Advisory board says Pennsylvania failing to enforce puppy mill law
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has failed to enforce parts of the state’s four-year-old dog law, according to a report by the Dog Law Advisory Board.
In a nearly 100-page report, a subcommittee of the board that was created to advise the governor on dog issues concludes the Dog Law Enforcement office has failed to enforce critical components of the law, leaving close to 500,000 dogs in 2,000 kennels at risk.
“The data show that, by design, everything was done to ignore enforcing the law,” said Thomas Hickey, of West Chester, a board member and one of the report’s authors.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the report says commercial kennels have gotten away with failing to vaccinate dogs for rabies, avoided health and safety regulations and have been allowed to renew their licenses despite convictions for cruelty.
“Everywhere we turned nothing was happening,” said Hickey, who helped draft the 2008 dog law establishing higher standards in breeding kennels.
The law, passed in 2008, was aimed at addressing conditions in puppy mills. It mandated, among other things, that large breeders increase cage sizes and provide outdoor exercise and regular veterinary care.
As a result many large breeders either went out of business or became small breeders, or so at least they claim.
In a press release, the Department of Agriculture disputed that enforcement has been lax, saying the laws are being “aggressively enforced.”
“Pennsylvania has one of the toughest dog laws with the most aggressive protections for adult dogs and puppies in the nation,” said Michael Pechart, acting director of the office. “The Dog Law Enforcement Office takes seriously its charge to vigorously enforce the law and ensure the health of dogs in commercial kennels.”
Only 51 of more than 300 commercial kennels remain since the law’s passage, and, according to the press release, 49 are in complete compliance with the dog law.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advisory board, commercial, department of agriculture, dog, dog law, enforce, enforcement, kennels, law, licensing, pennsylvania, puppy mills, regulations