|Sent on:||Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:52 PM|
Below is the Fact Sheet for the Puppy Protection Act. It includes everything you need to know to speak with your senator and representatives. We will have copies made for you at Lobby Day April 17th, but I wanted you start reading ahead so you are well prepared.
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Michigan: Pass the Puppy Protection Act
The Puppy Protection Act (HB[masked] and SB[masked]) is legislation to protect dogs in large-scale breeding facilities. This important bill would establish long overdue guidelines for housing, sanitary conditions, enclosure space, exercise, and veterinary care of dogs used by large-scale breeders in Michigan. The bills would also place an upper limit on the number of intact breeding dogs that may be housed in breeding facilities, to prevent our state from becoming a haven for inhumane puppy mills. The Puppy Protection Act was launched by Michigan Humane Society and is supported by the Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers, Puppy Mill Awareness, (a Michigan-based advocacy group), and the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association.
Stop puppy mills from coming to Michigan: Michigan is not a big puppy mill state. In fact, we only have four USDA licensed commercial breeders and twenty-one county licensed breeders with over 50 dogs. However, we are a Midwest state – very close to the “Puppy Mill Belt” - sharing borders with states that have over 100 commercial breeders. This bill will help ensure kennels do not migrate to Michigan as some of these states are implementing new laws of their own.
Protect animals in large-scale breeding facilities: Some large scale kennel operators have moved to counties with no Animal Control and under-staffed police, avoiding inspections and enforcement. The Puppy Protection Act will close that loophole and won’t leave one county to hide in!
Example Case: For the past five years, this Jack Russell has lived with over 130 dogs in a breeding kennel up north hidden in the woods. She is provided minimal food, water and just a door-less carrier to live in. In the winter, the floor of her kennel becomes solid ice, making it painful to walk across and in the she has no shade.
Say No to Commercial Breeding: No animal should be mistreated for any reason, and especially not for profit! One Michigan USDA licensed breeder was cited for housing and veterinary care. This bulldog lives in a barrel on wire floors and another dog was found with untreated inflammations in his eyes.
Under the Puppy Protection Act, this kennel would need to make some changes 1) reduce their intact breeding dogs from 85 to 50, 2) provide solid floors 3) provide exercise 4) seek vet care 5) provide rest between cycles and 6) have unstacked cages.
Limit the number of animals: States are now imposing limits on the number of intact breeding animals that a kennel can posses. It has been shown in numerous cruelty cases that the potential for neglect and inadequate care increases significantly when the number of breeding animals becomes unmanageable. A limit on the number of breeding animals would prevent the introduction of overcrowded, large-scale breeding operations into Michigan as they become more restricted in other sates. Four states have caps limiting the number of intact breeding dogs.
On April 9, 2012 authorities removed over 350 dogs from a breeding kennel in Allegan County that spiraled out of control. This mother nurses under her layers of matted feces. The animals were found soaked in urine, severe dental problems and fleas.
Protect Consumers: No good can come from over-breeding, it merely produces unhealthy puppies that will eventually cost their new owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars, if they live long enough to be sold! Also, a puppy from one of these mills is highly likely to have separation anxiety that can develop from over-breeding the female mothers. The lack of nutrition and an appropriate time frame between litters, causes health issues that trickle down to the unborn puppies. Some owners get rid of dogs because of bad behavior, not understanding the real causes behind the behavior. Hence the filled to capacity animal shelters.
State action is needed: There are 34 states with laws to license or regulate dog and cat breeders. In 2009, a Michigan kennel showed that approximately 230 licensed kennels would fall under this new law. This will ensure that kennels that individually license their dogs (instead of getting the optional kennel license) will need to be licensed and inspected annually.
The full text.