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Puppy mill measure moves to Pa. senate

Governor Edward G. Rendell today urged Pennsylvania’s Senate to swiftly pass two bills — already approved in the house — to protect kennel dogs and consumers.

Rendell praised the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for voting to pass House Bills 2525 and 2532, and called upon the Senate to help rid Pennsylvania of its reputation as “Puppy Mill Capital of the East.”

“The bills that passed in the House today with overwhelming, bi-partisan support will go a long way to protecting dogs kept in kennels with poor but currently legal conditions,” the Governor said. “I applaud the House of Representatives for defeating the many amendments to House Bill 2525 filed on behalf of special interest groups and aimed at weakening the bill. The House has delivered strong legislation that reflects not only the needs of dogs, but the will of the public in improving the minimum standards in the worst of Pennsylvania’s kennels.”

Rendell said current state laws allows dogs to receive minimal care and live their entire lives in cramped, stacked cages.

“These conditions lead to dogs with physical and behavioral problems. Pennsylvania must ensure that the standards of care are raised for the sake of dogs and the families that will eventually own them.”

Governor Rendell said widespread public support could help move the legislation through the Senate, and urged Pennsylvanians to let their senator know their thoughts on the issue.

“There are reputable breeders in Pennsylvania, and the Department of Agriculture has worked with them and other segments of the kennel community to make sure this legislation does not impede their ability to breed and raise high quality show dogs, sporting dogs, and companion dogs,” the Governor said. “I believe the bills that came out of the House reflect the needs of reputable kennel owners while raising the bar for those who are concerned only with the value, and not the welfare, of the dogs they breed.”

Among other protections for dogs, H.B. 2525 doubles the minimum floor space for dogs, eliminates wire flooring, and requires access to an outdoor exercise area twice the size of the dog’s enclosure. The bill requires veterinary examinations for each dog at least once per year or during each pregnancy.

In H.B. 2532, “debarking,” or the practice of cutting or destroying a dog’s vocal cords would only be allowed by a veterinarian, as would surgical or Cesarean birth. Tail docking would be allowed by individual owners until the dog is three days old, after which point it must be done by a veterinarian.

(Graphic courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture)


Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time September 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I guess I hope that these requirements can be made stringent enough that the puppy mill operators will be driven out of business–sooner rather than later. No one who is keeping dogs for a legitimate reason should have any problems with this at all; in fact, they’re probably exceeding these standards already. I’d be interested to know what inspection and enforcement procedures will be implemented.

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