Monday, June 30, 2014

The Puppy Industry in Missouri Report by the BBB.......

The Puppy Industry in Missouri
A Study of the Buyers, Sellers, Breeders and Enforcement of the Laws
Executive Summary
Sponsored by
BBB Serving Eastern Missouri & Southern Illinois 15 Sunnen Drive Suite 107St. Louis, MO 63143 Phone: (314) 645-3300
BBB of Greater Kansas City 8080 Ward Parkway Suite 401Kansas City, MO 64114 Phone: (816) 421-7800
BBB of Southwest Missouri 430 South Glenstone AvenueSpringfield, MO 65802 Phone: (417) 862-4222
The Puppy Industry in Missouri
One of the responsibilities of the BBB is to monitor the marketplace, rooting out questionable activities affecting consumers. The four-fold reasons for this study are 1) The large number of complaints filed with the three BBBs in Missouri alleging improper conduct in the puppy marketing industry; 2) The resolution rate of those complaints which is well below the national average for resolving complaints; 3) The purchase online or in pet stores of ill puppies; and 4) The expenditure of money for veterinarian fees by consumers who unknowingly bought sick puppies.
The puppy industry sprouted in the post-World War II era when farmers were seeking alternative cash crops, according to some Web sites. “Through indifference or ignorance many puppies were left unsocialized or exposed in existing chicken coops or rabbit hutches,” the Web site Wikipedia notes.
Missouri is often referred to as the “puppy mill” capital of the country. The term “puppy mill” is not a legal one and consequently lacks a common definition. For some it may be any place where puppies are raised for profit. For others, it may be a kennel where the emphasis is on profit rather than the welfare of the dogs. Because the interpretation of “puppy mill” lies with the individual, this study will refrain from using the term, allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusions from the facts.
Sources used in this study include: BBB databases including complaints; responses to surveys sent to authorities in 50 states; the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA); inspection reports of federally licensed breeders, wholesalers, and intermediate handlers located in Missouri; the Internet sites of Missouri dog breeders; state and federal audits of animal care agencies; classified ads; court suits involving retailers and suppliers of puppies; U.S. Department of Transportation records; news reports; and shoppings by BBB personnel. The data in this study is accurate as of the date of the study’s publication.
The BBB was hindered in its investigation by failure of Missouri and federal authorities to make timely responses to requests for information. For example, a questionnaire with 15 questions was sent to the Missouri Department of Agriculture on Sept. 13, 2009. The BBB did not receive answers to the 15 questions until two-and-a-half months later, several weeks after other states had responded to the survey. A request for additional information was made Dec. 7, 2009. The BBB has yet to receive the information. At the federal level, the BBB requested information from the USDA on Sept. 16 and was referred to the office that responds to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The BBB was told by the FOIA office that it does not respond to questions, only to requests for records. The FOIA office referred the BBB back to the initial contact person to respond to the questions and four months after the original request, he has yet to respond.
MissouriThe National Hot Spot of the Puppy Industry
Under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the USDA licenses and inspects dog breeding facilities. There are about 4,000 breeders licensed by the USDA nationally. About 30% of these (1,200) are in Missouri, and more than two- thirds are in five contiguous states including Missouri. Surveys were sent to 50 states regarding dog breeders and 40% responded. Six of the states responding to a question reported one kennel per 100,000 residents, while Missouri has about one per 3,000 residents. Missouri has four times as many USDA-licensed breeders as Nebraska, the next highest. And within Missouri, the southwest corner of the state is the hub of the puppy industry. The largest wholesaler of puppies is located in Goodman, a small town in Southwest Missouri. Goodman is near the Oklahoma and Arkansas borders, two states which, with Missouri, are among the top five in terms of breeders licensed by the USDA.
A total of 352 complaints and reports against dog breeders and sellers have been filed with the three Missouri BBBs in the past three years. While more than three-fourths of all complaints filed with BBBs nationally are resolved, more than half of the complaints filed against Missouri dog breeders and sellers were unresolved. Of those who complained after they had bought a puppy, more than a third said their puppies were ill when they purchased them or became ill soon thereafter, and that several of them had died. Many of the buyers spent thousands of dollars on veterinarian fees that weren’t reimbursed by the seller. The lack of registration papers that were promised when they purchased the puppies was cited by 37 of the complainants.
The Breeders and Inspectors
The federal AWA and the Missouri’s Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) govern dog breeding and the marketing of puppies. The laws and regulations of both require breeders who have more than three female dogs capable of breeding to be licensed, although federal laws do not require pet stores or a breeder who engages solely in retail sales to be licensed. Licensees are subject to annual inspections by both federal and state authorities. Inspection records raise the question whether these inspections by themselves are effective in policing the marketplace.
A prominent example is the case of Tim King Jr., who operated Doo Little Kennel near Rolla, Mo. On July 24, 2007, federal inspectors found 13 violations including excessive excreta and feces, weeds and trash, unclean facilities, and no shade for some dogs. A month later inspectors found eight violations, including six repeated ones. In the meantime, King continued in business, for example, once sending 32 dogs to an auction at which 23 were sold. Inspections continued, and repeated violations were found. On Sept. 15, 2009, officials raided his kennel and confiscated about 100 dogs and puppies, many sick and malnourished, according to news reports. In all, King had amassed 103 violations in seven inspections spanning less than two years. King is still licensed as a breeder according to the USDA’s Web site, but reportedly never held a state license. On Oct. 5, 2009, King was cited the second time for animal abuse or neglect with the maximum penalty now a $1,000 fine and a year in jail. That case is pending. The question arises why King was allowed to operate for nearly two years without strict enforcement action by federal and state authorities, even though they knew of his dismal track record.
But the King case is not alone in raising the question of whether inspections, by themselves, are effective. For example, the USDA made 130 inspections of 20 breeders in Missouri in the past three years. During those inspections 987 violations were cited, an average of 7.6 per inspection. The license of one of the breeders was cancelled and reinstated three times before being cancelled a fourth time. Another breeder was cancelled two months ago after racking up 138 violations during 13 inspections in less than three years. Twelve of the 20 breeders are still licensed, although three of them had their licenses cancelled at one time or other.
In 2004, State Auditor Claire McCaskill reported that not only were state authorities not inspecting breeders annually as required by law, but that they were not citing violations when they were observed. She pointed out that the problems that existed in her 2001 audit still existed in 2004. The same situation continued in 2008, according to a report by State Auditor Susan Montee.
While inspections, limited as they are, may find and correct some violations, the use of enforcement tools appears to be lacking. A 2005 audit of the federal program noted: “. . . inspectors believe the lack of enforcement action undermines their credibility and authority to enforce the AWA.” Similarly, McCaskill noted in 2004, “Although the division has taken actions to penalize licensed facilities, some facilities with chronic poor performance may never be penalized.”
The Marketplaces
Consumers wanting to buy a puppy have several marketplaces to choose from—a kennel, classified ads, the Internet, and auctions, although auctions are geared more toward breeders seeking additional stock to breed or sell. Consumers also may “adopt” a pet from an animal shelter, although these dogs may be older than the consumer is seeking. Most shelters charge fees for “adopted” animals to cover medical expenses.
Buying a puppy from a breeder who advertises on the Internet is perhaps the most risky choice, with contracts weighted heavily in favor of the breeder. Said one Missouri breeder on its Web site: “We have considered a contract to cover all of the above, but have yet to read one that is not 90% in favor of the breeder/seller. Actually not worth the paper they are written on.”

