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June 2, 2009

Ore. Senate Votes to Crack Down on Abusive Puppy Mills

The HSUS Urges Gov. Kulongoski to Sign Anti-Cruelty Measure

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States urges Gov. Ted Kulongoski to sign a bill that strengthens penalties for animal abuse, including a provision that provides basic care standards for dogs at mass dog producing facilities known as puppy mills. The Oregon Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act (H.B. 2470) passed its final vote in the Senate today by a bipartisan vote of 18 to 10 with 2 excused.

"As we have seen in Oregon, puppy mill operators treat dogs not like family pets, but like a cash crop," said Scott Beckstead, HSUS Oregon senior state director. "We are grateful to Oregon lawmakers for working to protect man's best friend, and we urge Governor Kulongoski to sign this common-sense measure to protect dogs and consumers."

The Oregon Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act creates one of the most effective and comprehensive puppy mill laws in the nation. H.B. 2470A sets a limit of 50 breeding dogs confined in large-scale production facilities, establishes modest minimum care standards so that dogs are provided solid flooring and a minimum amount of space and exercise. The legislation will also prohibit stacking of cages and requires that dogs be given at least one hour of exercise outside their cages every day. What's more, H.B. 2470A ensures protections for consumers that purchase a dog with a disease or congenital defect and requires pet stores to provide buyers with information regarding a dog's place of origin, health history and registration information. 

Oregon currently has no statewide law to regulate puppy mills. H.B. 2470 cracks down on the worst abuses at large-scale puppy mills, and will not affect responsible breeders who already raise dogs humanely.

Puppy Mill Facts

  • Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life.
  • Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles and are typically confined for years on end, without ever becoming part of a family.
  • There is little regard for the breeding dog's health or any existing genetic conditions that may be passed on to the puppies.
  • Dogs from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog's health, genetic history or future welfare. Consumers should never buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site; instead visit an animal shelter or screen a breeder's facility in person.
  • Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia passed laws in 2008, and Washington state and Indiana passed laws this year to crack down on abusive puppy mills.

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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