Puppy mill regulation to return to lawmakers' agenda

Posted February 6, 2015

An effort to pass laws that would regulate puppy mills in North Carolina will get another push this year.

For years, polls have shown widespread public support for regulating puppy mills. Gov. Pat McCrory even mentioned it in his State of the State address Wednesday.

“We have to protect our pets from abuse in puppy mills,” he said. “I'm embarrassed that North Carolina is not giving basic food and water and shelter to our puppies.”

But there is no regulation or oversight of commercial pet breeders in the state. Since 2011, 21 puppy mills have been busted in North Carolina, with 1,600 dogs and puppies rescued, according to Kim Alboum, state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

“There is just so much support for this,” she said. “It just is a common-sense bill.”

For the last two years, the state House has voted to require basic animal welfare standards for large pet breeders. Both times, the Senate has killed it.

The main opponent has been the American Kennel Club.

“The AKC gets a fee for every puppy registered to them, so it benefits them to support these high-volume breeders,” Alboum said.

AKC officials declined to comment Friday, but they’ve previously argued the bill unfairly targets breeders.

Alboum disagrees.

“We're really looking for people here that are profiting from animals with no regard for their health or welfare, which is a puppy mill,” she said. “Responsible breeders have nothing to fear from this bill. They're already exceeding the standards that would be in this bill.”

Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, who sponsored the proposals for the past two years, said he'll try again.

“I will not give up on this. This is an issue that's near and dear to me,” he said. “I've seen it firsthand just how awful the treatment of these animals are, and it's happening throughout our state. And it will not go away till we put a hammer down and do something in law that will address this issue.”

The bill would not apply to dogs being bred or kept as hunting dogs or show dogs and would only apply to breeders with 10 or more breeding females on the premises.

But the AKC has said it is unfair to regulate breeders more stringently than other dog owners, and it has objected to any state inspection of facilities.

Senate leaders opposed the bill last year, and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger's spokeswoman said Friday she won't comment on this year's version until House lawmakers send it over.

Saine said he thinks a bill would have a better chance this year.

“There’s a couple of things I think that are different,” he said. “We’re not facing a U.S. Senate race where that might have been used as leverage, maybe, in the past over our speaker from last time. Also, the mood is a little different than last time. There seems to be a lot of working together across both chambers. That leaves me hopeful. But I know it’s a very contentious issue, so we’ll see what happens with it.”

Alboum is also hopeful a bill will be passed this year.

“We have just an enormous amount of support from House Republicans. We’ve got a significant amount of support in the Senate, and I think that maybe this is the year that we’re going to come together and pass this bill,” she said.


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  • Lori De Stefano Feb 9, 2015
    user avatar

    re: etbmfa
    Most likely you're someone who raises dogs for a profit based on your Total misinformation about puppy mills. I have worked with a rescue for over 4 yrs and have seen firsthand the filth, neglect & cruelty at puppy mills and the product it produces. I've seen dogs forgotten about in crates with no food or water for God knows how long, neglected so bad that the dogs teeth were so rotted that their jawbone had to be removed. Those videos that the Humane Society show online are not fake, they are actual present day puppy mill busts with people who give their time and their hearts to save these dogs, sometimes over 175 from one mill. There are over 30,000 dogs a day being killed in our shelters every single day so YES, we do not need anymore puppies that people are just going to dump off in the shelters after the new puppy things wears off. I see it every week as we bring new dogs into our rescue, a large % are purebreds so YES we need this bill !!

  • Dorothy Peters Feb 9, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Nice to know that they 40+ rescues that I've fostered and one that I currently am a proud to call a family member, that he's really photoshopped. Please also tell me how I photoshopped his 4 month old 10 pound body full of worms and legs bent because he had rickets and his sister that I rescued/fostered from a shelter down in Sampson County because he and his sister were so bad that the back yard breeder couldn't sell them. Oh yes, this is what the breeder told the shelter.

  • Keith Hayes Feb 9, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    So if I follow your first rule there.. I shouldn't believe anything you write.

  • rushbot Feb 9, 2015

    View quoted thread

    the important thing is whether or not they have a sign posted saying that they don't have to wash their hands...

  • iopsyc Feb 9, 2015

    View quoted thread

    If the "cheaters" aren't paying income tax (which they are required to do), why do you think they would collect and submit sales tax?

  • iopsyc Feb 9, 2015

    View quoted thread

    I disagree with your assumption that a business owner would get confused by two sets of rules.
    It's not terribly difficult to know that when presented with two differing rules, you follow the more strict rule (because that would also put you in compliance with the less strict rule).

  • archmaker Feb 9, 2015

    View quoted thread

    ok, so tell me why this puppy mill regulation is being pushed by the party that doesn't believe in government regulation?

  • Travis Upchurch Feb 9, 2015
    user avatar

    Just as anything else the state or federal government gets its hands in the cost will be pasted on to the people that's buying a dog. And in the end it will be a mess!!! Why is it that people want more laws, enforce the laws we have get rid of the bad apples and get on with life.

  • RockaFella Naylor Feb 8, 2015
    user avatar

    There should not be such a thing as puppy mills

  • jbchandler Feb 8, 2015

    This article implies an outright lie - it says the state doesn't regulate "puppy mills" and implies that that means they are completely unregulated, when in fact the federal government is regulating them already, and more layers of similar regulations are a waste of time and taxpayer money not to mention counterproductive from confusion among rules. This is a perfect example of yellow journalism. I don't know about you, but I am getting sick of this tactic by the animal rights vegan lobby - constant, sneaky, underhanded lies-by-omission that assume people are too stupid to know the truth or even notice that they are being lied to.