From the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association – Where Every Story Has Three Sides
By Katie Riopel
Have you bought a puppy lately? Did you buy it from a pet store? Did you find an ad in the newspaper or on e-Bay where you could buy the pup cheaper than most other places that you looked?
Did you drive up to a “farm” to pick up your pup where there were many other dogs, puppies and different breeds? Were the pups kept in a barn or outside kennel? To save you travel time, did the seller offer to meet you halfway at a corner gas station?
If the answer to any one of these question is yes, chances are you just bought a puppy mill pup.
What’s wrong with a puppy mill pup?
Puppies and kittens are bred only for the profit, not to better the breed, not for a good temperament, not for good health. Conditions in which many puppy mills operate are deplorable. We have all seen the ads on TV that tear our hearts out. We gasp and wonder how anyone can do that to a dog or cat.
With all its great farmland and open spaces, Minnesota has become one of the nation’s top producers of puppies and kittens. In Minnesota, there are no laws to regulate, inspect or license the facilities that produce these puppies and kittens, so they open up in Minnesota without any oversight.
Some mills can house 300, 600 or even more than 1,000 dogs!
The conditions under which these dogs and cats are produced are largely dictated to maximize sales and profits.
Customers looking for a “deal” on a particular breed or who can’t resist that cute face will now be paying major veterinarian bills, possibly for the duration of their pet’s life because of the conditions in which that pup or kitten was born and raised.
Many of the animals born in such places will die from these inhumane conditions. A lot of these pets also have many behavior problems too. Our neighboring states — Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska — all have breeder regulation laws, but not here in Minnesota. For inhumane breeders, Minnesota is the place to be.
What do we need to rid the state of puppy mills? Proper requirements for licensing, inspections, enforcement and penalties.
For years many humane organizations have been trying to get regulations passed. These efforts have failed.
The Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill is being introduced this winter to get laws passed to regulate this million-dollar industry, and your help is needed to support its passage.
First, take the time to read and understand the bill introduced by Sen. John Marty (S.F. 36) and Rep. John Lesch (H.F. 84).
To read the bill in its entirety, go to www.animalfolksmn.org.
Next, contact your state Senator and Representative (find them at www.gis.leg.mn by clicking on “Who Represents Me?”).
Then ask your family, friends and co-workers to join in on this effort by passing this information around.
Finally, gather as many humans possible to join in on the rally, scheduled for 3 pm to 4 pm, Tuesday, February 19 at the Minnesota State Capitol rotunda. For more information, go to http://www.SpeakUpMN.org.
We need to stop the suffering. There appear to be laws for every other business here, but not for the commercial breeding of dogs and cats. These animals have no voice, lend them yours. Speak up for them — Minnesota Nice is desperately needed here.
Mark your calendar, load up your car, van or rent a bus for your humans and be there for “them.”
You can make a difference.
Katie Riopel directs a dog obedience school in Hugo and her weekly radio show can be heard on MyTalk FM107.1 on Sundays, 4pm-6pm. Send in your dog and cat questions to HeyKTK9@q.com. For more information please see www.ktk9.com.