This year bills have been proposed in no fewer than 15 states claming to crack down on puppy mills, but upon reading the proposed bills, they do little more than set a limit for the number of intact dogs an individual can keep.
Today in North Carolina, Senate Bill 460- Commercial Breeding of Dogs, will be considered. This is one such bill that could set into law the definition of commercial breeder an arbitrary number of intact female dogs (15). Earlier this year Oregon considered House Bill 2470 which identified as few as 3 litters a year as a pet dealer ,which had legal ramifications, and limited anyone from possessing more than 25 intact dogs total. West Virginia was proposing to set the commercial breeder bar at 20 intact dogs, and finally in Arkansas, the limit was set at 12 dogs, and they didn’t even have to live on your property. Many hobby breeders jointly own dogs with other hobby breeders and obviously that dog is only located at one place at a time, so the proposal in Arkansas would cover that base.
Are these laws really cracking down on puppy mills, or are they just limiting the rights of American Citizens? There is no definition of a puppy mill, but each of these laws is including a definition of a commercial breeder which, when based on an arbitrary number that some law maker sound like “a lot of dogs” creates a regulatory system on a person’s life-style choice . The term puppy mill evokes an imagine of cramped housing, untreated wounds and filth in the mind’s of most Americans. It is this image that has recently, and repeatedly, been portrayed on television by organizations such as the Human Society of the United States (HSUS). This tactic is being used to build public support for so called puppy mill bills, but rarely is the public actually reading the bills that are being proposed.
Laws that impose numerical limits do nothing to address the concerns that most Americans have in regards to the so called puppy mills. They do nothing to protect the citizens of this great nation from one another, or others wishing to do us harm; they do nothing to improve the health and saftey of the residents of this great nation; but rather, only serve to limit the choice residents of this great nation have, and criminalize activities of otherwise ordinary citizens who think they live in the land of the free where having puppies is no one else's business but theirs.