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L.A. Board of Supervisors shows commitment to eradicate puppy mills


Courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to scrutinize ordinances dictating how dog kennels are operated and tighten existing laws to prevent the unethical practices and irresponsible breeding that constitute the puppy mill industry. A review of existing laws will be completed within 45 days. The motion was presented on March 3rd by L.A. County Supervisor, Mike Antonovich on behalf of The Puppy Mill Task Force, an alliance of Best Friends Animal Society and other animal welfare and rescue organizations, county staff and volunteers.

According to Elizabeth Oreck, Best Friends L.A. Programs Manager, the motion spearheaded the process of making sweeping reforms to clean up dog kennel and breeding operations making them more accountable and humane. L.A. could be a model for the rest of the state and nation drafting legislation to make the kennel and breeding industry more responsible and rendering puppy mills a relic of the past.

Los Angeles has been on the brink of becoming the puppy mill capitol of the country according to Oreck. Puppy mills are notorious for unsafe and unhealthy living conditions, including inadequate water, food, space and medical care, the animals housed in them are subject to. Hundreds of puppies and dogs had to be seized or relocated, in the last six months, due to horrific conditions they suffered in these facilities according to Antonovich. This leads to an increase in euthanizations in L.A. County animal shelters where almost 30,000 dogs and cats are euthanized annually. All of this is paid for by taxpayer dollars.

Best Friends Animals Society has been on the forefront of exposing the connection between puppy mills and pet stores that sell puppies through its campaign A Puppy-Store-Free L.A. Through their efforts they have raised community awareness and helped pet storeowners transition to a gentler business model of offering rescued animals for adoption instead of animals raised in unethical puppy mill conditions. Best Friends will continue to work closely with the County on this issue as well as other laws for the safety and well being of animals.