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.