We Need Your Bark For Bill 1468

 |  Mar 2nd 2009  |   2 Contributions


Another state is stepping up to the plate, and trying to bring much needed change to aid in the fight against animal cruelty.

In Indiana, House Bill 1468 just passed the Indiana House of Representatives 81-14. The bill would strengthen penalties for animal abuse and include changes that would effect puppy mill breeders.

The reason for this bill is two-fold, recently there was a chained puppy found frozen to the ground. Indiana does not currently have a minimum standard of care when it comes to providing shelter for dogs. Also, over the past five months there have been numerous puppy mill raids in the state. All of which included cruel and inhumane conditions and treatment of the dogs.

State Reps. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, and Jackie Walorski, R-Lakeville, introduced the new legislation with Reps. Trent Van Haaften, D-Mount Vernon, and Gerald Torr, R-Carmel, as co-sponsors.

The bill limits the number of breeding dogs a person can possess as well as establishes basic care standards for dogs. These standards are modest and would require commercial breeders to provide their dogs with at least one hour of daily outdoor exercise and would allow female dogs to breed only one litter per year.

The legislation also requires that breeding facilities be consistently cleaned and constructed to protect dogs from disease and injury and be free of wire flooring.

Additionally, a lemon law will provide refunds or reimbursement of veterinarian bills for consumers who have purchased sick dogs or dogs with congenital problems.

Puppy mills are a multi-million dollar business, it's up to consumers to know who they are doing business with. If you do choose to buy from a breeder you need to do your homework, it's easy to get duped by fake classified ads or a nicely set-up website.

If there wasn't money to be made these breeders wouldn't be in business. It's all about profitability, not about the animals, their worth is measured in dollars. If you are looking for a certain breed keep in mind dog rescue groups, there are rescue groups for every breed. I've mentioned before, we got Logan our Bernese Mountain Dog from the Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition.

Even local shelters have many purebred breeds available, especially with the recent surge in puppy mill raids. Either way, please keep a rescue in mind. The only thing wrong with them is they had the bad luck to be brought into a world where they are looked at as a commodity. Give a rescue a chance, in return you'll get a lifetime of unconditional love.

Contact your elected officials letting them know you want Indiana to pass House Bill 1468. Remember, you are the voice for those who have none.

* Bella was rescued from a high kill shelter.

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