Target: Arkansas House of Representatives
Goal: Regulate inhumane dog breeding and crack down on puppy mills.
Arkansas is notorious for its puppy mills. There are an estimated 250 federally approved commercial dog breeders in Arkansas, but due to lack of breeding regulation, there is no accounting for the number of non-approved breeders. Repeated attempts to push for legislation to manage dog breeders has been met with heavy opposition in the Arkansas House. Arkansas representatives instead push for legislation which will fine owners, caretakers or custodians of over 24 dogs up to $1000 per year. This, of course, does not include boarding, kennel or grooming facilities nor any government-owned or research facilities. This bill is little more than a way to line pockets and make money off of rescue facilities and foster homes for animals, and does nothing to address the problem of cruelty by already unregistered dog breeders.
Despite the continued efforts of animal rights advocates in Arkansas, there have been no major milestones in achieving breeding legislation. The Arkansas House voted on a bill which would require dog breeders to submit to small business laws. They would be taxed as any small business, they would be subject to regular inspections and they would be charged $100 for a license to breed. None of these requirements are outlandish, they are quite reasonable. They are not a sure-fire way of ending puppy mills but would be a step toward decreasing them. This bill would have made it difficult for puppy mills to sell their puppies. However, the Arkansas House claims that the bill is damaging to “responsible” breeders and “too vague” about what would constitute sub-standard conditions. The bill did not pass.
Arkansas and its pet owners and lovers are in dire need of legislation to protect their dogs and others. These laws need to be more than a money-making business for law enforcement and politicians. They need to demand licenses for the selling of puppies and a method of contract to keep track of who sold what to whom. There should be taxes on breeding businesses and regular inspections on a state level to ensure that these breeders are being held to a standard of excellence and humanity.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge the Arkansas State Government to pass legislation protecting dogs against the exploitation of puppy mills.
Dear Arkansas State Representatives,
The continued negligence of the safety of Arkansas dogs needs to stop. The presence of felony charges to animal abusers and fines aren’t enough to stymie the cruelty of puppy mills. So long as there are no laws requiring a license to breed and sell puppies, there will be no end to the exploitation of man’s best friend.
Puppy mills and commercial breeders contribute to the overpopulation of pets. These animals are left without homes and proper care to flood Arkansas’ shelters and foster homes. All of this could easily be avoided with laws that treat dog breeders as a small business, and require them to meet a humane standard of care based upon the American Kennel Club guidelines.
Implementing such laws would reduce the strain of homeless and sick animals on Arkansas’ shelters. It would protect future dogs, breeders and pet owners. It would also help ensure that those dogs without homes can receive adequate care without shelters and rescue centers being stretched thin tending to puppy mill dogs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Johnson County Sheriff’s Office