Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup (Southeast Michigan) Message Board › House passes ‘puppy mill bill’ - Nashville!!!
By Tom Humphrey (Contact)
Originally published 08:27 p.m., June 18, 2009
Updated 08:27 p.m., June 18, 2009
NASHVILLE — The Senate gave final approval today to the so-called “puppy mill bill,” which requires licensing and state Department of Health inspections for commercial breeders of dogs and cats.
The bill — HB386 — passed the House late Wednesday by a 93-3 margin and cleared the Senate today with a 26-2 vote. It now goes to the governor.
Sponsors say the bill is aimed at eliminating “puppy mills,” which keep hundreds of animals caged i n unsanitary conditions and defraud consumers by selling sick dogs and cats.
Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, said he visited a “puppy mill” in his district that was “a hellhole” of suffering and dead dogs. The experience, he said, convinced him the legislation was needed.
Under the bill, those keeping more than 20 unsterilized female dogs or cats must register with the state, pay a licensing fee and be subject to annual inspections. Dogs kept in kennels by veterinarians or for hunting are exempted.
Sen. Delores Gresham, R-Somerville, was the only senator to speak against the bill. She said those with “abhorrent” breeding operations can already be prosecuted for animal cruelty while the bill will impose unfairly upon legitimate commercial breeders.
“These bad guys are not going to pay any attention to your regulations,” she said.
Jackson said law enforcement officers, faced with limited resources, rarely give priority to going after “puppy mills.” The bill, he said, will prevent illegitimate operations and lessen the need for enforcement.
He also contended the new law will ultimately benefit legitimate operators.
Several legislators say the measure generated more calls and e-mail from supportive constituents than any other bill pending in the 2009 legislative session. Lobbying included contingents of Girl Scouts in legislative hallways, passing out cookies while wearing signs declaring, “Stop the Puppy Mills.”
More details as they develop online and in Friday’s News Sentinel.