Ten contracts of Missouri breeders selling on the Internet were examined.
  • Eight of the contracts offered to replace a sick or dead puppy, but noted that the customer would have to pay the shipping costs, both for sending the ill puppy back to the breeder and for obtaining a replacement.
  • Three breeders reserved the right to determine whether the puppy were ill when shipped.
  • Nine of the 10 contracts said that the breeder would not pay for any veterinarian costs, even if the customer
    bought an ill puppy. Six contracts prohibit a refund of a deposit under any conditions.
  • If a buyer wanted to sue the breeder for providing an ill puppy, four contracts specified that the suit would have to be filed in the county in which the breeder is located, even though the customer may be located thousands of miles away.
    Buying a puppy through a classified ad in the newspaper also poses problems unless the prospective buyer is able to view the kennel and see the condition of the facilities, along with the parents of the puppy. A breeder may ask that the prospective buyer meet him or her on a parking lot to see the dog rather than at the kennel. The BBB shopped 22 classified ads in the newspaper by telephone. A few were reluctant to furnish the addresses of their kennels, although most did. BBB shoppers made appointments to meet with the breeders at locations other than the kennels on three occasions. Once, the breeder failed to show. Another invited the shopper to visit her kennel. But the third shopper seeking a dachshund puppy for her daughter met a breeder on a parking lot in St. Charles. Two dachshund puppies that were shown to the shopper appeared to be underweight, inactive and with very thin coats. When the shopper told the breeder that she wanted to check with other sources, the breeder angrily told her she had wasted his time, slammed the door of his station wagon and drove away.
    Pet stores are another marketplace for consumers seeking a puppy. However, there are numerous reports of puppies being purchased that were ill or became sick shortly thereafter. Animal welfare activists have waged a national campaign against Petland, an international chain doing business in 26 states and six countries. A class action suit has been filed against Petland and The Hunte Corporation (see below) claiming the stores sold ill puppies. BBBs received 657 complaints nationally against Petland stores in the past three years.
    The Middle Men
    One of the largest sales outlets for breeders in Missouri and other states is The Hunte Corporation, located in Goodman, Mo. According to news reports, Hunte buys and sells 90,000 puppies a year, transporting them by 18- wheeler to pet stores across the country. Hunte’s 25 trucks logged 2 million miles in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Hunte refused to verify the sales figures. In glowing terms on its Web site, the company describes how well it takes care of the puppies once they are in its possession. However, many sources disagree with the words of self-adulation.
    For example, the Web site notes: All Hunte puppies come from USDA licensed and AKC inspected professional breeders and hobby breeders.But in January 2008, an administrative law judge in Washington, D.C. found that a division of Hunte had paid $3,036 for 19 puppies to a Missouri dealer between March and October 2003, although the dealer had not had a required USDA license since September 2002. The dealer is now selling puppies on the Internet.
    (Two other Missouri dealersMid-America Pet Broker of Neosho and Hidden Valley Farms of Greencastle—also ran afoul of federal inspectors when they purchased puppies without obtaining certification that the breeders did not require a license.)
    The Hunte Web site also states: “They (the puppies) receive the best food and veterinary care and constant attention from a highly-trained support staff focused solely on the puppy's wellbeing.” This is disputed by several sources. Hunte is a principal supplier of puppies to Petland, the national chain pet store. The former owners of three Petland stores in Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio, in separate suits, charged that they received sick puppies from Hunte. One franchisee said that prior to his grand opening on Aug. 5, 2006, he received 60 to 65 puppies from Hunte, more than half of them sick when they arrived. Another said three puppies in the initial shipment for his opening on March 31, 2007, died within weeks and others were sick. The third franchisee said in a class action suit that he had to spend about $40,000 in veterinarian bills because puppies from Hunte were sick. The three suits are pending.
In a class action suit filed in September 2009 in Arizona against Petland and Hunte, 31 consumers alleged that they had purchased sick puppies from Petland, four of them traced back to Hunte. In its denial of the accusations, Hunte noted: “It is clear that HSUS (Humane Society of the U.S.) desires a public forum in which it can advocate its position that pet stores should not sell puppies. Trying to squeeze their allegations into an actionable claim appears to have been simply an afterthought.” The suit is pending.
Breeders also market directly to pet stores, relying on other companies to transport the puppies to the stores. These “intermediate handlers” are licensed by the USDA. Eighteen individuals or companies in Missouri hold such licenses, and are subject to inspection by authorities. One of these is Puppy Ship LLC of Monett, Mo. On July 8, 2009, a driver for Puppy Ship, was arrested in Massachusetts for cruelty to animals. Authorities confiscated 27 puppies that were on their way to pet stores. Seven of the puppies needed veterinary care, three for dehydration or infections, and have incurred $14,000 in vet bills, according to news reports. The driver’s attorney told a judge that his client delivers puppies to Massachusetts once a week.
Missouri Compared With Other States
Surveys were sent by the BBB to the Departments of Agriculture in all of the states regarding their programs for licensing dog breeders and sellers. Forty percent of the states responded. The surveys showed that while Missouri’s inspectors have more work than their counterparts in other states, they are paid better. Missouri inspectors are paid between $30,000 and $36,600 while those in other states responding to the question are paid an average of $22,700 to $31,000. But Missouri employees must inspect well over twice as many kennels per inspector as inspectors in other states. Inspectors usually have duties in addition to inspecting licensed kennels.
Four of 13 states responding to a question said there were no efforts made to identify non-licensed breeders, while eight said there were some efforts. Missouri, apparently echoing its Operation Bark Alert program through which it seeks help from the public in identifying non-licensed breeders, responded “many.” Of those states responding to the question whether they regularly inspected breeders’ kennels, eight, including Missouri, said yes and eight said no. The frequency of inspections varied from only at the time of initial licensing to annually and in response to a complaint.
The number of enforcement actions taken against pet stores in the past three years averaged 23 in states responding to the question while Missouri reported only three. Enforcement actions against kennels as a percentage of licensed kennels averaged 15.7% for the states responding to the question, while Missouri averaged 8.3%.
Missouri’s program of regulating dog breeders is financed in part by the Animal Welfare Fund into which fees paid by breeders and others in the industry are deposited. The money is to be used only for enforcement of the ACFA. The state spends about $785,000 annually on inspections. Nine respondents to a survey, including Missouri, said that lack of funding hinders efforts to properly regulate and inspect kennels. The annual fees for licensing in 24 states range from $48 to $179. Missouri’s fees range from $100 to $500 depending on the breeder’s report on the number of dogs sold the past year. In 2004, McCaskill criticized the method of verifying the per capita fee in which the Department multiplied the number of females by eight puppies sold (two litters of four each). If the number reported by the kennel was close to this estimate, it was accepted. McCaskill recommended a more exact procedure to ensure breeders were paying the proper amount. A 2008 audit of the Department of Agriculture by Montee noted that fees had not been adjusted since the beginning of the program in 1993 and recommended that the Department consider increasing them through regulation or legislation.
In the past, a few Missouri legislators have tried unsuccessfully to put more restrictions on the puppy industry. A current bill in the Senate would increase regulations governing the purchase of puppies. Identical bills failed in the 2008 and 2009 sessions of the Legislature. A bill with increased restrictions on breeders is pending in the current session of the House of Representatives. A few other states have recently passed more stringent regulations of dog breeders. A new tact has been taken by a coalition of animal welfare activists, backed by a $450,000 contribution by the Humane Society of the United States, which is seeking 100,000 signatures to put a measure with major changes

