by Lisa Stahr
My dog Belle is a wonderful, sweet, and oh-my-god-so-timid black Lab who was pulled out of a high-kill shelter in Georgia by Golden Gate Lab Rescue in California. Belle has been a card-carrying member of our family for over two years now and we love her wholly, deeply, and without reservation.. The problem, though, is that Belle is afraid of everything, including parked cars, garbage cans, telephone poles, even falling leaves. The behaviorist we take Belle to, a veterinarian who specializes in animal behavior, thinks our girl might have been a breeder dog in a puppy mill, which is why she’s so fearful; being kept in a crate all her life with no time out for exercise or play made Belle unfamiliar with–and thus, deathly afraid of–all the things that the rest of us take for granted, like parked cars, garbage cans, telephone poles, and falling leaves.
I’m familiar with the horrors of puppy mills; I did an episode on puppy mills and animal hoarders on Scout’s House’s Internet radio show, Special Pets, Special Needs (to listen, please go to http://specialpetsspecialneeds.com/page/5/ and listen to Episode 6: The Making of Special Needs Pets). It’s a truly horrible life these animals live, plain and simple. And as an animal lover, I would love to see puppy mills shut down for good.
So it should come as no surprise that I strongly support S. 3424/H.R. 5434, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act, introduced by Representative Sam Farr–and I urge you to support it to by signing this ASPCA petition:
And here is a nice summation of the S. 3424/H. R. 5434, courtesy of Anna Eshoo, congresswoman for California’s 14th District:
H.R. 5434 is designed to shore up restrictions on commercial dog breeders who evade animal cruelty regulations by marketing dogs directly to consumers. The bill would ensure that any high-volume breeder is required to provide dogs with sufficient space to exercise, humane and safe living conditions, and protection against forced activity unrelated to medical treatment.
Please take a moment to sign the ASPCA petition http://ow.ly/21lYk. Belle thanks you for it. And so do I.