Washington State Puppy Mill Legislation

We had a comment on the blog last week about State Senate bill 5661 in Washington.  The commenter, Dave, was against the bill because of the cost it would impose on breeders who own more than 10 adult dogs.  Dave also states that “they” are trying to make it federal law, so it could potentially affect breeders everywhere in the States.  Whether or not that last part is true, it is an interesting topic for debate.

I can’t speak for Dave, other than to show you his comment, but it appears that his concern is that the bill will be prejudicial to honest breeders in his state.  (Here is the text of his comment, in its entirety:  Washington state senate has passed BILL SSB 5651 that will affect all dog breeders in a very negative, restrictive, costly, unfair and discriminatory way. Horse, cat, rabbit and other pet brteeders are not included. It will be outrageously expensive for the state to enforce and nearly impossible to enforce. It exempts animal rescue facilities, pet stores and bording kennels. It will be expensive for breeders with ten or more dogs and make it illegal to have more than fifty dogs in your care. Access the bill at http://www.leg.wa.gov and read about what’s it’s going to cost you if you are a breeder or own more than ten dogs. Contact Wash. State representatives quickly to stop its final passage or doom is unavoidable. They are also trying to make it federal law.)

After reading a non-partisan legislative staff report, I have to say that I oppose the bill only because it does not go far enough!  For example, a commercial breeder must “provide space to allow each dog to turn about freely, to stand,sit, and lie down.” and must “provide each dog that is over the age of four months with a minimum of one exercise period during each day for a total of not less than one hour of exercise during such day.”

So, I can leave the dogs in a cage that is only big enough for them to turn around in for 23 hours each day?  Starting at the age of 4 months?  Think about the last puppy you had in your home.  Did he sleep 23 hours a day? To me, a puppy of 4 months ought to be out running and carrying on and raising hell for at least 6 – 8 hours every day.  

Some of the provisions are actually pretty good – such as the requirement that there be adequate lighting, smoke detection, fire suppression, and
protection from the weather. Also, veterinary care must be provided at least once per year and every time before a female is bred.

What do you think? Does the bill accomplish anything? Anyone know what laws are on the books or are being proposed in your own states? Here’s your chance to sound off!

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!










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7 thoughts on “Washington State Puppy Mill Legislation”

  1. By the way the law Re: Females being used for breeding… Provide veterinary care without delay when necessary. A dog may not be bred if a veterinarian determines that the animal is unfit for breeding purposes. Only dogs between the ages of twelve months and eight years of age may be used for breeding. That’s all folks

  2. The newest laws: The interior height of the enclosure must be at least six inches higher than the head of the tallest dog in the enclosure when it is in a normal standing position. Each enclosure must be at least three times the length and width of the longest dog in the enclosure, from tip of nose to base of tail and shoulder blade to shoulder blade.
    The min. 1 hour per day exercise area: must be at least 4x the size of the dogs enclosure.
    THE REAL KICKER: This section does not apply to the following:
    (a) A publicly operated animal control facility or animal shelter;
    (b) A private, charitable not-for-profit humane society or animal adoption organization;
    (c) A veterinary facility;
    (d) A retail pet store;
    (e) A research institution;
    (f) A boarding facility; or
    (g) A grooming facility.

    (5) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a commercial dog breeder licensed, before January 1, 2010, by the United States department of agriculture pursuant to the federal animal welfare act (Title 7 U.S.C. Sec. 2131 et seq.

    IMO Try again WA! This is a fail! BTW I live in WA state

  3. I have mixed feelings on this bill. I do think limitations need to be in place but I do not think true breeders (who breed to improve the breed) should be punished in the process. I think that there should be heavy fines assessed to those who fail to follow the law but only a minimal fee to register as a kennel if one has over a set number of dogs.

  4. Stay away from PuppiesEverything.ca – the “Pet Store” in Stratford, ON on Corcoran Street.The owner will proudly take you on tours of their makeshift “pet store” telling the world “Yes, I am a puppy mill!”and their “quarantine” area. They think they’re in the animal business, what they’re NOT is qualfied in any veterinary sense to be keeping the ill ones in their back room instead of sending them to an animal clinic. They lie to their customers and let the dogs die from malnutrition/ being taken from their mothers too soon, and that’s only what happened to me after we put a downpayment on a dog and went back to get it. The owner’s wife is aggressive and violent and says the Perth SPCA “Are her best friends” where complaints being filed are concerned. Don’t buy their animals and for God’s sake, breeders, sell them privately and humanely! They’re famous for taking your *downpayment* and then accepting higher prices from other buyers. Suddenly, your dog is “dead” when you go in to get it!
    If you go into these places and the animals look unhealthy, SPCA says to call them, that they aren’t allowed to go in without *cause*. But if SPCA is the “best friend” of the perpetrators, then don’t expect anyone to look after the animals’ health and welfare!
    What I have is a heartbroken kid who wanted to work to buy a puppy who has been devastated by this unprofessional dump’s cruelty and desperation for money!

  5. I do think it is very hard to adequately care for more than ten dogs, let alone fifty and limitations are a good idea to reduce the risk of mistreatment, but the dog lady is right. 23 hours in a cage is rediculous. I can maybe see it working in a play pen with other dogs, but not in a crate. But in either case they are pottying inside and that’s really unsanitary and unhealthy. The dogs never get potty trained that way. The law is almost allowing mistreatment and defeating its own purpose.

  6. While I agree with the general purpose of the bill #5651, I see no separation of breeders who breed primarily for show. These breeders provide excellent care for their dogs because they are trying to better the breed. They do sell puppies to the public but only because these puppies, although healthy, may not be to up to the standards of the breeder.
    To regulate how many sexually active dogs these show breeders may own is to hamper their efforts at breeding excellent, healthy show dogs. There needs to be careful selections for the breeding in bloodlines yet also careful observations to avoid inbreeding. If breeders are only allowed 10 sexually active dogs and no more than 50 dogs total this would be an extreme hardship on the legitiment show breeder.
    Any legislation must protect the animals but also provide the show breeder leeway for the breed standard. Puppy mills should be put out of business but good breeders should not be hampered nor harrassed.

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