in kennel requirements on the Missouri ballot this year. The measure would limit the number of breeding females a breeder may have to 50, require solid flooring for cages instead of the common wire mesh, prohibit stacking of cages, require constant access to outdoor exercise areas, increase the minimum amount of space for animals, require daily cleaning of cages, require annual veterinarian visits, and limit the breeding cycle for females to two litters every eighteen months. These provisions of the proposed law would apply only to breeders with more than 10 females capable of reproducing and would not apply to animal shelters, pet shops, transporters or hobby breeders. However, a counter measure in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment has been passed by the House and if approved by the Senate, will be on the ballot in November. A key sentence in the proposed amendment would prohibit any law regulating domesticated animals unless it is based on scientific principles and enacted by the Legislature. The proposed amendment also gives citizens the right to raise domesticated animals without the state imposing “an undue economic burden on animal owners.”
Because the largest wholesaler of puppies is located in Southwest Missouri, dog breeders proliferate in Missouri and other states in the area. The bottom line for the puppy industry in Missouri is that the state’s job of policing the industry properly is overwhelmed by the lack of available resources. Rightly or wrongly, the policing of dog breeders and sellers seems to be a lower priority in Missouri and elsewhere. Missouri, along with nine other states responding to a survey question, said that lack of funding hinders efforts to properly regulate and inspect kennels. While the efforts of the Missouri Department of Agriculture to identify unlicensed dog breeders through Operation Bark Alert and its follow-up, Prosecution Bark Alert, are commendable, the program siphons resources from the legal mandate of inspecting all licensees annually, including breeders, pet sitters, intermediate handlers, dealers, pet stores, and animal shelters. And in effect, state officials are caught in a Catch-22 dilemma—to commit more resources to identifying unlicensed breeders on the one hand, or to commit more resources to regulating licensed breeders and others more rigorously.
The lack of more vigorous enforcement of the laws and regulations has allowed many breeders to continue operating substandard kennels as the case of Tim King Jr. amply illustrates. The lack of aggressiveness in penalizing breeders for violations of the law would seem to contribute to a laissez-faire attitude toward regulations on the part of breeders.
At least in the past there appears to have been a dichotomy in the philosophies of state officials and auditors— basically a carrot and stick conundrum. While auditors were critical of the lack of stricter enforcement of the laws and regulations, the Department of Agriculture responded that bringing wayward licensees into compliance through persuasion was a more meritorious approach. McCaskill’s 2001 audit noted that several inspectors “stated that it is their duty, or ‘it is best’ to get breeders into compliance rather than to fine them.” But as a federal auditor noted, “As a result, violators consider the (reduced fines for federal violations) as a normal cost of conducting business rather than a deterrent for violating the law.” Meanwhile, breeders and others in Missouri, with seeming impunity, will continue to send sick puppies to be purchased by unwary consumers.
  • That the Missouri and U.S. Departments of Agriculture pursue penalties against repeat offenders more aggressively.
  • That, if necessary, legislation be sought to streamline the process for penalizing repeat offenders, while still allowing for due process.
  • That the Missouri Department of Agriculture and General Assembly consider an auditor’s recommendation to increase the annual license fees and more accurately assess them thereby providing more resources for the inspection and regulation program.
That consumers consider “adopting” a spayed pet from a shelter.

