Push for 'Puppy Mill Bill' Following Discovery of Severely Abuse - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Push for 'Puppy Mill Bill' Following Discovery of Severely Abused Dogs

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More than 30 dogs were abandoned on the side of the road near the Ritchie County/Doddridge County line more than a week ago.

The dogs were picked up and taken to the Ritchie County Humane Society, where they are still in custody.

Law enforcement agencies are still investigating to determine who is responsible for their abuse.

Meanwhile, others are working to promote a legislative bill that could prevent something like this from happening again.

"Our concern is that West Virginia will be a haven for puppy mill owners as other states strengthen their laws and regulations against puppy mills and having them regulated and that's what we would like to see," said Theresa Bruner, Vice President of the Federation of Humane Organizations of West Virginia.

The Federal Animal Welfare Act requires breeders with three or more breeding females that sell to pet stores or brokers to be licensed and inspected. That law does not include breeders selling directly to the public whether it be online or in person.

The Legislative Action Group of The Federation of Humane Organizations of West Virginia is pushing for a bill in 2013 that would include those breeders as well. The Federation pushed for this bill in the past, but it has been shot down four years in a row.

"A lot of people say 'I don't get my animal from the pet store.' Although that's part of the problem. The other problem is online. Just being able to get an animal online and not knowing where it came from," Bruner said.

Bruner said the bill would ensure well-being for all----the breeder, the customer and the dogs.

"Just to expect the dogs would have humane treatment, minimal care, proper housing, food and as you can see from the ones you found in Doddridge/Ritchie County, that was not the case," Bruner said.

Bruner urges anyone who purchases a dog to do his homework.

"You need to make sure that's a good breeder. You need to be able to go to their home, go to their facility and see how their dogs is raised--that whole thing. If you can't do that, there's a problem," Bruner said.

Bruner urges community members to contact their legislatures about the bill so it can be passed in 2013.

For the original story about the abused dogs, click here.  

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