| Pennsylvania State Capital Bureau
After 10 years, Victoria and Pippa are rescued from the puppy mill
The proposed legislation would end the pipeline from puppy mills to pet stores in Pennsylvania.
Shelly Stallsmith, York Daily Record
Pennsylvania’s dog guards are helping save the lives of dogs and puppies living in breeding grounds that live in dire conditions and suffer from infections and diseases, veterinarians and state officials said Wednesday.
Unfortunately, they said, the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is running out of funds and jeopardizing dog guardian visits, which could allow unscrupulous breeders among the nearly 3,000 in the state to continue mistreating animals without fear of being caught.
According to Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, the solution is to have lawmakers approve an unchanged increase in the dog license fee from $ 6.50 to $ 10 for neutered or neutered animals since 1996.
“We ask the public to please contact their legislators,” said Redding on Wednesday in an online press conference. “Let’s do it for the dogs.”
A $ 3.50 increase would generate an additional $ 2.5 million to add to the office’s current $ 7.2 million budget, Redding said. He also said that additional funding would support the current level of service and allow the office to fill vacant dog guardian positions now.
In addition to inspecting kennels and investigating illegal kennels, the office registers and tracks dangerous dogs.
Pennsylvania took a big step forward in 2008 when kennel legislation addressed the notorious reputation of the state puppy mill, Redding said, and now it’s time to show that same commitment to keep inspections going.
“We need the action now,” he said. “Without them, more puppy mills will pop up.”
According to the Department of Agriculture, Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget includes a $ 1.2 million transfer to the office in the current fiscal year and another $ 1.5 million transfer in the 2021-22 budget.
Two lawmakers, Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks County) and Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne County), have introduced accompanying invoices to adjust the royalty structure that require a license for puppies as young as 8 weeks of age. if they can be sold legally.
Both bills were presented on February 16 and referred to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of each Chamber.
Redding received support from veterinarians from the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, who supported a fee increase, on his call.
Dr. Mary Jane McNamee said dog guards “are invaluable if they follow our advice” about suspicious kennels. “We need these well-trained dog guards because they are our eyes and ears,” she said.
McNamee’s colleagues told of the deplorable conditions under which some dogs live. Dr. JoEllen Bruinooge said dogs have been discovered to be living with numerous infections “in their urine and feces”.
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One kennel owner tried to groom a dog himself instead of hiring a professional and accidentally cut off the dog’s eyelids with a clipper, Bruinooge said.
Unsafe breeding practices can lead families to unwittingly adopt puppies and dogs who are suffering from serious health problems, the vets said.
Redding said he expected lawmakers to back the dog license increase, “but they need to know from dog owners and the Pennsylvanians at large that this is an important piece of legislation.”