Saturday, August 29, 2015

Horry County Takes Steps To Crack Down On Puppy Mills

Last March, Horry County police seized more than 100 puppies from a home near Conway.
Police say it was a puppy mill, with dogs being bred under inhumane conditions.
Now, county leaders are crafting a law that would place new limits on commercial dog and cat breeders.
"To protect the animals, to make sure they're getting the proper care, making sure that we protect the public, making sure that the animals have the appropriate rabies inoculations as well," said Horry County public information officer Lisa Bourcier.
The proposed ordinance would establish minimum sizes for cages, and prohibit stacked cages or those with wire floors.
The law would require yearly inspections by animal control officers and written proof of vaccinations by veterinarians.
Animals that come out of puppy or kitten mills often end up at animal hospitals, suffering a variety of different ailments that come from being raised in that kind of environment.
"Puppy mills, I think in a lot of them, parvo (virus) runs rampant through them, kennel cough runs rampant through them, so that's an issue, and you can see feline lukemia, feline AIDS and things in kitten mills," said Dr. Kathryn McCutcheon of VCA Palmetto Animal Hospital in Carolina Forest.
McCutcheon said if it was up to her, puppy mills wouldn't just be regulated. They'd be shut down.
"There's plenty of shelter animals for everyone to get one and there's tons of shelter animals that get destroyed every year, just because nobody is adopting them," she said.
McCutcheon said a new law may help open people's eyes about what goes on at puppy mills.
Bourcier said the proposed ordinance is being tweaked to better define the difference between commercial breeders and private individuals.
It will be brought before the county council's public safety committee next month.

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