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May 10, 2012

Amanda Hearst, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle, and the ASPCA Join Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal In Calling for Legislative Crack Down on New York Puppy Mills

6th Annual Puppy Mill Action Week Marks National Advocacy for Dogs

Friends of Finn

The Humane Society of the United States, along with Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Friends of Finn members Amanda Hearst and Georgina Bloomberg, announced the introduction of a new bill, A.10150, in the New York legislature that will strengthen standards of care for dogs in large-scale, commercial breeding facilities, commonly known as puppy mills. Announcement of the bill comes during Puppy Mill Action Week, The HSUS’ sixth annual event marking advocacy in support of stopping puppy mills.

In puppy mills, dogs are typically kept in cramped, wire-floored cages, produce litter after litter of puppies for their entire lives, and never set foot outside their cages. The proposed bill will require basic humane standards such as solid flooring, annual veterinary care and breeding frequency and age limits.

"New York state lacks effective laws to oversee and dismantle abusive puppy mills,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal’s bill will put requirements in place to prevent puppy mill operators from taking shortcuts that cause suffering and privation for dogs, and it’s another example of her tremendous leadership on animal protection issues.”

“Often, people don’t know they’ve bought puppies from those who are engaging in cruel and inhumane practices,” said Hearst, founder and chair of The HSUS Friends of Finn committee.

“Strengthening the laws in New York will hold breeders accountable to humane standards. This bill will improve the lives of puppies and dogs and help consumers so they do not support irresponsible puppy mills.”

“Amanda and I have seen firsthand the inhumane and deplorable conditions that dogs are subjected to in puppy mills,” said Bloomberg. “I’m thankful that legislation has been introduced to help protect dogs from puppy mills in New York.”

The state bill will improve minimum care standards to ensure the dogs receive adequate space, housing, exercise and veterinary care; broaden the law to include currently exempt wholesale breeders who sell to pet stores; and forbid anyone convicted of cruelty from holding a New York pet-dealer license.

"I have introduced this bill to put an end to puppy mills by imposing strict regulations on large-scale, commercial dog breeders in the state.  I am thrilled to be working with The HSUS, which has been fighting to eradicate puppy mills nationwide," said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, D-Manhattan. "New York is in desperate need of effective laws to combat puppy mills, and I will push for swift passage of this legislation."

Abuse against dogs and puppies in New York is well-documented. For instance,

•    In 2010, a puppy mill operator in Romulus, NY subjected 78 dogs and 15 puppies to a long and painful death by locking them into a makeshift wooden box and piping in exhaust from a gas engine. The brutal killing of the nearly 100 dogs resulted in a mere $500 fine.
•    A Dundee, NY commercial breeding facility has amassed numerous federal violations over several years, including failing to provide food to emaciated dogs, failure to provide veterinary care to dogs with medical conditions, allowing the feet of puppies to pass through wire cage floors, and rodent infestation.
•    Another Dundee facility has repeated violations for unsanitary conditions, feces and urine build up, dogs with matted fur and skin conditions, and keeping dogs in constant darkness.
•    A Clyde, NY puppy mill has been cited repeatedly by federal inspectors for unsanitary facilities, failure to provide veterinary care, and multiple dogs dying from unknown causes.
•    A Seneca Falls, NY facility has numerous federal violations for multiple dogs with untreated medical conditions, dogs with matted fur and with excessively long nails that were “splaying outward,” and build up of feces throughout the kennel, including inside the feeders.

To learn more about the campaign to end puppy mills and activities marking Puppy Mill Action Week, visit humanesociety.org/puppymills and humanesociety.org/friendsoffinn.

Facts:

•    Since 2008, 27 laws have passed in 19 different states to crack down on puppy mills, including the three largest puppy mill states in the country: Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma.
•    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.
•    Puppies 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.
•    There are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the United States.

VISUALS:  Video and photos of Amanda Hearst on a puppy mill raid and general puppy mill footage is available through the media contact below.

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Media contact: Rebecca Basu; 301.258.3152, rbasu@humanesociety.org

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