Kitty Zen

Moments sharp, sweet and soft

PA HB 2525 Puppy Mill Law out of committee. Next Stop – The House!

Posted by smallspark on June 26, 2008

06-25-08 — House Bill 2525 Clears House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee

With a vote down party lines, House Bill 2525 has cleared a major obstacle – the PA House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee with minimal amendments at 7:44PM

I watched part of the discussion in the PA House live feed here: <a href=””>”>Live feed of the House of Representatives and they let out around 3 pm that day. I didn’t realize they were coming back.  I am glad they did!

During the proceedings, it was fairly clear who wanted to move this forward and who wanted to “wait”. I guess I should not be surprised at the division of opinions but I was.  Since HB 2525 passed out of committee there is hope it will get approval in the House.  I imagine the show Oprah did helped – they were aware many people were watching. I certainly was, and that’s no small feat.

However, from what I heard during the proceedings, please be aware FAR more breeders are letting their PA reps know their opinions than the general public and that may put some pressure on them to soften or slow down passing the bill. So please call your reps. Go to the aspca’s website or the humane society’s website. Either of these sites will direct you on what to do. If you’re not in PA both of those links will get you in the area of your state’s animal issues. Find out. You’d be surprised at what is going on out there- I was!

One of the arguments against bills like this is it may put some breeders out of business. I understand no one wants to take away anyone’s livelihood – it’s certainly unpleasant – but isn’t livelihood a separate issue?  It’s not like we have a shortage of animals available.  There are too many! Protecting jobs is one thing, acting responsibly for the well being of the amount of animals people have chosen to have on their property is another.


2 Responses to “PA HB 2525 Puppy Mill Law out of committee. Next Stop – The House!”

  1. Jade said

    I so much agree with you. Animals are not so much a job as a responsibility. As long as they are in your care, you’re responsible for making sure they’re treated humanely, if not lovingly.

    PA HB 2525 is a sweeping piece of legislation. I have read the entire 92 pages. I’m not a breeder, but I still have some issues with some vague wording. I’ve been going back and forth with my wonderful PA representative, Steven Barrar, about it, and he’s always receptive. I have great respect for him.

    I keep seeing comments about how this will put breeders out of business, but I’ve seen so few specifics on it that I discount those comments. I did send some comments to refute the complaints I’m most often seeing on the Internet. Those are pasted below. (Unfortunately, the bullets won’t come through, so it’s a little hard to read.)

    The bill allow searches of kennels without a warrant. That is a misrepresentation. The only cases for which the bill allows that is ones in which the kennel license has already been refused or revoked. That is similar to a probation or parole officer being able to pop in on you without an appointment to make sure you’re behaving yourself. In other cases, the bill specifically says that either owner permission or a warrant issued for probable cause is required.

    The bill permits the department to levy fines up to $1,000 and imprison violators on criminal charges for the first offense under the law or regulations, no matter how minor the transgression. That is outright false. The first offense is a summary offense. What is referred to in this misguided person’s posting is for the second offense, and even that is a second offense that occurs within one year of sentencing for the first offense. So, even a second offense could be a summary offense if it didn’t fall soon after the first.

    Under this bill a small breeder could have a single litter or purchase a single dog that brings it under the licensing requirements. I don’t know what the person means by this one. PA already has a dog licensing requirement, as do most other states. If they’re talking about a requirement for kennel licensing, this one is also an outright falsehood. Kennel licensing is required under this law only for 26 or more dogs per year. If this person is saying someone could potentially buy a dog and have it have 25 pups in a single litter, putting them over the limit, I’d like to know what dog this is and I’ll gladly take back this particular comment.

    It permits the department to require the divestiture of dogs below the kennel threshold without providing any reason for reducing the number below 25 dogs. Another misrepresentation. What they meant was it permits them to require divestiture of dogs above the kennel threshold, and this one also applies to kennels that have had licenses refused or revoked, as in number one above.

    Kennel owners are animal experts and should get to decide when a dog needs a veterinarian. This one is laughable. I know some wonderful breeders, and I’ve met some breeders I’d prefer to see sitting in a jail comparable to the ones they keep their dogs in. I’ve talked to “breeders” who don’t even know what Bordetella and Brucellosis are. I’ve even heard of some who think it’s fine for them to do their own surgical births (c-sections). I have no problem with a breeder doing this, after they’ve completed veterinary school. Until then, they need to leave the animals’ medical care up to someone who spent years learning to do it. This legislation doesn’t require people to go broke from monthly vet visits. It simply requires basic, routine medical care. That will apply primarily to the breeding dogs anyway, since the puppies are typically sold within 2-4 months. I’d actually like to see the bill changed from the seven/eight weeks for allowed transfer to ten weeks. Up until that time, the puppy is bonding with and learning from its mother.

    The new regulations would require too much space. Really??? I don’t find anything in the bill that requires them to build a house for each dog. I think if they can’t provide a humane amount of space for the dogs to live in, perhaps they shouldn’t have so many dogs?

    Heating and air conditioning would be cost-prohibitive. Again, really??? Are these people willing to turn off their own heat when it’s 20 degrees outside, or turn off their a/c when it’s 100 degrees? If not, I’m having trouble relating to where they’re coming from.

  2. Max Woodward said

    Despite overwhelming support for the bill, opponents were able to block a vote on it by introducing 100 frivolous amendments so that it couldn’t be acted on before the summer recess.
    I have emailed every representative in Lancaster County telling them that until they take action to clean up the mess in their backyard, I am one of thousands who will not spend a nickel in their county.
    Until enough tourism-related industries in Lancaster County suffer economic pain and pressure their elected officials to act, the suffering of dogs at Amish and Mennonite kennels will not end.

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