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On December 1st, 2009, Governor Jim Doyle passed a law (AB-250) to regulate puppy mills. This law will be in action 18 months after it was signed.
“The bill requires all of the following to obtain licenses, with limited exceptions:
A person who sells 25 or more dogs in a year (including a nonresident who brings dogs into this state for sale).
A person who operates a dog breeding facility (a place at which dogs are bred and raised) from which 25 or more dogs are sold in a year.
A person who operates an auction at which 50 or more dogs are sold or offered for sale in a year.
A person who operates an animal shelter that is used to shelter at least 25 dogs in a year.
A person who operates an animal control facility under a contract with a city, village, town, or county (The Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project).”
So now people have to pay for a license they don’t want. Seems like a horrible idea to me. The puppy mill owners will get sneakier and keep under the radar. They know what they’re doing. To keep quiet dogs, they will get them debarked so no one will ever hear them, at all.
The bill that was passed has certain regulations that they are enforcing. They have about 100 officers that go around and check the 1000 breeders that are actually registered. How can they possibly check everyone when the most extreme puppy mills aren’t even registered? In my opinion, we need to completely ban puppy mills from existence.
The law has regulations for selling the dogs as well. If the dog is being sold at an auction, it has to be spayed or neutered unless there are medical reasons for preventing it. The licensed breeder also has to have all of the dog’s information and records at the time of the purchase. If they are being shown more than 1 day in different places they need to be checked out by a veterinarian every day. So for this section, they are still enforcing the selling of the animals at auctions and flea markets.
The licensed breeder has to provide the animals with food, water, shelter, care from a veterinarian, and an ‘opportunity’ to exercise. An opportunity to exercise only requires them to have a space for them to exercise. They are not physically responsible for taking the dogs out to give them the adequate exercise they need to stay sane. To let off that steam, all dogs are programmed to let out their anxiety and energy by being able to run. These dogs that are not receiving enough exercise will never live a normal life that they were capable of having.
According to the law, if there is failure to abide by these laws, there is a fine of $10,000 or jail time for no more than 9 months. Again, who’s checking up on these puppy mills? Oh, yeah, 100 officers. What does help though, is that if there is any reason that someone suspects that there are animals being mistreated, The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Production (DATCP) has the right to seize the animals from their owner.
In my opinion a law is just the first step. We need to take this one step further. No, a thousand steps further. Puppy mills are so disgusting and completely inhumane, it’s unbelievable. If we all just do one little deed towards the abomination of puppy mills, it will happen. The biggest action we can do is to stop buying puppies form puppy mills, auctions, and pet stores entirely.
“ We have the deepest compassion for the dogs and puppies now being sold by Horst Stables, and understand how difficult it will be NOT to bid on these animals, knowing their probable fate. However, we sincerely believe that in the long run, not buying will produce the best outcome to end these auctions altogether(Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project).”
I know that that sounds like a horrible thing, to not buy the suffering dogs. But for every puppy that is sold, a mother dog is kept in a cage that is smaller than their own body. So in the long run, it’s the best solution to this progressing problem.
I decided to go to the local pet store and try to find out some information as to where they get their pets from. Most pet stores get their animals from mills.
Unfortunately the owner was not working so I tried to get as much information as I could from an employee who unfortunately specialized in the fish department. First, I took a look around to kind of get a feel for the store. The first red flag was that on their sign it said exotic animals. Ok, really? Number two was inside. All of the puppies were designer breeds. How obvious can this get? I mean, designer dogs are so obvious they should’ve just straight up told me. I looked around at a Chihuahua that was in a glass cage. This was a baby Chihuahua, so its feet were the size of my finger tip. It had a small blanket on the bottom of the metal cage. The holes in the cage were bigger than the dog’s paws. This means that the dog’s feet can slide through the hole and cause harm to its legs. I was mortified. This is exactly what is seen in puppy mills. Also there were pugs in the cage below with a bunch of soiled newspapers next to their food.
So I asked the employee where they received their dogs from. He told me that they had 10 breeders that they buy dogs from. They each breed 1-2 different breeds. So that seriously made me angry. If they are so in love with animals that they own a pet store, shouldn’t they want to help save animals? Not feed into the puppy mill industry?
Since he wasn’t the owner he wasn’t able to give me the information that I wanted to get, but I feel that the visit gave me enough info to draw my own conclusion about it.