Despite heightened public awareness, puppy mills continue to plague communities across the nation. The Animal Legal Defense is working across the country to combat puppy mills from multiple legal channels.
The term “puppy mill” generally refers to a large-scale commercial dog-breeding facility where the emphasis is on profits over the welfare of the dogs. The goal of puppy mills is to produce the largest number of puppies as quickly as possible, without consideration of genetic quality or the care of the animals.
The dogs are generally kept in crowded, unsanitary conditions. They often lack good food, clean water, and veterinary care. The mother “breeder” dogs may give birth to multiple litters per year throughout her adult life. They, and aging father dogs, will regularly be abandoned or killed when they are no longer “useful” to their breeders.
As a result of the breeding practices of puppy mills, it is common for puppy mill dogs to suffer from genetic and hereditary conditions, and deadly diseases. Additionally, many puppy mill dogs experience behavioral and psychological problems throughout their lives from lack of early socialization and being weaned too young.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting criticism of the dog meat trade from Chinese citizens, the national government of China has issued draft guidelines to reclassify dogs from “livestock” to “companion animals.”May 20, 2020 Animal Law Update
In the U.S., some municipalities are grappling with whether pigs kept as companions should be allowed in residential areas that exclude animals legally defined as “livestock.”May 20, 2020 Animal Law Update
‘Tiger King’ could have been a change agent. Despite the impetus of the 5-year project — finding a big cat in someone’s white van in the heat of summer — a deliberate choice was made not to focus on the tigers at all. Their story remains untold.May 11, 2020 Legally Brief
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