It is hard to believe that Texas puppy (and kitty) mills have run for decades completely unchecked by anyone. Free to treat the smallest, most helpless, and – in my opinion – cutest animals on the planet however they see fit. Or, more accurately, the cheapest way they possibly can. Finally, this has come to an end.
Texas’s breeders have never had to worry about the government keeping tabs on their dirty, often inhumane facilities….that is until September of this year. The Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders Act was signed into law on June 17th. Now breeders must obtain a license and be inspected (for the first time!) to prove that pins have adequate drainage, are made out of safe materials, and have enough space for the animals to sit, stand, turn around, and lie down. Amazingly, the law also states that the animals must have clean water, proper handling, and veterinary care. I can hardly believe that these things have to be spelled out. The ASPCA reports that though they are happy with the law, it does not include all they had hoped for. (Wire flooring and cage stacking are still allowed.) Visit www.aspca.org/puppymills for more info on these horrible facilities.
I was so happy to hear about this law, but still have a hard time comprehending why anyone would buy a puppy from a pet store. Even beyond the “why would you buy a puppy when there are so many great puppies & dogs in shelters waiting to be adopted” logic – you don’t have to be a dog whisperer to look in those cages and see these puppies cannot possibly come away unscathed by the way they are treated. Physically and mentally. I admit, I cannot resist a trip into the pet store when I pass one, but I would never buy so much as a chew toy from a place that kept pups in tiny cages on beds of shredded newspaper never getting to see the light of day.
But, yay Texas!!! The Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders Act is definitely a step in the right direction!