Target: Jason Saine, North Carolina State Representative
Goal: Pass into law a bill that will mandate higher standards for commercial dog breeders
State representatives will soon be voting on what could be the first commercial breeding law in North Carolina. There are currently no legal standards for breeders in the state, which has resulted in many significant instances of animal cruelty including a recent case in which 19 dogs were taken from a Maltese breeder. No charges could be filed against the owner of the operation. Breeders are often responsible for the most heinous acts of abuse and there is absolutely no reason the welfare of these animals should continue to go unprotected.
House Bill 930, sponsored by Rep. Jason Saine, would require anyone who possesses more than nine adult female dogs to provide preventive veterinary care for the animals, safe lodging and bedding, fresh food and water, and also daily access to exercise. Failure to do so would result in criminal charges and possible fines of up to $1,000. Because of North Carolina’s weak animal cruelty laws, authorities are required to have proof of physical abuse or neglect before an arrest can be made. Representative Saine made a statement saying, “We want to give a road map for law enforcement to not have to wait for animals to be so abused and so neglected for them to act.”
Several attempts to pass legislation on the issue have already failed, and as a result, the number of puppy mill operations has dramatically increased because breeders know there are fewer regulations and less risk involved. Humane Society President Shelly Moore has spoken up about the bill and the situation in North Carolina saying, “The dogs usually aren’t shaved. They have bad teeth, bad eyes, bad feet, bad skin.” She also stated that the Humane Society used to only have to respond to around two puppy mill raids annually. Last year that number increased to six. Saine, as well as animal rights activists in the state hope that the bill will be a stepping-stone toward requiring breeders to not only be licensed, but also have to undergo frequent inspections.
Thirty-five states, including North Carolina’s neighbors Tennessee and Virginia, have already adopted laws that govern breeders who sell to the public. Please sign the petition below to add one more to the list.
Dear Representative Saine,
Your recently proposed House Bill 930 will soon be voted on, and if passed, would require all commercial breeders to provide proper care for their animals. It is hard to believe that such provisions would be absent in any state, and even harder to believe that similar attempts have already been made in North Carolina and failed.
Thank you for not giving up. Animals from breeders and puppy mills are often forced to endure circumstances that are almost unimaginable and there is no reason why they should not be offered the protection they deserve. Again, thank you for this Bill and I sincerely hope it is passed into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Star Cat via Flickr