Puppy Mill Solution Paper

Topics: Animal rights, Animal welfare, Dog Pages: 7 (2515 words) Published: June 11, 2013
Puppy Mills in America: The Need for Stricter Federal Laws
Laura Wesley
Marygrove College
This paper explores the existence and legislation of puppy mills in the United States at both the state and federal levels. The extent of the problem is discussed, along with a brief history of the Animal Welfare Act and animal advocacy efforts in effect today. Causes and consequences of the commercial dog breeding industry are presented and examined, leading up to a proposed solution to regulating the commercial dog breeding industry. The author reveals ways in which the proposed solution should be carried out.

Puppy Mills in America: The Need for Stricter Federal Laws
The last time you saw a cute puppy in a pet store window did you happen to think about where exactly that puppy came from, what kind of life it had before, or where its mother is? According to the National Mill Dog Rescue, 99% of puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills, and almost every puppy sold in a pet store has a mother who will spend her entire life in a tiny cage, never being petted, never being walked, never being treated like a dog. Based on those facts alone, it is not difficult to imagine the vast number of innocent, voiceless dogs forced to suffer their entire lives for the sole purpose of profit.

The ASPCA states that A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices. Regardless of the intense suffering of these dogs, puppy mills are operating all over the U.S. (ASPCA). Despite any public attention to the issue and animal activists struggling to push for stricter regulation of commercial dog dealers, the federal agency in charge of the industry has failed to curtail the extensive abuse through the inadequate regulations that are currently in force. Causes and Background

While one might hold the consumers who continue to shop at pet stores (for their pets and supplies) responsible for contributing to the puppy mill industry, scholars and animal welfare organizations tell us there are several other reasons why puppy mills are still in existence, churning out millions of puppies a year. While customers who object to this treatment of puppies unknowingly allow the industry to thrive, it is most likely due to their lack of education on puppy mills, and although this issue does contribute to the existence of puppy mills, it is important to determine all possible causes that allow such extreme measures of animal cruelty to thrive.

It all began back in 1966, when Congress passed the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act (P.L. 89-54) to prevent pets from being stolen for sale to research laboratories, and to regulate the humane care and handling of dogs, cats, and other laboratory animals. The law was amended in 1970 (P.L. 91-579), changing the name to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Congress periodically has amended the act to strengthen enforcement, expand coverage to more animals and activities, or curtail practices viewed as cruel, among other things. (Cowan)

The AWA also requires that certain commercial breeders be licensed and routinely inspected by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, the standards are far from what most people would consider to be humane. They are merely survival standards for dogs (ASPCA). Due to these loopholes in the federal regulation laws, inadequate inspections are performed and kennel supervision is minimal, which allows the puppy mill brokers to continue maximizing profit without being properly monitored. Furthermore, the ASPCA explains the loophole in which only animal-breeding businesses considered "wholesale" operations—those that sell animals to brokers or pet stores for resale—are subject to oversight by...

References: ASPCA. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/puppy- mills/laws-that-protect-dogs.aspx
Cowan, T. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RS22493.pdf
Henry Cohen, THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT, Journal of Animal Law, Volume 2, 2006, 13.
Kenny, K. (2011). A local approach to a national problem: local ordinances as a means of curbing puppy mill production and pet overpopulation. Albany Law Review, 75(1), 379. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.library.marygrove.edu:2048/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA2 85459860&v=2.1&u=lom_marygrove&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w
McMillan F.D., Duffy D.L., Serpell J.A. 
Mental health of dogs formerly used as 'breeding stock ' in commercial breeding establishments (2011)  Applied Animal Behaviour Science,  135  (1-2) , pp. 86-94.
National mill dog rescue breeding responsibility action kit. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.milldogrescue.org/Action Kit - Community Fundraiser.pdf
Pet overpopulation crisis. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.socialcompassioninlegislation.org/scil-home.php
Rowan, A. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.humanesociety.org/animal_community/resources/timelines/animal_sheltering _trends.html
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