming and hard to conduct, especially when it comes to puppy mills.

"Will Sen. Rabon permit me to vote for this bill?" asked Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford, drawing snickers.

Blust's comment was a joke at the expense of Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, who famously, and at times vocally, has spoken out against puppy mill regulations. The comment was also a nod to the uncertain future the bill faces even it makes it to the Senate, where Rabon isn't the only skeptic of the measure.


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  • Elizabeth Brinkley Apr 30, 2015
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    COMMERCIAL BREEDERS ARE NOT "PUPPYMILLS" 10 Things You Didn’t Know About “Puppy Mills”

    1) Passing laws intended to outlaw “puppy mills” will not solve any problem. Most substandard breeders are already in violation of existing laws and don’t care. New, stricter laws will only affect those who are already working to follow the laws. The only way to have any effect is to provide the funds and manpower to enforce the laws that are already on the books.
    2) There is no such thing as a "puppy mill". "Puppy mill" is not a legally defined term, it is slang invented by the “animal rights” extremists to denigrate any and all breeders -- small or large, standard or substandard. It's the "N-word" of breeders and equally insulting to use. The phrase “puppy mill” has been promoted in the media by the animal “rights” movement, people who want to end all animal ownership. It is applied indiscriminately by these fanatics to anyone who breeds dogs. You didn’t “adopt” a do

  • Sammy Macloud Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Rabon may be a 'good man' but ANY veterinarian worth his salt would be AGAINST puppy mills and FOR this bill. I have met the man, taken my dogs to him years ago but what he's doing now is in no way FOR THE ANIMALS only the $$$$$.

    you certainly protest a lot....paranoid much?

  • Matt Wood Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Even an abused dog will heal, just because he looks healthy now it doesn't mean he wasn't rescued from horrible conditions. I remember the pictures from that Stokes County bust you reference, and if you support that, that makes you one messed up human being. And you can't call it a "vigilante raid" when local law enforcement conducted the raid with a legally-obtained warrant. Something tells me you're one of the breeders who needs to be investigated (somebody get his IP address and go snooping!).

  • Clarence Hill Apr 23, 2015
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    Slander and defamation of Sen. Rabon's good name will get HB-159 advocates nowhere. He was reelected by a 2 to 1 margin over his opponent--even though the ARs crowd spent thousands of dollars trying to defeat him. Now is a good time for you guys to be nice to him.

    Yes HSUS does have a hidden agenda to put us out of the animal business. Yes, ARs advocates do have dogs. The nice pure-bred English bulldog, probably registered by AKC, was stolen during a HSUS led vigilante raid of a commercial dog breeder in Stokes County. Does that dog look as if it has ever been abused?

    Where is Kim Albourn, NC HSUS Director, in this discussion? Has she tucked her HSUS "tale" and skipped town? We need for her to come back and give HB-159 her "death kiss".

    AKC and the Dog breeder groups provide good jobs of which NC should be proud. Anything HSUS/ASPCA wants in H159 for NC--NC does not need, period.

  • Doug Hanthorn Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    Funny how the only people who oppose this have money interests in raising puppies at the lowest possible cost. Funny how opponents say that supporters have a hidden agenda to ultimately prevent pet ownership when a significant number of supporters own pets. Sigh. How do these liars sleep at night?

  • Roy Hinkley Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I suspect that man feels no shame, ever.

  • Sammy Macloud Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    Oh and Sen Rabon should be beyond ashamed of himself....guess the AKC bought him....

    but then as a veterinarian-if puppy mills continue his office would get more business from all the sick puppies-lots of puppy mills in and around Brunswick Co.

  • Sammy Macloud Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    Hopefully the Senate will also pass this much needed law.

    "opposed by the American Kennel Club and the North Carolina Sporting Dogs Association."
    THAT is indicative of where their concerns lie.......MONEY, not the animals!