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A sad day in Texas as TDLR thumbs its nose at efforts to stop puppy mills

Puppy Mill photo courtesy SPCA of Texas

I’m a native Texan and most days I’m proud of it.  But every so often something happens that makes me wonder how we ever made it out of the dark ages.  Take today for instance.  The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has totally ignored the recommendations of its own appointed panel of experts and thousands of Texas residents in establishing standards for the care and housing for dogs and cats kept by large scale commercial breeders.  Instead they deferred to federal standards established by the Animal Welfare Act that are described as “minimal” even by the United States Department Agriculture. That means the “puppy mill bill” that should have required breeders to provide humane conditions for the animals in their care, can now house those animals in cages so small that the animals can barely turn around as well as allow the floor these animals stand on their entire lives to be 100 percent wire (like those in the photo above).

Yep, the bill called for creation of an advisory committee of experts to create humane standards of care and housing.  Which they did.  And then the Commission completely ignored those recommendations.  I’m pretty sure that’s not what the law intended.

According to Stacy Smith, President of the North Texas Chapter of the Texas Humane Legislation Network, “Obviously we are very disappointed.  Texans spoke up loudly and clearly last year in their support of a law that would improve conditions in puppy mills, and the TDLR’s decision to continue to allow the use of wire flooring, cages barely large enough for an animal to turn around, and other cruel housing is a vote against the welfare of dogs and cats who live their entire lives in breeding facilities.  Yesterday was a sad reminder that we have a long way to go to make Texas a humane place for all animals.”

A review of the TDLR website reveals little about who these people are that have so little regard for the lives of companion animals and so much esteem for those who make money on them. . “The Department has thumbed its nose at those efforts by allowing dogs and cats to live in cramped wire cages for their entire lives, pushing out litter after litter of puppies and kittens for the commercial pet trade”, according to Cori Menken, senior director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign.

I think I figured it out – I’m proud of everything about Texas except the state government.  Not a lot to be proud of there these days.

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Copyright Rebecca Poling 2012.  All rights reserved.  Email DFWAnimalRescue@att.net if you have a story you’d like to share.

12 comments for “A sad day in Texas as TDLR thumbs its nose at efforts to stop puppy mills

  1. Dianne Anthony
    March 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    What can we do?

  2. Rebecca Poling
    March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I don’t know yet. But THLN isn’t giving up, so as soon as they come up with a plan, I will post it.

  3. Allison Crook
    March 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Looks like the breeders have their ear. Here is their FB page if you want to tell them what you think. https://www.facebook.com/TDLRLicense

  4. aikesson
    March 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Write a letter to your state representative (not your federal representative, but your representative in the state legislature). Get your friends and family, as well as your neighbors, to do the same. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers and news stations. Put pressure on them. No politician wants to look like they hate companion animals in front of their electorate. YOU elect them to serve YOU — make them follow through on that promise.

  5. Don Rorschach
    March 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    You will find that the Texas Legislature and the agencies respond to whoever pays them the most. Has always been that way and will continue until there is a complete change of politicians and we get rid of these cronies whether Republican or Democrat. As a matter of fact, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between the Democrats and Republicans who are sent to Austin.

    So long as these cronies are in control of the government and agencies, the puppy mills will operate just as abusively as they always have.

  6. Barbara Eckert
    March 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    These people have no hearts or working brains – what in the world is wrong with these people? They create an advisory panel of experts then completely ignore their recommendations? Shame on you TDLR!! We will be back!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:06 am

    I am a veteran volunteer of rescueing thousands of puppy mill victims of greed. It appears to me that money talks and BS DOESNT walk in the case of TDLR.

    We as animal welfare advocates MUST put our differences aside and work on this TOGETHER. Our best weapon at this point is consumer education-lets get out there at Traders Village, pet stores and other venues where the scum of the earth puppy millers prey on the general publics naivity of the dirty little secrets behind all those cute little puppies they sell.

  8. Karen Kuchcinski
    March 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    “I’m pretty sure that’s not what the law intended.”
    And I’m pretty sure that the members of this advisory committee are in someone’s pocket.
    I am appalled.

  9. Richard Gonzales
    March 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

    The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

    If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.

    George Graham Vest – c. 1855

  10. Richard Gonzales
    March 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Why would you turn your back on him? Your best friend.

  11. Daniel Beard
    April 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    TDLR did not thumb their nose at the Animal Advisory Board recommendations. They chose to follow the USDA blue print to mitigate the “economic component impact for compliance” lawsuit threat. This law if invoked, which was threatened to be by several organizations in the public comment forum, could have delayed implementation of HB1451 for years until the courts determined the legality of the animal advisory board recommendations if they were put into the statutes. Rather than waste time in the courts bickering over the details about how breeders are suppose to pay to meet the new legal requirements, TDLR decided to move forward with the law. They will probably implement the recommendations later, which would have been delayed anyway by a lawsuit. It is rather immature to disparage TDLR, who as the government agency that will be regulating puppy mills, should be commended on their professionalism they have demonstrated in this process. Puppy mills are history. And TDLR will see to it. Idiots who hate, unfortunately, are not history. We are stuck with them forever…

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