Author Topic: Puppy Mill regulations  (Read 970 times)

vroom

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BoxerWB

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Re: Puppy Mill regulations
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 10:37:09 AM »
Hmm, I'm not sure.. it doesn't say what their definition of Commercial Breeder is.  Is this one of those laws that says a commercial breeder is someone w/more than 6 dogs and more than 12 puppies a year, for instance?

That, and do they even enforce the current laws? If not, the new laws don't do a darned thing.
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Re: Puppy Mill regulations
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 10:50:41 AM »
I agree with Julia!
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Re: Puppy Mill regulations
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 01:44:58 PM »
Well, the text of the bill that they passed hasn't been updated yet; some changes have been made, but no one really knows what they are yet.  At the previous printing, though, a "kennel" included anyone who keeps or transfers 26 or more dogs in a calendar year.  Within those definitions, a "commercial kennel" is anyone who sells one dog to a dealer or pet store, or who sells more than 60 dogs/puppies in a year. 

However, there is also a definition of "private kennel", which includes anyone who is not a commercial kennel and who keeps, breeds, or transfers dogs "for the purpose of hunting, tracking and exhibiting in dog shows, or field and obedience trials." 

The kicker is that the kennel definition - which affects both commercial and private kennels - also includes "offsite facilities" - i.e., co-owned dogs that live with others.  (The new regulations also apply to rescues and their foster homes.) 

Private kennels are licensed based on number of dogs, and all kennels must have (among other things) a veterinary-approved exercise plan and have smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, or sprinkler systems.  (Civil penalties for lack of compliance are imposed at $500-1000 per day.)  Commercial kennels have an additional nine pages of requirements, most if not all of which are already included in the Federal Animal Welfare Act.

In addition, these are the NAIA's concerns with the provisions of this bill:
  • It allows searches on private residences not associated with the actual operation of a kennel, which strikes us as unnecessarily invasive.
  • It gives the Department of Agriculture the ability to gain a search warrant simply for even a small violation of their written policies or procedures.
  • The bill permits the department to levy fines up to $1,000 and imprison violators on criminal charges for the first offense under the law or regulations, no matter how minor the transgression. As written, such severe penalties could be applied at the department's sole discretion for failure to keep a collar on your dog while traveling in your car or making an innocent error in your license application or in your records. The department needs discretion in enforcing the law, but it also needs better guidelines to shape its discretion. First offenses should have the option of a warning.
  • Under this bill a small breeder could have a single litter or purchase a single dog that brings it under the licensing requirements. However, in the case of the birth of a litter, they will not know if they exceed the limit until the litter is born. Delays by the department for the required inspection and the administrative actions to issue the license means that these small breeders would either be required to get a license unnecessarily or would have to operate without a license for a short period through no fault of their own.
  • It permits the department to require the divestiture of dogs below the kennel threshold without providing any reason for reducing the number below 25 dogs. At that number, the establishment is not a kennel (unless it thereafter goes over the 25 dog limit) and should not be subject to the departmentís author absent clear and immediate danger.
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Carolyn

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Re: Puppy Mill regulations
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2008, 04:53:48 PM »
Jennifer it can be argued that if a rescue is a federal 501c type rescue then they are not covered by that law. Because the IRS requires the rescue to specifically not "SELL" anything, they can give a token item for a donation (i.e. shirts, pens, bumper stickers, etc.) or they can get money from an adoption. There is no "selling" involved and you have to be very careful how you word that when people ask.

So rescues may be exempt from these kinds of "kennel" laws by the fact that they do not "Sell" dogs.   But again, that would require obtaining the services of a lawyer if anything should occur which may not be feasible for most rescues
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Re: Puppy Mill regulations
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2008, 05:24:38 PM »
Sadly, Carolyn, the law specifically includes rescues.  Firstly, the definition of kennel includes only keeping or transferring dogs, not selling - even if they were giving the dogs away for no compensation whatsover, they'd be a kennel if they hit the magic number.  Secondly, there are two new definitions in the law:

Quote
"Rescue network kennel."  A kennel that utilizes rescue network kennel homes with the goal of ultimately transferring the dog to a permanent owner or keeper through any means of transfer.

"Rescue network kennel home."  An establishment to which a rescue network kennel assigns a dog until the dog is ultimately transferred to a permanent home.

Rescues who are registered with the Commonwealth as nonprofit organizations may be considered nonprofit kennels - which basically means that they then don't have to pay a license fee and can use their own tags (they still have to be licensed,though).  All the other laws for non-commercial kennels apply to rescues.  (It appears that rescues would end up being exempted from commercial kennel requirements, but still need the fire stuff, exercise plan, license posted (all foster homes must post the license, as well), etc., and would be subject to the same penalties.)
Jennifer Walker
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