Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bill aims to limit number of dogs held in abusive puppy mills

The House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday advanced legislation aimed at making it illegal for puppy mill owners to maintain more than 75 breeding dogs.

The bill aims to limit the number of dogs held in abusive puppy mills – mills that churn out thousands of dogs for sale in pet stores and over the internet.

The Humane Society of the United States testified in support of the legislation. The organization says many puppy mill operators deceive consumers into believing the dogs came from reputable breeders.

"Limiting the number of animals at a puppy mill is an important first step to ensure that dogs used for breeding are treated humanely, and also addresses one source of pet overpopulation," said Julia Breaux , HSUS' Louisiana state director.

According to the HSUS, 76,000 dogs are handled by Louisiana's shelters each year and 50,000 of those dogs are eventually euthanized. Sheltering the unwanted dogs costs Louisiana citizens more than $10 million a year, the organization adds.

The HSUS is also working to try and ban internet sales that escape regulation through a loophole in current law, as well as banning the imports of young dogs from foreign puppy mills.