Robert H. T St. Louis BBB Researcher 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chicago Pet Store Ordinance That Just Went Into Effect .....WAY TO GO CHICAGO !!!

WHEREAS, The City of Chicago (the "City") is a home rule unit of government under Section 6(a), Article VII of the 1970 Constitution of the State of Illinois and as such may legislate as to matters which pertain to its local government and affairs;
WHEREAS, Pet stores selling live animals have traditionally been a sales outlet for young dogs, cats, and rabbits bred in "puppy mills," "kitten mills," and “rabbit mills” both within the United States and abroad. According to the Humane Society of the United States, it is estimated that 10,000 puppy mills produce more than 2,400,000 puppies a year in the United States and that most pet store puppies, kittens and many pet store rabbits come from puppy mills, kitten mills, and rabbit mills, respectively. According to Illinois Department of Agriculture records, in the City alone, City pet stores purchased approximately 1,500 – 2,000 dogs from out- of-state breeders for sale to the public in 2011 and 2012. The number of dogs purchased for sale, and sold to the public, is likely higher as these records do not reflect dogs purchased from in- state breeders. When consumers buy puppies, kittens, and rabbits from a pet store, there is a strong likelihood that consumers are unknowingly supporting the puppy mill, kitten mill, or rabbit mill industry;
WHEREAS, The documented abuses of puppy and kitten mills include over-breeding; inbreeding; minimal to non-existent veterinary care; lack of adequate food, water and shelter; lack of socialization; lack of adequate space; and the euthanization of unwanted animals. The inhumane conditions in puppy and kitten mill facilities lead to health and behavioral issues with animals, which many consumers are unaware of when purchasing animals from retailers due to both a lack of education on the issue and misleading tactics of retailers in some cases. These health and behavioral issues, which may not present themselves until years after the purchase of the animals, can impose exorbitant financial and emotional costs on consumers;
WHEREAS, In addition to the above-mentioned abuses, rabbit mills are particularly prone to problems of overcrowding. According to the Red Door Animal Shelter, because rabbits can multiply every 28 days, breeders easily get overwhelmed, which leads to crowding, filthy living situations, and toxic amounts of ammonia in the air from the urine uncleansed from cages;
WHEREAS, The lack of enforcement resources at local, state and federal levels allow many inhumane puppy, kitten, and rabbit mills to operate with impunity. According to a spokesman from the United States Department of Agriculture, due to budget constraints, the Illinois Department of Agriculture employs only seven inspectors that are charged with overseeing more than 1,300 dog dealers, kennel operators and pet shop operators. The Puppy Mill Project, a City-based non-profit organization, has identified at least ten retailers in the City that have acquired cats and dogs from commercial breeding facilities;
page1image24128 page1image24288 page1image24448 page1image24608 page1image24768 page1image24928 page1image25088 page1image25248 page1image25408 page1image25568 page1image25728 page1image25888 page1image26048 page1image26208 page1image26368 page1image26528 page1image26688 page1image26848 page1image27008
WHEREAS, The Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control (the "CACC") impounds approximately 20,000 animals each year. In 2011, the CACC euthanized 9,624 dogs and cats out of 21,085 (46%). Based on the CACC’s estimated cost to euthanize a dog and cat, the City spent between $234,864 – $303,188 euthanizing dogs and cats in 2011. In 2012, the CACC euthanized 7,652 dogs and cats out of 19,523 (39%) spending an estimated $199,124 – $251,384;
WHEREAS, Each year thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized in the City, because they are not wanted. In 2011, 6,328 dogs and cats taken in by the CACC were owner surrenders, which was 30% of the CACC’s dog and cat intake. In 2012, 6,130 dogs and cats taken in were owner surrenders (31%). Owner surrenders were the second largest source of dogs and cats taken into the CACC behind strays in 2011 and 2012. By promoting the adoption of such dogs and cats, this Ordinance will reduce the financial burden on City taxpayers, who pay much of the cost to care for and euthanize many thousands of animals. In addition, by stopping the sale of puppy mill puppies and kitten mill kittens in the City (animals that are known to have health and behavioral issues as discussed above), this Ordinance should reduce the amount of unwanted animals brought to organizations like the CACC, which would also reduce the financial burden on City taxpayers;
