|Barked: Sat Aug 23, '08 8:33pm PST |
|Hey Lilo, if you get bored tonight read the Bill it will put you to sleep.
It's nice and long!
Oh heck, here's the Cliff Notes.
Pass House bill; end puppy mills
is senior director of legislative initiatives, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
is Pennsylvania state director for the Humane Society of the United States
The raid of a Chester County kennel and the transfer of more than 30 dogs brings to light another appalling example of animal abuse. Let's hope that these events serve as the last straw for Pennsylvania lawmakers. They must pass House Bill 2525 and give the state the meaningful dog law it so desperately needs.
Certainly an investigation of the state dog wardens involved in this case is warranted. But the facts also illuminate the failings of current law. Dogs with missing eyes, terrible skin conditions, abscesses, and even severed ears were discovered at the Limestone Kennel in Cochranville.
None of that was illegal, however; current law does not mandate veterinary care at such a facility.
Moreover, the breeder was in compliance with cage space, flooring and temperature requirements for dogs. This means dogs housed in what are known as "puppy mills" can legally be stacked in small wire cages so high it is impossible for inspectors to see them. They can be caged outdoors in sweltering heat or freezing cold. Kennel owners do not have to provide solid floors, meaning that feces and grime from one cage can fall down onto the dogs below.
Under current law, breeders are not required to let dogs out of their cages - ever. A dog the size of a beagle can be confined to a cage no larger than a dishwasher for her entire life. This is abhorrent and must be stopped.
The conditions at the Limestone Kennel were discovered because these suffering dogs were no longer wanted. Instead of being killed, which is often the case in such circumstances, they were given away to what turned out to be members of Main Line Animal Rescue. These people worked with the Pennsylvania SPCA to bring charges against the owner.
Conditions should not have to get this bad - or anywhere near this bad - before our laws can be invoked on behalf of animals.
House Bill 2525 puts in place standards to require better treatment of dogs in Pennsylvania commercial kennels. The bill would double the minimum floor space for cages and require that all primary enclosures open into an outdoor exercise area. It would also mandate solid floors in cages, prohibit cage stacking, and require that dogs see a veterinarian at least once a year.
This commonsense bill distinguishes between small, home-based breeders and large commercial kennels. This assures no adverse impact on those who raise and breed dogs for hobby, sport or show.
Yes, many breeders care about their dogs, and this proposed legal upgrade would not affect them at all. But others need to be held to humane standards - for the sake of dogs that they use for breeding and for the health of puppies they sell.
We must put an end, once and for all, to the cruelties of puppy mills. They are a black eye for Pennsylvania. Please contact your legislator and urge support for House Bill 2525.
Edited by author Sat Aug 23, '08 8:37pm PST
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