Support anti-puppy mill bill
The West Virginia legislature is now in session and State Senator John Unger will be one of the sponsors of the anti-puppy mill bill. He has jointed the cause after witnessing the 122 dogs confiscated from a puppy mill under horrid conditions in Berkeley County last year. This is the fifth year the bill has been introduced and it is looking hopeful this year as more legislators realize how cruel these puppy mills and backyard breeding operations are.
Ohio, a major source of these operations, recently passed a tough law regulating these unethical businesses. Without new state regulations, puppy mills are more likely to move across state lines and set up business in West Virginia.
There are already many puppy mills, backyard breeders and puppy mill storefronts operating in the Eastern Panhandle. This bill would not ban the breeding of purebred dogs. There are some ethical dog breeders out there and they have nothing to fear from the bill. It would regulate the industry to prohibit dogs being bred and kept in stacked cages where they are inhumanely treated.
The American Kennel Club will lobby hard against this bill, as they have in other states. Their main concern is having as many purebred dogs registered with them as possible in order to boost their revenues. Their concern is all about money and not the well-being of the dogs bred and kept under atrocious conditions.
People can help by contacting state legislators and telling them they do not want these types of operations in West Virginia. Also, never buy a purebred dog from a puppy mill storefront or a backyard breeder. These dogs suffer from many health problems from being inbred and psychological problems from being raised under inhumane conditions.
People should consider adopting dogs only from animal rescue organizations. Their dogs are healthier, better behaved and less expensive. You aso have the knowledge that you are helping with the national dog problem instead of adding to it.
It is a national disgrace that five million adoptable dogs are killed each year so that people can adopt from puppy mills or backyard breeders instead. It is time for West Virginia to join the national movement to regulate the industry and end these cruel practices.