Projects & Politics > State Of Mine >> Indiana HB Targets Breeders

In 2007 and 2008 anti-dog legislation swept the country.

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Indiana State Representative Ralph Foley opposes HB 1468 wording which targets dog breeders instead of puppy mills, also expresses concern about HSUS.


Indiana legislators are challenged to make a distinction between puppy mills and dog breeders through a bill introduced this session.

Yes, I am strongly against cruel puppy mill operations and animal abuse. On the other hand, I have no quarrels with those who breed dogs, show dogs or wish to own purebred dogs as family pets.

HB 1468 started as an animal cruelty bill, and it is an appropriate place to address cruel puppy mills. In committee, several large amendments were introduced, targeting dog breeders. Once it became clear that this bill would target all dog breeders, I thought that it would be appropriate for a summer study committee to examine dog breeding standards, but that approach was rejected.

The bill’s requirements for raising dogs are minute and arcane. Thankfully, some of the details were removed when exposed. The bill’s specific requirements for lighting, mechanical ventilation, exercise, housing, age of breeding and so forth lack practicality. The responsible breeder’s viewpoint was not taken into account when this language was inserted into the bill.

The definition of “commercial breeding” was created to target puppy mill abuse, is defined by arbitrary numbers and not by any commercial aspect. A “pet dealer” is one who sells as few as five puppies in one year.

A pet dealer must maintain detailed records and is subject to law enforcement inspections. All dog breeders would likewise be pet dealers.

The “lemon law” amendment goes even further, requiring the seller of a dog to guarantee the animal’s health regardless of buyer neglect, illness or whether the illness existed at the time of sale. The provision even goes as far as guaranteeing the genetics of a sold animal even when congenital conditions cannot be detected or possible to predict.

Given all these added provisions in the bill, it’s easy to conclude the bill would impede legitimate breeding of dogs and not target the cruel, abusive puppy mills.

Another concern is that the Humane Society in the United States is an animal-rights political action group, not an association or voice for your local humane society. It is well-organized and well-funded.

The Humane Society of the United States is often opposed by sportsmen and women, livestock farmers and others because of the extreme views and policies expressed by the group’s leadership. Whether accurate of not, it is commonly perceived that it opposes all dog breeding.

It is not hard to conclude HB 1468 was intended to go beyond raising awareness and correcting the abuses of puppy mills.

I hope dog lovers will contact their state senators and ask them to distinguish between cruel puppy mills and legitimate dog breeders.

“Ask them to focus the legislation on attacking the problem of cruelty and unethical treatment of man’s best friend. Ask them to restore common sense and reject the anti-dog breeder bias in HB 1468.”

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