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Pennsylvania's Dog Law Threatened By Puppy Provision

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By Amy Worden for

HARRISBURG – In 2008, Gov. Rendell signed the state’s new dog law, proclaiming it the toughest in the country governing commercial breeding kennels, which sell thousands of puppies to pet shops each year.
Now a standoff between the Rendell administration and animal welfare advocates over the use of wire flooring in cages is threatening final approval of the law’s regulations for the 100 commercial kennels that remain in Pennsylvania.

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission will hear public testimony Thursday before approving or rejecting the law’s 873 pages on conditions in commercial kennels.

Rendell administration officials will be defending what they call “a gap” in the law involving cage flooring. The law requires adult dogs to have solid flooring in cages, but allows puppies under 12 weeks to stand on wire flooring.

That means adults bred twice a year could end up living on wire through pregnancy and nursing for up to six or eight months a year, which opponents argue violates the spirit and letter of the law.

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