Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) has introduced a bill which would provide much-needed regulations for breeders and owners of puppy mills. The legislation, known delightfully as the “Puppy Protection Bill,” calls for amendments to the animal welfare act and would implement tougher requirements to license dog breeders.

Today, breeders only have to follow minimal standards for their license to be approved. This has often led to harsh and almost unlivable conditions for the puppies they are breeding.

The USDA’s new regulations would require more livable conditions to be added to the existing rules. Some of these regulations would include:

  • Prohibiting breeders from keeping dogs in freezing or hot conditions.
  • Requiring breeders to have injured and sick dogs promptly examined by a veterinarian.
  • Setting specific limits on breeding age and frequency to allow mother dogs to rest between litters of puppies.
  • Requiring breeders to feed dogs at least twice per day with a well-balanced & enriching food.
  • Requiring breeders to socialize their puppies with humans and compatible dogs at least 30 min a day.
  • Requiring breeders to attempt to rehome unwanted dogs or dogs who can no longer reproduce instead of euthanizing them.

The Humane Society continues to advise people “adopt don’t shop,” but says that if breeding is going to continue, that the breeders need to be held to stricter regulations.

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