WHEREAS, According to the Red Door Animal Shelter, rabbits are the third-most popular pet in the U.S., after dogs and cats. Rabbits are often treated inhumanely in the breeding mills and these animals are often viewed as disposable, with the largest influx of abandoned animals being collected annually just after the Easter holiday. The Humane Society of the U.S. estimates that 80% of rabbits sold as Easter or springtime pets are eventually abandoned;
WHEREAS, The Red Door Animal Shelter reports that over a thousand rabbits were rescued by Chicago area shelters in 2013, with an unknown number of these pets perishing before rescue could be made. This Ordinance is necessary to decrease abandonment of rabbits;
WHEREAS, The City incurs significant costs caring for and treating animals brought into the CACC. Since 2010, the CACC’s annual budget appropriated over $300,000 in food; supplies; and drugs, medicine and chemical materials alone to care for its animals;
WHEREAS, Because the CACC receives adoption fees of $65 per animal, there is a significant financial incentive for the City to promote the rehabilitation and adoption of rescue cats and dogs by prohibiting the retail sales of commercially-bred cats and dogs by business establishments located in the City. In 2011, only 1,404 (7%) dogs and cats were adopted directly out of the CACC and only 1,341 (7%) were adopted directly out in 2012. Consumers may be more likely to adopt a dog or a cat if dogs and cats were not readily available for purchase in pet stores. Moreover, there is a large financial benefit to consumers who adopt animals, as the $65 fee charged by CACC is in many cases significantly lower than the cost of purchasing a dog or cat from a pet store;
WHEREAS, Across the country, thousands of independent pet stores as well as large chains operate profitably with a business model focused on the sale of pet services and supplies and not on the sale of dogs and cats. Many of these stores collaborate with local animal shelters and rescue organizations to offer space and support for showcasing adoptable homeless pets on their premises;
WHEREAS, This Ordinance will not affect a consumer’s ability to obtain a dog or cat of his or her choice directly from a breeder, a breed-specific rescue organization or a shelter;
WHEREAS, In the United States and Canada alone, over 40 cities have enacted ordinances addressing the sale of puppy and kitten mill dogs and cats, including Los Angeles, California; San Diego, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Austin, Texas; Toronto, Canada; and Brick, New Jersey;
WHEREAS, Many cities have adopted legislation banning the sale of rabbits, including San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, California; Richmond, BC; Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, TX;
WHEREAS, Current Federal, Illinois and City laws and regulations do not properly address the sale of puppy and kitten mill dogs and cats or rabbit mill rabbits in City business establishments;
WHEREAS, The City Council believes it is in the best interests of the City to adopt reasonable regulations to reduce costs to the City and its residents, protect the citizens of the City who may purchase cats or dogs or rabbits from a pet store or other business establishment, help prevent inhumane breeding conditions, promote community awareness of animal welfare, and foster a more humane environment in the City; and,
WHEREAS, The City desires to amend the Municipal Code of the City to regulate the retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits in the City by adding the language shown below; now, therefore,
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO: SECTION 1. The above recitals are incorporated herein by reference and made the
findings of the City Council.
SECTION 2. Chapter 4-384 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by inserting a new Section 4-384-015, as follows:
4-384-015 Retail Sale of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits
(a) Definitions. As used in this section:
“Offer(s) for sale” means to display, sell, deliver, offer for sale or adoption, advertise for the

