There just may be a light at the end of the long, dark tunnel of Pennsylvania puppy mills. In puppy mills, breeding dogs for profit takes the place of breeding for health and temperament. Dogs are often kept in crowded conditions and not well socialized. Pennsylvania puppy mills are some of the worst in the nation, with the largest concentration being in Lancaster County. Thankfully, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell has made an important first step by dismissing members of the Pennsylvania Law Advisory Board. Click on this link to sign a petition thanking Governor Rendell for cracking down on the puppy mill industry.
An article in Philly.com states that PA is considered the "puppy-mill capital of the East" and that Rendell wanted to tackle the "quarter-century-old problem." Well, I can tell you from personal experience that the problem has been going on for much longer than that and it is high time it is stopped. The article states that "Animals bred in puppy mills are sold to pet shops throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, while adult dogs used for breeding are often housed for their entire lives in tiny wire cages stacked on top of each other." That alone is reason enough to get your beloved pets from rescue organizations and NOT from pet stores and certainly not from disreputable backyard breeders.
The Department of Agriculture recently proposed changes to the laws requiring breeders to provide housing for animals with a roof and 4 sides, clean, dry bedding and "adequate protection from the cold and heat". If basics such as this need to be articulated in a law, think of what that means about the current state of dog breeding.
Please support your local SPCA and other animal welfare organizations.
Thanks to Dog Bytes forum on Delphi for alerting me to this issue.