The Minnesota Legislature will soon consider passing a “Dog and Cat Breeder” bill that will help protect helpless animals from the cruelties of breeders who keep and breed animals for one reason only – to make money off of them as they barely survive in deplorable conditions.
The proposed bills are Senate File 36, authored by Sen. John Marty; and House File 84, authored by Rep. John Lesch. Legislators will try to iron out differences of the two bills before a vote on a breeder bill.
This bill is long overdue.
Although there are some excellent breeders in the state who genuinely love animals, there are also plenty of horror stories. Minnesota is among the top producers of puppies in the nation, with some of the largest breeding kennels – some of them housing up to 1,000 dogs and puppies. Kittens, too, are being bred en masse in the state. Many of these poor creatures live their entire hapless lives in small, overcrowded wire cages. The cages are often stacked, allowing feces and urine to fall into the cages below. Many animals are malnourished from inadequate food and water. The stress on them is constant because of the cramped conditions, the filth and problems such as fleas, worms, flies and other pests. They rarely, if at all, receive any kindness or interaction from humans.
Photos of the animals’ caged conditions are nearly unbearable to look at because they are so heartbreakingly sad.
Current Minnesota laws are based on complaints that are received from eyewitnesses. The investigation of such complaints is time-consuming, delayed through bureaucracies and fraught with loopholes. Such laws kick in only after the cruelty occurs. This new law would be pro-active and preventive, to keep cruelties from happening in the first place.
A breeding bill would require breeders to be licensed, the state’s Animal Board would have legal authority to do inspections and enforcement and to make sure animal-care standards are met. The bill also would spell out penalties for violations – civil, administrative and criminal.
This bill has widespread support from more than 50 Minnesota animal-welfare organizations, and humane societies everywhere. Nearly 250 veterinarians and vet technicians have signed petitions with more signing up every day and more than 18,000 petitions have been signed by Minnesotans to be delivered to state legislators.
It has often been said a society is judged morally by how it treats its very old and very young people. There should be a third criterion added to that: how a society treats its animals.
Let’s all join in an effort to get this breeder bill passed in the Minnesota Legislature. Write, call or email your senators and representatives and urge them to approve the bill. In your communications with them, please mention the current proposed versions of the bill: Senate File 36 and house File 84.
Imagine all of the terrible suffering we could help prevent if this bill is approved.