sale of, barter, auction, give away or otherwise dispose of a dog, cat or rabbit.
“Retailer” means any person licensed or required to be licensed under this chapter who offers for sale any dog, cat or rabbit in the City.
“Rescue organization” means any not-for-profit organization that has tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, whose mission and practice is, in whole or in significant part, the rescue and placement of dogs, cats or rabbits.
(b) Restrictionsontheretailsaleofanimals.Aretailermayofferforsaleonlythosedogs, cats or rabbits that the retailer has obtained from:
(1) !ananimalcontrolcenter,animalcarefacility,kennel,poundortrainingfacility operated by any subdivision of local, state or federal government; or
(2) a humane society or rescue organization.
(c) Exemptions. The restrictions on retailers set forth in subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to any entity listed in paragraphs (1) or (2) of subsection (b) of this section, or to any veterinary hospital or clinic licensed pursuant to the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act of 2004, codified at 225 ILCS 115.
(d) Disclosures required. Any retailer who offers for sale a dog, cat or rabbit shall make the following disclosures to the customer about such animal:
  1. (1)  for each dog or cat: a written disclosure meeting all of the requirements set forth in Sections 3.5 or 3.15, as applicable, of the!Animal Welfare Act, codified at 225 ILCS 605; and,
  2. (2)  for each rabbit: (i) the breed, approximate age, sex and color of the animal; (ii) the date and description of any inoculation or medical treatment that the animal received while under the possession of the retailer; (iii)!the name and address of the location where the! ¿Á was born, rescued, relinquished or impounded; and (iv)!if the ¿Á was returned by a customer, the date of and reason for the return.
The disclosures required under this subsection (d) shall be provided by the retailer to the customer in written form and shall be signed by both the retailer and customer at the time of sale. The retailer shall retain the original copy of such disclosure and acknowledgement for a period of 2 years from the date of sale. Upon request by an authorized city official, the original copy of

such disclosure and acknowledgement shall be made immediately available for inspection by such authorized city official.
The retailer shall post, in writing, in a conspicuous place on or near the cage of any dog, cat or rabbit offered for sale all of the information about a dog, cat or rabbit required under this subsection and other applicable law.
SECTION 3. Following due passage and publication, this ordinance shall take full force and effect on March 5, 2014 

Dog & Cat Breeder Regulation Bill Signed Into Law !!!

Message from Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats Coalition:


We have great news! Governor Dayton signed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (H.F. 3172) into law today (May 20, 2014) which included the dog and cat breeder regulation bill! This means the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation bill is now officially law in the State of Minnesota!

THANK YOU for all of your calls, letters, emails, contacts with legislators, and support over the past several years! We finally did it.
Summary of Progress
As we previously mentioned, after H.F. 84 passed all of the necessary policy and finance committees by the required deadlines, it was incorporated into the House Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill which passed the House floor. Then that bill went to Conference Committee with the Senate’s version of their Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill. Over a few week period, the Senate and House Conference Committee members worked out differences between the bills (using H.F. 3172 as the bill number). The Conference Committee members for the Senate and House were: Senators Cohen, Tomassoni, Lourey, Wiger, & Bonoff and Representatives Carlson, Huntley, Mahoney, Marquart, & Wagenius.

The breeder bill was included in the 577 page Conference Committee Report of H.F. 3172 which was sent to both the House and Senate floors for votes. It passed both bodies and was sent to the Governor for his signature (Chapter 312).

Long Journey
It has been a long journey trying to pass a reasonable licensing and inspection law to better protect the dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens in MN commercial breeding facilities. But patience and diligence paid off.

The law becomes effective July 1, 2014, when the Board of Animal Health (BAH) will begin registering commercial dog and cat breeders who fall under the bill’s language. Within one year, the BAH will be required to annually inspect those breeders and any new breeders that set up facilities covered under the law (they can also begin inspections starting July 1, 2014, if they choose). The BAH will then license those breeders who are in compliance with existing animal welfare laws and additional provisions just passed into law.

