NC Lawmakers To Vote Soon On “Puppy Mill” Bill - WSPA.com

NC Lawmakers To Vote Soon On “Puppy Mill” Bill

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North Carolina may soon regulate large-scale dog breeders to prevent so-called “puppy mills.” North Carolina may soon regulate large-scale dog breeders to prevent so-called “puppy mills.”
HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. -

When Patty MacDuff adopted Piper, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, she had no idea what bad shape he was in.

"My veterinarian gave me a list of things that were wrong," says MacDuff.

Piper suffered from ear mites, infection, and needed to have five teeth removed. MacDuff says his health problems were a result of not having proper care.

MacDuff says Piper was rescued from a puppy mill.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates there could be as many as 300 mills operating in North Carolina.

"My guess is when the economy turns, people will just look to all sorts of ways to earn money," MacDuff said.

By definition, a puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility that focuses more on cashing in, than caring for the animals.

The problem has gotten the attention of state lawmakers who are now considering a proposal to put regulations on breeders.

If passed, those with 10 or more dogs that they're specifically raising and selling for profit would be mandated to provide access to food, water, clean bedding, veterinary care and shelter from extreme weather conditions.

The bill would also fine violators and send repeat offenders to jail.

Only 35 states have laws that govern breeders, including neighboring Virginia and Tennessee.

"I think it is something needed to be done for a long time," says Brad Rayfield, director of the Henderson County Animal Services Center.

Rayfield says if the state doesn't act the issue will only get worse.

"The lucky ones make it to a rescue group that finds a good home for them," says MacDuff, "the unlucky ones are disposed of."

While advocates, like MacDuff would like to have seen tougher restrictions proposed, she believes this bill will help save lives.

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