State lawmakers consider new penalties for people caught running puppy mills

Massachusetts

BOSTON (WWLP) – In an attempt to keep all animals safe and healthy, lawmakers are teaming up with the MSPCA to protect the pets you buy from a breeder. 

The joint committee on municipalities heard eight different bills that would add protections for animals across the Commonwealth. 

House Bill 17-57 would impose fines on people who operate puppy mills, or breed animals in inhumane conditions.

“Small cages, animals covered with feces, they’re not being fed proper food or water, they’re coming down with various diseases, heartworm, pneumonia, just tough animal welfare conditions,” Rep. Bruce Ayres, the bill’s sponsor said. 

Lawmakers said people are buying sick animals without knowing it, then they grow attached and might have to put the animal down because they were not informed on their conditions by the breeders. 

“One of the bills we’re working on today would allow people to receive some compensation for veterinary bills that they’ve spent when they’ve purchased an animal that has been sick,” Cara Holmquist, director of advocacy at the MSPCA said.

Through the puppy mill bill, breeders and pet shops would be required to display and provide full documentation for all the animals they sell. This includes health records and American Kennel Club certifications.

Animal rights activists said the legislation would not hurt rescue dog agencies, it would simply protect consumers from buying pets with known prior illnesses or conditions. 

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