What the New Law Does
Licensing – requires commercial dog and cat breeders in MN to be licensed in order to operate and sell dogs and cats in the State of Minnesota; Inspections and Enforcement – gives legal authority to the MN Board of Animal Health to inspect commercial dog and cat breeding facilities annually and enforce existing State laws and new laws to ensure animal care standards are met; and Penalties – imposes civil, administrative and criminal penalties for those who violate the law.

Just a few of the other provisions in the bill include:
· Must keep identifying and medical records on each animal
· Must develop and maintain a written veterinary protocol for disease control and prevention, veterinary care and euthanasia
· Animals must be provided daily enrichment and must be provided positive physical contact with human beings and compatible animals at least twice daily
· Must provide adequate staff to maintain the facility and observe each animal daily to monitor its health and well-being and to properly care for the animals
· All animals sold must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate completed by a vet no more than 30 days prior to sale or distribution
· Puppies and kittens may not be sold, traded or given away prior to 8 weeks of age

Please THANK the following people for making this a reality in the State of Minnesota:

Governor Mark Dayton for his strong support and assistance throughout this process - phone 651-201-3400 or

Representative John Lesch for chief authoring the House bill for several years and working hard to assure final passage in the House – phone 651-296-4224 or

Senator John Marty for chief authoring the Senate bill for the past two years and his hard work to get it passed in the Senate – phone 651-296-5645 or

Also, please thank your own legislators if they were helpful in supporting our efforts. You can find their information at:
Senate members -
House members -

* * *

Another Provision Included in H.F. 3172 – Animal Research
Another bill that was included in the Omnibus Supplemental Budget bill requires a MN higher education research facility that receives public money, confines dogs or cats for science, education or research purposes, and plans on euthanizing those animals for other than science, education or research purposes to first offer the dog or cat to an animal rescue organization. The facility may enter into an agreement with the rescue organization to protect the facility. “Animal rescue organization” is defined as any nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of rescuing animals in need and finding them permanent, adoptive homes.

On behalf of the animals, THANK YOU for taking action!

Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats Coalition members include A Rotta Love Plus, Animal Folks MN, Animal Humane Society, Minnesota Animal Control Association, Minnesota Humane Society, Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, Minnkota Persian Rescue, Pause 4 Paws, Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota, Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota, Second Chance Animal Rescue, and Tri-County Humane Society.
These legislative efforts are also supported by numerous other organizations and individuals, including the Animal Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, veterinarians, law enforcement, prosecutors, humane agents, animal control, rescue groups, animal shelters, breeders, businesses, and countless citizens throughout Minnesota.

Missouri Dominates Humane Society List of 101 of the Worst Puppy Mills in U.S.

Missouri Dominates Humane Society List of 101 of the Worst Puppy Mills in U.S.

Categories: Animals
USDA, via The Humane Society
A dog with wounded ears sniffs rotted meat at a kennel in Vienna, Missouri.
They're fed raw cow meet infested with maggots. Their faces are matted with so much feces that they can't see. Their wounds bleed and ooze without any medical treatment. They are left outside on wire floors to freeze to death.
Dogs in Missouri's problem puppy mills are abandoned in abject conditions, even four years after voters approved a stronger law against the sub-par facilities, says the Humane Society of the United States.
The Humane Society released a new report, 101 Puppy Mills: A Sampling of Problem Puppy Mills in the United States, this month. In the report, the group lists some of the worst-offending puppy mills in the country, and Missouri has more problem sites than any other state.
Of the 101 dealers on the Humane Society's list, 22 come from Missouri. Kansas has the second-most problem dealers, with 13 identified on the list.
One of the 22 dealers in the report is Johnny Dake, of J&M Kennels in Stover, Missouri. In January, when the temperatures outside dropped to between 2 and -9 degrees, a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector investigating a J&M Kennels found a four-week-old Shih tzu puppy dead, frozen solid in an outdoor enclosure.
USDA, via The Humane Society
Puppies in a feces-smeared crate at Cloverleaf Kennel in Willow Springs, Missouri.
Inside, the picture was even more dire. A female Shih Tzu had an oozing lesion on her paw. A male Shih Tzu had so much feces matted around his eyes that he couldn't see. Two months later, when inspectors returned, the dogs had been kept from water so long that when they finally got it, they drank for more than 60 consecutive seconds.
In Vienna, Missouri, Barbara Newbert admitted to USDA inspectors that she slaughtered cows and fed their raw, rotting meat -- sometimes infested with maggots -- to her dogs at Barb's Pups, according to the report.
Despite warnings in 2011 and 2012, Newbert continued to give rotting meat to her dogs in kennels that also had an open drain with raw sewage and other disease hazards. The USDA inspector noted in May 2013, "Meat and bones that become infested with maggots and begin rotting need to be removed from the animals' pens to reduce disease hazards, insects, pests and odors," according to the report.
The USDA also gave Newbert violations for the numerous dogs with skin problems, open wounds and eye disorders, including one Italian greyhound so thin that its ribcage was visible.
But there's a silver lining hidden among all this animal cruelty. The Humane Society notes that Missouri's new anti-puppy mill law, the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, could be making a difference. The law is a watered-down version of the "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act," which voters narrowly passed in 2010.
According to the Humane Society's report:
Part of the reason Missouri is high on the list of problem dealers is because state inspectors appear to be documenting problems at substandard kennels more carefully under the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, which replaced a voter-approved ballot measure, Prop B (The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act), in 2011. Although the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act is not as strong as Prop B, it does require higher standards of care at commercial breeding kennels than Missouri had five years ago.
But that's little consolation to the dogs still living in problem puppy mills, such as "Woofie," a pomeranian inspectors found lying on its side extremely matted with urine and fecal matter and with an eye covered in white-yellow mucus-like discharge.
The Humane Society still doesn't know what happened to Woofie, who was injured by other dogs at Lone Sycamore Kennels in Gorin, Missouri, but wasn't given veterinary care, instead left without food or water for three straight days.
Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author

