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The End Of Puppy Mills?

By Matt Hrodey for

WISCONSIN – State government is now crafting long-awaited dog breeder regulations called for by legislation signed into law last year by Gov. Jim Doyle. The requirements, which are aimed at neglectful “puppy mills” in the state, are undergoing public review before they become final.

Under the 2009 legislation, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is responsible for crafting the new licensing procedure for dog breeders, dog dealers and animal shelters in the state. The rules apply only to dog breeders who sell 25 or more dogs a year.

As reported in a January 2009 story in Milwaukee Magazine, Wisconsin has become a magnet in recent years for puppy mills. Many are Amish or Mennonite operations that have moved to the state from Pennsylvania, another hotspot for the breeders. There, however, they have faced increased scrutiny.

The same is happening in Wisconsin, which, until the new rules take effect, largely lacks any regulation of dog breeders. According to the story, “Many mills operate without regard for sound breeding practices or the dogs’ physical and emotional health. The result is often sick puppies and ‘breeder’ dogs that live a miserable existence in horrific conditions.”

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