Bye Bye, Puppy Mills!


Governor Dayton speaks to the press
after signing the bill into law.

Time to celebrate, SWDers! It’s been a long road to get here (one with its share of disappointments), but yesterday, May 20, Governor Mark Dayton signed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (H.F. 3172) into law, which included the MN Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill.

The new law protects dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens in commercial breeding facilities better than ever before. The law is aimed at “commercial breeders,” whom the law defines as:

…a person who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses ten or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies or kittens per year.

Under the new law, each commercial breeder must:

  • Be licensed
  • Allow the MN Board of Animal Health to inspect their facilities to enforce laws and ensure animal care standards are met
  • Keep identifying and medical records for each animal
  • Develop and maintain veterinary protocol to control and prevent disease
  • Provide “daily enrichment” to their animals, providing physical contact with people and other animals at least twice a day
  • Provide ample staff to maintain the facility, monitor animal health, and properly care for them
  • Provide a veterinary health certificate for the animal being sold
  • Wait until all puppies and kittens are at least 8 weeks old before selling them, unless otherwise directed by a vet for the animal’s health or well-being

This law means huge wins for animals everywhere (including Ali’s sweet “lemon” Luc, who we’re sure would have considered this a victory) and goes into effect July 1, 2014. Within one year, all new and existing commercial breeders must register with the MN Board of Animal Health. This ensures that by July 2016 each commercial breeder will have had their first inspection.

Thanks to Governor Mark Dayton, Representative John Lesch and Senator John Marty for chief authoring the bills in the House and Senate respectively, the Animal Humane Society, Animal Folks MN, the members of the coalition (full list included here), and every single veterinarian, animal organization, and citizen who signed a petition in support of this bill or others like it. Congratulations!



0 thoughts on “Bye Bye, Puppy Mills!

  1. Yankee Red

    We already have pretty much the same laws here in Georgia where I live now and there are puppy mills up and running here! The real problem is not enough inspectors and it is clearly the problem u have too. I see that in the comment that all new and running com. breeders will all be inspected by 2016 OMG! that is crazy!! I thought they are all to be inspected twice a year (it is that way here in Ga) and it is gonna take you two year to get them all looked at just one time OMG! all u animals rights people need to address this and put some of the money u all line your pockets with from the dogs/cats you rescue and hire a lot more inspectors to do this law the right for the animals!!! that is what really needs to be none to do this law right and to enforce it. If no one see the problem no one will be able to stop it… oh yeah it looks good in writing but that is all it does… so puppy mill will run for at least 2 years before they are even looked at one time and they might even get away with it and will be clear to run for at least another 2 years OMG!!
    Hello People Can Ya Hear Me NOW!!
    I’m just sayin!!

  2. pat

    Unfortunately only the responsible breeders will comply with this law. ” Backyard” breeders won’t bother, because they are not a registered kennel, therefor not traceable. The very breeders this new law is aimed at will not be effected by it. The good, ethical, responsible breeders will be, which will effect if they can continue breeding.

  3. Cheryl Winsted

    This is terrific!! Now it’s time to take it a step further and end backyard breeders. There are too many out there breeding and selling dogs for profit that nobody knows about.

  4. Avis Holt

    This is fantastic news. One thing I’m not clear on is the amount of pregnancies a single dog or cat is allowed to have within one year. The way I read it they can be made to have FIVE litters a year, is that humane or even possible. I hope I’m wrong. Other than that, I certainly hope this law is enforced. We need to really crack down on the greedy breeders who think that these poor animals are just nothing but money making machines for them.

    1. Lor

      It is not possible for one dog to have even two litters in a calendar year. Most bitches have a cycle every 6 months. I would never back to back breed a bitch that has this kind of cycle. The norm for my girls is once every 10 – 12 months, in that case back to back breeding is possible. I usually only have 2-3 litters with my girls and then get them spayed.

    2. Donna Watkins

      Why is it immoral to make money from livestock? Do you begrudge farmers making money from beef cattle or chickens?

      And the way you read it is wrong. How hard is it to do a google search to see how many times a year companion animals are able to be bred? Do you think dogs and cats in their wild state skip a heat every now and then? Probably not.

  5. Ellie

    Like the previous posters said, this will do nothing to stop the backyard breeders, the ones who have a cute whatzit and want the miracle of birth to be available for their children, or the ones who are breeding without any concern for the health and genetics of the breedings they do. They will continue on their merry way, breeding itzadoodles and whatzitapoos and all the cute little designer dogs that they can charge bucu bucks for, while the hobby breeder or show breeder, who carefully plans the right breedings, does the genetic and health checks before breeding, carefully selects homes for their puppies, will get stomped on. The laws were already in place to deal with the “puppy millers” but not enforced. Do you folks realize that you have allowed the animal rights movement to put a number on allowable intact dogs–yes, 10 might sound like a lot, but nothing will stop their attempts to reduce it to 2 or 3 or less. HSUS won in MN because no one realized who they really are. When you no longer have the chance to own a healthy, well-planned and bred puppy and your only choice is a mixed breed of unknown parentage with no genetic history or health checks, it will be too late. I, for one, love my purebred dogs, but I also have done my share of rescue–of local dogs, not “imported from other states” dogs and to this day am involved in my breed rescue. There is no shortage of dogs needing homes because some groups feel it necessary to rehome the castoffs of out of state puppy mills, even when they are not truly rehomable. Wake up and smell the coffee, folks. You have been had by HSUS and PETA. This is step one in their agenda to rid us of companion animals.

  6. Suzanne Sutton

    Yeah right – see how much this “stops” these horrible breeders – the breeding business should be put out of business period – people who do this are SICK. They should be “put down” and the business of breeding should be closed. We have thousands upon thousands of dogs that are put down every single day in the US so we have plenty of “dogs” to go around to those who want one.

    Stop this insane business for good – let’s see how much good this “good news” helps? Very questionable to me.


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