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North Carolina Senate Votes to Combat Puppy Mills

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the North Carolina Senate for passing S.B. 460 to crack down on abusive puppy mills. The bill requires large factory-like dog producers to be licensed by the state, and calls upon the Department of Agriculture to establish basic humane care standards. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Don Davis, D-15, and passed by a vote of 23 to 22. 

North Carolina currently has no statewide laws to regulate puppy mills. Legislation would help prevent irresponsible and inhumane mass production and require puppy millers to be treated like the businesses that they are, including paying sales tax and income tax to the government. The bill will not affect those who have hunting dogs or responsible breeders who already raise dogs humanely.

"Citizens in North Carolina want to see the state crack down on puppy mills," said Amanda Arrington, The HSUS' North Carolina state director. "We urge the House to move quickly to enact this important legislation to prevent further animal suffering and protect consumers."

In February, The HSUS and local authorities rescued more than 300 dogs from two abusive North Carolina puppy mills. The dogs were housed in filthy, cold, cramped cages without access to exercise, adequate veterinary care or human contact. Many of the dogs were covered with fecal-encrusted dreadlocks and suffered from severe skin and eye infections. Some had chain collars embedded in their necks.

Puppy Mill Facts

  • Puppy mills are factory-style facilities that keep dogs in cages or kennels, often in squalid conditions, without exercise, socialization or meaningful human interaction. After the breeding dog's fertility wanes, she is destroyed or discarded. 
  • 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.
  • Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia passed laws in 2008 on puppy mills.
  • Arizona, Indiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington State passed laws in 2009 to combat puppy mills. Several other states are currently considering puppy mill legislation.

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.