Minnesota Puppy Mill Laws
As Puppy Mills continue to take center stage in animal welfare efforts, new laws are popping up around the country – from Chicago to New York, and now in Minnesota. As of July 1st, 2014 Minnesota will see the first of their puppy mill laws go into effect. Samantha Bohn, a columnist with the St Cloud Times and parent of a puppy mill survivor, wrote this wonderful piece on what it means for those in the puppy mill industry and what it will mean for the state.
From the St. Cloud Times…
A new era is beginning for cats and dogs bred in Minnesota. Beginning July 1, all commercial breeders of cats or dogs in the state must obtain a license to operate. Signed May 20 by Gov. Mark Dayton, the new regulations on commercial breeding operations set a precedent in our state.
Prior to these new regulations, Minnesota had no laws to license, inspect or regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. With this new law, breeders must not only obtain a license, they will also face inspections — both before a license can be issued and at least annually thereafter. The law also stipulates that animals be provided “daily enrichment” with “positive physical contact with human beings and compatible animals at least twice daily.”
These stipulations, among others, are aimed at preventing unethical operations that breed cats and dogs in literal filth with little to no adequate shelter, food, water or veterinary care. Not to mention, so-called “puppy mills” are notorious for poor breeding itself, resulting in deformed, unhealthy animals.
As an owner of a puppy mill dog that was discarded either by the facility or its previous owners, and as witness of the atrocities by puppy mills, I am fervently in favor of increased regulation of breeders. Ethical breeders in the state providing appropriate care and facilities shouldn’t fear the law. This law is meant to prevent unscrupulous breeders who enter into breeding purely for profit and do so at the expense of their animals’ lives and well-being.
If you haven’t witnessed puppy mills firsthand, I invite you to perform a Web search of puppy mills. These atrocities occur in Minnesota. In fact, depending on who or which organization you talk to, you might hear Minnesota at the top of the list of the most notorious states for puppy mills.
Recently, The Humane Society of the United States released a sampling of “problem puppy mills” in the U.S. The organization listed five breeding facilities in Minnesota, one as close as Eden Valley.
Minnesota made history last month, and I hope it will continue to do so in the area of animal rights. These new regulations — along with one enacted this year working to offer a second life to animals used in research facilities — are a small but paramount step in the direction of a more ethical, progressive society that protects its most vulnerable.
Thank you to Samantha Bohn for writing this important piece. Click here to visit it on the St Cloud Times website. Samantha welcomes comments and suggestions, and she encourages readers to submit pet questions she can explore at [email protected].
Are you interested in helping rescue discarded puppy mill breeding dogs? Visit www.milldogrescue.org