Pet breeders could face new laws if controversial bill is passed

POSTED: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 3:27pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am

WACO -- The controversial "Puppy Mill" Bill has been passed by the Texas Senate. The bill regulates cat and dog breeders in an attempt to cut back on puppy mills. Commercial dog and cat breeders would have new regulations, fees and licensing requirements. However, not everyone is okay with the proposed law.

Texas is one of the top states for puppy mills, a record that Central Texas dog-breeder Laura Hostak wants no part of.

"Puppy mills are horrible. Anyone that's seen it can vouch for that. It's a horrible, terrible thing, and someone needs to step in and look out for these dogs," says Hostak.

That's what the so-called "Puppy Mill" Bill aims to do.

Donna Stone with the Central Texas Kennel Club is against the bill. She says licensing and regulation rules will hurt responsible breeders.

"Why should I be paying for someone else like the puppy mill? Why should I be licensed so I can support a bill that is punitive to all of us?" questions Stone. "We already have laws on the books that should be taking care of the puppy mills."

In addition to new fees, breeders will have to provide basic grooming, yearly veterinarian exams and clean caging. The new rules apply to those who sell 20 or more animals a year and have at least 11 females capable of breeding.

Hostak believes caring for that many dogs should be regulated more strictly.

"I am really against puppy mills. I'm okay with breeding on a small scale. I believe there's a demand for pure bred dogs. I think it's okay to occasionally check in on people and make sure their dogs are well taken care of."

The kennel club says they're against puppy mills, too, but this bill won't solve that problem.

"It's going to put an unfair financial burden on those of us that are doing their best to raise quality animals according to the breed standards so that we have the enjoyment of pure bred dogs," says Stone.

Now the bill heads back to the House for a final approval before sending it to Gov. Perry's desk.

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