Last month, I wrote about a startling rescue The HSUS carried out with law enforcement officials in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Eighty-four Great Danes had been living in a suspected puppy mill being run out of a mansion that looked grand on the outside but was rotten on the inside. The situation had deteriorated so badly that the animals were living in filth and squalor, suffering from a variety of health problems, and some had spent countless hours locked inside cages.
Before we stepped foot in that place, we knew New Hampshire’s laws for animals were weak. We resolved that, in addition to saving the dogs and nursing them back to health, we’d fortify the legal framework against puppy mills and other forms of animal mistreatment. In recent weeks, I am delighted to report that we’ve received strong commitments from political leaders in the Granite State.
We are focused on passing legislation to reform commercial breeder regulations and also to address the enormous financial burden on communities and non-profit organizations in caring for animals seized from cruelty investigations. We already have secured bipartisan support for these concepts, and the state Senate Majority Leader, Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, has committed to sponsoring these bills.
Bradley’s got a powerful ally in Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who announced that he’s planning to work “with advocates and legislators to pass common sense legislation that protects animals, ensuring that the type of situation that took place in Wolfeboro never happens again.”
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has also weighed in and asked state authorities to take action, in addition to supporting a raft of federal legislation to strike back against cruelty.
We’re housing the dogs, including several puppies, at a temporary shelter, where we are providing enrichment activities, including obstacle courses and scavenger hunts. Our Animal Rescue Team, streaming live from the temporary shelter today (see video), played with some puppies who were cooling off at a pool party, and brought together three well-matched friends for a play date.
Meanwhile, our Stop Puppy Mills campaign continues to fight the mills and the distributors of mill dogs throughout the nation. Earlier this week, we released undercover video of suffering dogs at a high-end pet store in New York City. Since its release, the video has been viewed a remarkable 4.5 million times, and shared all over the world.
Puppy mill operators and the people who peddle mill dogs have a relentless foe in The HSUS. We won’t rest until the last mill is shuttered and every dog has his or her day in the sun.