May 24, 2011
Animal Advocates Praise Texas Senate for Passage of Puppy Mill Bill
Animal welfare advocates including Texas Humane Legislation Network, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and The Humane Society of the United States applaud the Texas state Senate for passing a bill to provide state oversight of large-scale commercial breeding facilities, known as puppy mills. House Bill 1451, sponsored by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D, Houston, and championed in the Senate by Sen. John Whitmire, D, Houston, is now one step away from the Governor’s desk, pending House approval of changes made in the Senate.
HB 1451 establishes licensing and inspection of dog and cat breeders who maintain 11 or more female breeding animals and sell twenty or more animals per year. The bill also establishes minimum standards for the humane handling, care, housing and transportation of dogs and cats by breeder.
“Dogs in Texas’ worst breeding facilities have suffered behind closed doors for far too long,” said Monica Hardy of THLN. “This bill will finally ensure that dogs are seen both by inspectors and by veterinarians. It will protect dogs from the very worst of the types of abuses typical to inhumane puppy mills.
"This is a huge step forward for protecting man’s best friend from cruelty and abuse here in Texas," said Nicole Paquette, Texas senior state director for The HSUS. “Texas is the tenth largest puppy mill state in the country, and it’s long overdue that we give basic protections to family pets.”
“This bill protects both dogs and consumers,” said Jill Buckley, senior director of government relations for the ASPCA. “The public has become aware of the horrible conditions inside puppy mills and is no longer willing to tolerate animal cruelty in the dog breeding industry. This legislation will help protect dogs in Texas puppy mills by shining a spotlight on the cruelties so often uncovered at these mills, and encourage responsible breeding practices, which can only lead to safer and healthier puppies and will prove beneficial to the entire community. ”
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.
- Since 2008, sixteen states have enacted new laws cracking down on puppy mills, including neighboring states Oklahoma and Louisiana.
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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.
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org.
Texas Humane Legislation Network is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that lobbies for effective state laws to protect animals from cruelty. Visit us at thln.org.