Originally published in ShelterMe.tv!

Puppy mills are lifelong torture chambers – large-scale commercial facilities, regulated by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) under the guise of “wholesale” operations.

Many USDA-licensed breeders may be fined repeatedly for violations under the Animal Welfare Act, but their licenses are rarely suspended.

 

The good news: According to the Humane Society of the U.S., hundreds of puppy mill facilities have been shuttered in our country in the past several years.

 

The bad news: The recent appointee to run the USDA transition team is Brian Klippenstein, Executive Director of “Protect the Harvest”.  Protect the Harvest was developed by Forrest Lucas. Lucas is wealthy, favors factory farming without regulations and opposed puppy mill regulations in Missouri. When Illinois voted to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in retail stores, Lucas fought the ban.

 

Klippenstein is NOT a friend to animal rights organizations.

Courtesy, USDA/HSUS 2013

With the appointment of Klippenstein, any progress made towards decreasing shelter intake numbers and animal suffering by shutting down puppy mills will be erased!

 

Kathleen Summers, Director of Outreach & Research at the HSUS Puppy Mills Campaign, tells Shelter Me,

 “Puppy mills put profit over animal welfare to produce as many puppies as possible, often in shockingly poor conditions. The puppies are often sold.. at a very young age… the parent dogs are left behind to suffer, often spending their entire lives in small, filthy wire cages without ever becoming part of a family.”

Courtesy, Michelle Riley/The HSUS

 

Right now, millions of animals enter shelters each year, never finding new homes.  Many of these come from pet stores and puppy mills.

Just last week, Ohio’s Governor Kasich signed a new bill that allows pet retailers to acquire their animals from large and small breeders – AKA puppy mills.

 

Courtesy, USDA/HSUS

Ordinances were already in place in two Ohio cities, requiring retailers like Petland to acquire their puppies from animal shelters, rescues, and humane societies. Today’s new bill overrides Senate Bill 130, which Kasich signed into law four years ago.

SB130 cracked down on puppy mills and improved conditions for animals who resided there.  With his signature, Kasich just threw a huge bone to the puppy millers.  Ohio has NINE puppy mills on the HSUS list of the “Horrible Hundred.”

 

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper expressed his disappointment today:

“Governor Kasich gave in to corporate special interests and lobbyists for the puppy mill industry (with a) last-minute sneak attack on Ohio voters, (who previously) cracked down on horrific abuses against animals.”

 

Courtesy, USDA/HSUS

 

To get involved in stopping the puppy mill cycle, please contact groups such as the Humane Society, National Mill Dog Rescue, or any of the other wonderful anti-mill groups on Facebook.

 

If you witness deplorable conditions in person and wish to file a complaint with the HSUS, please call 1-877-MILL-TIP or report it here.

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