This is a reminder, a plea, to the residents of Louisiana to write their representatives in support of House Bill 710, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Carmody, which will be heard in the Agricultural Committee, probably this week. The bill recognizes the acute need for oversight of commercial dog breeding facilities to register annually, to pay taxes on their revenue, and to be inspected and provide proof of veterinary oversight.

Commercial breeding facilities, commonly called puppy mills, are defined as having 10 or more female dogs used for breeding. These businesses are essentially factory farms, and came to be after World War II when the Department of Agriculture advocated for the sure “crop” of purebred dogs to replace the crop failures of our farmers.

Puppy mill owners have no interest in their dogs, only in profits, and their breeding reflects this. The dogs produced in these factories are allowed to reproduce irrespective of their genetics, producing puppies with a spectrum of system defects. In addition, the poor conditions, lack of veterinary supervision and poor nutrition contribute to the compromised condition of the breeding dogs and their litters. It’s a moral and ethical crime to keep companion dogs in such dwellings, in wire cages which injure their paws and cause discomfort when they move, for their entire lives. These poor dogs have no exercise, socialization with people or other dogs, and live without toys, treats or any quality of life. These dogs often end up in shelters or at auction when they are no longer useful as breeding stock, costing the taxpayers money to house and euthanize.

Puppy mills are the bane of responsible breeders who pay attention to the genetic heritage of their litters, and who are scrupulous about the health and socialization of the mothers and pups. Responsible breeders make sure the people who buy their puppies will provide excellent care. Puppy mill owners will sell to anyone; the profit motive trumps any interest in animal welfare.

The way we treat our animals is a hallmark of our humanity. Please encourage your representative to support HB710; it represents a small but much needed step in the progress of animal welfare in Louisiana.

Genie Goldring

Supporters of New Orleans Animal Permit

New Orleans