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May 7, 2010

The HSUS Praises Oklahoma Gov. for Signing Bill to Combat Puppy Mills

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Humane Society of the United States applauds Gov. Brad Henry and the Oklahoma state legislature for enacting a bill to provide state oversight of large-scale puppy producing operations, known as puppy mills. Oklahoma and Iowa, two of the top three puppy-producing states, have now both enacted legislation to crack down on puppy mills in 2010. 

In neighboring Missouri, the largest puppy mill state in the nation, voters are expected to weigh in on the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act in November after supporters submitted more than 190,000 signatures of registered voters to the Secretary of State to place the measure on the statewide ballot. Ten states enacted laws last year to protect both the dogs in puppy mills and the consumers who often unwittingly purchase sick puppies.

"This is a huge step forward for protecting dogs in Oklahoma and consumers across the country," said Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "Thanks to Governor Henry, Senator Anderson, Representative Lee Denney and Representative Mike Jackson, puppy millers will no longer be able to hide the abuse their dogs endure. Oklahoma is one of the top puppy-producing states in the country, second only to Missouri, and we need to ensure dogs have basic protections."

Senate Bill 1712, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, and dubbed the "Commercial Pet Breeders Act," will regulate facilities with 11 or more female cats or dogs kept for commercial breeding purposes. The measure calls for the creation of an eight-member board to set standards of humane care, develop licensing rules, and set penalties for failure to meet those standards and rules. Oklahoma currently has no law requiring the inspection of puppy mills to ensure the humane treatment of animals. 

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. There is little regard for the breeding dog's health or any existing genetic conditions that may be passed on to the puppies.          
  • 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.     
  • 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 Web site; instead visit an animal shelter or screen a breeder's facility in person.          
  • Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia passed puppy mill laws in 2008, and 10 states passed laws in 2009 to crack down on abusive puppy mills.

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

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

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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