Animal Cruelty Is Now Considered A FELONY In 50 States !!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Love The Support Of Shelter Dogs From Area Businesses ....

Military Dog Is A True Soldier ....

MVFA Releases 2014 Humane Candidate Endorsements !!

MVFA releases 2014 Humane Candidate Endorsements!

Ian Hanigan's picture
By Ian Hanigan - Posted on 11 June 2014
MVFA has released its first round of Endorsements for Humane Candidates in the 2014 Election!
Your vote is the powerful reason why you and your Maryland Votes for Animals-PAC (MVFA) has been so successful in promoting animal welfare in the
Help me.  I'm still chained.
Text Box: Help me.  I'm still chained. Please votePlease Vote
Maryland legislature over the past four years.  To keep this momentum going, your vote is crucial in the upcoming election now more than ever. 
You are the voice for all of Maryland's animals and they desperately need you to SPEAK UP and VOTE for MVFA Endorsed Humane Candidates for the Maryland General Assembly! 
What to do to make a real difference for animals with your Vote:  
Early voting is June 12th to June 19th.  Primary Election Day is June 24th.
CLICK on the MVFA Endorsed Humane Candidates list to see the candidates for the House of Delegates and the Senate who have been endorsed Humane in this round of endorsements for the Primary.  Write down the Humane Candidates for House and Senate in your District, then, GO VOTE for the animals!  Easy, quick, and critically important to saving lives! 
MVFA's future success for the humane treatment of Maryland's animals is in your hands.  Please vote for Humane Candidates.  It's the main thing that really does make a difference.
As Dr. Joseph Lamp, Chairman of MVFA said:  "Our all-volunteer staff has worked tirelessly, vetting the politicians and scrutinizing their voting records over the last 4 years.  But now it's up to loyal MVFA supporters to keep animal welfare issues in the forefront by winning at the voting booth!"  

*Please note, if there is not an endorsed candidate for your District in this round, please keep an eye out for future endorsements!

How does your vote help animals?
It works like this.  Humane Legislators, like humane champions Del. Barbara Frush and Sen. Joanne Benson, lead the way by sponsoring important animal bills like the life-saving and successful spay/neuter bill.  The Spay/Neuter bill, initiated by MVFA and several years in the making, resulted in a statewide spay/neuter program that is launching this year.  That program will literally save thousands of lives each and every year, and help end the suffering of thousands more across the state.  Other Humane Legislators sign on as needed co-sponsors of bills, or help pass animal welfare legislation favorably out of Committee and onto the Floor, where Humane Candidates ensure important animal bills become law. 
Make no doubt about it.  YOUR VOTE is what is keeping animal welfare on the front burner of the Maryland legislature.  MVFA-endorsed Humane Legislators are those representatives willing to champion and vote for animal protection legislation.   Please CLICK on the MVFA Endorsed Humane Candidates list, write down the Humane Candidates in your District, and GO VOTE!
And be sure to share this page with your friends and family so they can know who the Humane Candidates are in the upcoming election!  A link will be posted on the MVFA Facebook page too! 

P.S: Don't know your Legislative District? Find it at the Maryland Board of Elections website.  Once your info is up, click the tab labeled "My Voting Districts" and look for "Legislative District".   Your Senate District is the number, and your Delegate district is the number plus the letter.  E.g.  If it says you are in "Legislative District" 27B, that means you are in Senate district 27, and House of Delegates district 27B.
* Don't see a humane candidate listed for your District?  Keep your eye out for future endorsements - evaluations of the candidates are ongoing by our all-volunteerstaff working around the clock for Maryland's animals!

Maryland's Animals Need You!
Once every 4 years we all have the opportunity to VOTE and hold politicians accountable for their record on animal welfare in the state.  This is an election year and Maryland Votes For Animals is engaged in the fight to get Humane Legislators elected.  Your financial support is critical to keeping this life-saving work for animals a success.  Please make your donation today and bring home the Votes for the humane treatment of Maryland animals!