By Dr. Lorin Shearburn For The Examiner

Wisconsin will no longer be a safe haven for puppy mills! The Wisconsin commercial dog breeders licensure bill, also known as the anti-puppy mill legislation, was signed into law today by Governor Jim Doyle. How does this affect cats?

The bill calls for regulation of any facility selling more than 25 dogs per year. This pertains to not only dog breeders, but humane societies and other shelters that adopt animals to the public. Over the next two years, these facilities will need to obtain a license and submit to an inspection in order to operate under the law. Although most shelters exist to help animals, some may be run with sub-standard conditions particularly hobby-type shelters that do not have any affiliation with a local municipality. If they house both dogs and cats, the cats will benefit from the facility needing to be licensed under the new law. Unfortunately, cat only facilities will continue to be unregulated. However, there are means in Wisconsin law to prosecute hoarders if animal cruelty can be proven.