Lawmakers are considering a proposed bill that would set up state regulations for commercial dog breeding operations in the Mountain State.

West Virginia Humane Society Director Summer Wyatt says it’s aimed at, what she calls, puppy mills.  “That is raising dogs as a cash crop with absolutely no concern of humane care standards,” she said.

If approved, the legislation would apply to breeders with eleven to 50 breeding dogs, the breeders who could potentially sell hundreds of puppies in a year.

They would have to be licensed, get a county permit annually and meet certain standards for care.

“The bill would just regulate these large commercial breeders, not hobby breeders, not people who are breeding a couple of litters in their backyards,” Wyatt said.

“We want to legitimize these guys (large scale breeders) and make sure that people are buying a puppy that is being taken care of, that’s being bred reputably and they’re paying taxes on the business that they’re using in West Virginia.”

HB 2838 is pending in the House Agriculture Committee with just more than three weeks to go until the close of the 2013 Regular Legislative Session.

A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate.

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  • td

    about time but the small breeders are a big problem here and so are the local pet stores that sale them.

  • CaptainQ

    Lawmakers better be careful with this. Remember the LAST time our elected leaders in Charleston tried to 'regulate' puppy mills? That's how, in the late 80's, they hastily passed the laughably notorious "Dog Tax" that in essence required ANYONE who owned more than three dogs to pay a special tax on them? As I recall, that law (later repealed quickly) was passed the same year as the equally stupid (and uncollectable) "Tree Tax." Both are comic legacies of former Governor Gaston Caperton. These tell you all you need to know about HIS Administration.

  • thornton

    “The bill would just regulate these large commercial breeders, not hobby breeders, not people who are breeding a couple of litters in their backyards, Wyatt said."

    As implied in my post above...the backyard dog breeders are some of the worst in the decisions they make or the reasons they breed dogs.
    A "couple of litters" can be a very, very bad outcome for the resulting pups.

    A lot of folks from legislators to reporters to the public need to learn a bit so as to ask the proper questions to enable the best analysis of the actual problem and so to, the best resulting legislation.

  • thornton

    "It's not about protecting the scum who breed pure bred dogs or the idiots who buy them."...Kim

    People that breed or purchase purebred dogs are scum?

    There is quite a gulf between someone that raises a breed of dog to take advantage of what that delivers in performance and consistency and those who seek to simply sell dogs by volume irregardless of wise breeding, the puppy mill.
    The problem is NOT the number of dogs owned but it is about the treatment of the dogs...5 to 50, or whatever number matters little.
    I expect the heart is in the correct spot here for the legislators but one needs to think a bit about seperating a puppy mill from a legitimate dog breeder.

    I ask again...anyone that purchases a purebred dog is scum? are the shallow, inexperienced and narrow focused idiot if that is your thought.
    Might want to run up to New York and advise the Monks of Skete and their shepherd program that they and their customers are....scum.

    What is also idiotic is the desiger cross-breeding of dogs Ie, labradoodle, et al that folks cook up simply to ring up a sales.
    Or dog fighting a la the bum Michael Vick and what he did re dogs.
    Of those points, I would agree....playing God is a bad is body-slamming them in the Vick fashion.

    This issue is not a waste of time or money but unless folks and legislators think beyond the knee-jerk emotional response of words like "puppy mill"...bad legislation will result.
    Yes, cut down on harmful practices to dogs in many situations but do not regulate good folks to death for no reason whatsoever.

    By all means, save the dogs and also consider saving the world from the Kims who are out there ...and perhaps breeding.

  • hillbilly

    Our infrastructure is crumbling, tax inflow is down, state hiring freeze.... and they are worried about this... what a waste of time. If you don't want to risk getting ripped off, don't waste hundreds of dollars on a dog!!

    • Kim

      Well, your handle explains a lot.
      Regulating breeders is about the humane treatment of animals. It's not about protecting the scum who breed pure bred dogs or the idiots who buy them.

      You are surely proud of having no room in your heart for the horrors of puppy mills and the suffering of the dogs in them.

      Congratulations on not only being ridiculously uninformed but heartless as well.

      • td

        i love my poodle and iam not scum.

        another far left fanatic folks. ^

      • Shadow

        When you disrespect people that select dogs for the characteristics that they desire, you sound like a person who would take a chance on an Indian Blanket.