You may have already read on our homepage of a raid and rescue of dogs at a puppy mill in North Carolina led by our Emergency Services unit, and documented by our investigations and video team. This raid resulted in the rescue of nearly 300 dogs, and I am sickened that the owner could be so heartless and allow the health conditions of these dogs to deteriorate so severely. Our team documented dogs in peril—with matted fur, urine burns, eye problems, embedded collars, untreated infections, gum disease, overgrown nails, and lots more, in addition to the never-ending confinement and absence of any loving human touch.
It’s the latest in a series of puppy mill raids The HSUS has conducted. And it’s more evidence of how the puppy mill industry is out of control in this nation. Current state and federal laws are not strong enough, and there are no breed registry organizations taking care of the problem. So, The HSUS continues to hit the mills, in tandem with local animal care groups, and we are rescuing thousands of dogs.
But if the rescues were the end game—as valuable as they are in delivering dogs from misery and squalor—that would not be enough. We are taking aim at pet stores that create the market for these mills. We’ve been trying to persuade Petland to stop purchasing dogs from puppy mills, and our investigations of Pets of Bel Air and other pet stores have helped spark a protest movement. Activists in Los Angeles, for example, have helped to shut down puppy sales from seven pet stores, with strong help from Last Chance for Animals and Best Friends Animal Society.
And we are also focused on strengthening the law. We expect 34 states to introduce legislation this year to crack down on puppy mills, and we’ll only get these bills passed if our supporters write and call and otherwise make their voices heard. At the federal level, we are working with U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin and Rep. Sam Farr on comprehensive legislation to address the problem since it is indeed a problem of national scope.
Fanatics in the commercial dog breeding world deny the problem. I urge them to see our video from North Carolina as well as our videos from prior investigations. Can they possibly think the current situation is acceptable?
Some may think the world is still flat, but we are not waiting for these deniers to face reality. We are getting on with our agenda, seeking to develop lasting solutions to the problem and to stop the suffering right now, too. We won’t relent until these mills are shut down, or dramatically overhauled. And we’ll use the full range of our capabilities to see that outcome achieved.