Animal welfare activists are hoping that 2013 is the year to finally pass a law that would protect cats and dogs bred for profit in the state of Minnesota. Unlike neighboring Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, the state of Minnesota has no law to license, inspect or regulate the dog and cat breeding industry.
While many breeders act responsibly, many others allow breeding animals to live in unimaginable conditions. The parents of the adorable kittens or puppies found in pet stores or online may not receive any veterinary care let alone human contact, and may be living in their own feces and urine, packed tightly in kennels where they are bred over and over again, then inhumanely disposed of without thought or ceremony.
Authored by Senator John Marty and Representative John Lesch, S.F. 36/H.F. 84 would require commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota to be licensed, give the Minnesota Board of Animal Health the legal authority to inspect and enforce state laws to make sure standards are met, and impose penalties for those that break the law.
Nancy Minion, the President and Co-founder of Second Chance Animal Rescue, has been working on this issue for six years now. On the front lines in the animal rescue world, she’s seen her share of traumatized animals from breeding facilities.
“We needed this law six years ago—we needed this law 20 years ago,” Minion says. “Inhumane conditions in breeding facilities are the problems we’re trying to address in this bill.”
What can you do to help? To start, attend the rally to support the bills at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 19, from 3-4 p.m. For more information, to sign up for the rally and learn more, go to www.SpeakUpMN.org.