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March 16, 2009

Ore. Puppy Mill Raid Illustrates Need for Statewide Legislation

The Humane Society of the United States

About 150 dogs were rescued from a puppy mill in Burns, Ore., and are now on their way to better lives thanks to the diligent efforts of the Oregon Humane Society, the Harney County Sheriff's office and The Humane Society of the United States. The owner was charged with animal cruelty last month and agreed to voluntarily surrender the animals to avoid further charges.

"The puppy mill industry affects hundreds to thousands of dogs in Oregon. The pending Oregon Puppy Protection Act will help prevent this horrible cycle of abuse," said Scott Beckstead, The HSUS' Oregon senior state director. "The dogs rescued today were forced to live in inhumane conditions, many were emaciated, had untreated wounds and suffered from severe mange. The Puppy Protection Act is basic legislation that will help protect man's best friend."

Puppy mills are mass dog producing facilities that keep animals in cages or kennels, often in squalid conditions with little or no exercise, socialization or human interaction. Dogs from puppy mills are usually sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog's health or genetic history.

The Oregon Puppy Protection Act (H.B. 2470) is currently under review in the House Consumer Protection Committee and will create one of the most effective and comprehensive puppy mill laws in the nation.  Large-scale production facilities will be limited in the number of breeding dogs they can have at one time, and would be required to provide minimum care standards. Puppy mill operators would also be required to meet other animal care standards and provide buyers with information on the dog's health and history. The legislation will not affect responsible hobby breeders, who already raise dogs humanely.

Oregon currently has no statewide laws to regulate puppy mills. Legislation capping the number of breeding dogs at puppy mills would help prevent irresponsible mass breeding and curb pet overpopulation.

The HSUS has long fought the abuse rampant in U.S. puppy mills and works to stop this abuse on multiple fronts through its Stop Puppy Mills campaign.

To learn more about puppy mills, visit humanesociety.org/puppymills.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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