My last article touched on some of the proposed bills being put before the Texas legislature regarding animal welfare. The majority of questions I’ve received have been about the Large Scale Commercial Breeder Bill, also known as the Puppy Mill Bill. So I thought I would go into a little more detail about this bill.
It is HB (House Bill) 1451 and was filed on February 17, 2011. This bill is authored by Senfronia Thompson, representative from Harris County. This is Ms. Thompson’s 17th term with the Texas House of Representatives.
Here are the highlights of this bill: requires commercial breeders to obtain a license from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations; allows TDLR to conduct inspections; requires adequate wholesome food and clean water for dogs and cats; provides confined dogs and cats enough space to easily sit, stand, turn around and lie down in a normal manner; requires proper ventilation and adequate lighting for animal confined indoors; requires structurally sound shelter with proper protection from inclement weather conditions for animals confined outdoors; ensures adequate sanitation conditions within living spaces; and requires proper handling, treatment and veterinary care.
Here’s the obvious question: how sad is it that a bill like this even has to be passed? It breaks my heart every time I go to or pass a place that sells dogs and cats (flea markets, pet stores, people sitting on street corners) to think about the environment that those little babies may have come from. But thank goodness there are people that do care and will work hard to pass this bill. And you can be included in that group!
Let me say – not all breeders are bad. I know there are breeders out there that truly care about their animals and want to make sure that the puppies and kittens go to good homes. But, unfortunately, there are many more puppy mill breeders out there that don’t care, either about the puppies and kittens or the breeding females.
Did you know that some of the breeding females never get out of their cage? They never get a bath, brushed, and their feet never touch the ground. They live in cages stacked on top of each other, so where does the urine and feces go?
So what can you do? Support this cause on Facebook – here’s the link www.causes.com/causes/492302. The other thing you can do is spread the word to adopt pets from shelters and rescue organizations. There are rescues for every breed of dog you can think of so if someone you know just has to have a pedigree, tell them to contact a rescue for that breed. But if you absolutely MUST buy a dog from a breeder, make sure you see the environment that puppy is coming from. If the breeder won’t show you, don’t buy from them! Money is what they do the breeding for so hit them in the pocket book and quit buying puppies from them. Maybe then they’ll get the message!