HELP PUT AN END TO PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
This petition had 4,509 supporters
Changing Georgia's laws to end puppy mill cruelty, pet over population and consumer fraud is critical because:
In Georgia and throughout the United States there are no laws adequately regulating the puppy mill industry. Puppy mills are mass-breeding facilities that produce puppies with an emphasis on profit over welfare of the animal. These mills generally house animals in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. The conditions in mills are deplorable and inhumane. Mills are selling their animals to pet stores and individuals in the State of Georgia and throughout the United States.
Each animal purchased represents one less home for an animal in a shelter who will die for lack of guardian.
Tax payers throughout the State of Georgia are paying over 30 MILLION DOLLARS per year to euthanize over 300,000 adoptable dogs and cats.
Meanwhile, pet stores throughout the State of Georgia are purchasing their animals from mills in Georgia and throughout the United States.
Here are the facts:
The State of Georgia euthanizes approximately 300,000 unwanted dogs and cats per year. The average cost to retain, board and euthanize an animal is $100 per animal.
Approximately 80,000 of these unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized at facilities in the metro-Atlanta area.
YOU are paying for this!
Commercial breeding is a primary cause of pet over population.
If your local breeder, pet store or someone you know is selling animals not acquired from a shelter, rescue or humane society they are selling their animals for commercial purposes and supporting commercial breeding.
Why is this a problem?
Each year, commercial breeders deliberately bring millions of animals into an already overpopulated world to sell them for profit. Many more dogs are procured from pet stores who purchase from puppy mills or breeders than are adopted from shelters and rescue organizations.
25% of dogs in shelters are purebreds who were originally purchased then abandoned.
It is estimated that 10,000 puppy mills produce more than 2,400,000 puppies each year in the United States and that nearly all pet store puppies, kittens and many pet store rabbits come from mills.
The inhumane conditions in mill facilities lead to health and behavioral issues as well as congenital and hereditary illness and disease. Puppy mill puppies often arrive in pet stores and their new homes malnourished and with various diseases including giardia, parvovirus, kennel cough, heartworm, and distemper. These diseases often lead to excessive veterinary costs to the consumer.
Rabbits are often treated inhumanely in breeding mills and because rabbits can multiply every 28 days, rabbit mills are particularly prone to problems of overcrowding. These animals are often viewed as disposable, and after the Easter holiday it is estimated that as many as 80% of rabbits sold as Easter or springtime pets are abandoned by their owners.
Pet stores throughout the State of Georgia are using mills as their primary source for animals. These pet stores are selling these animals to unsuspecting consumers for substantial profit. Although countless consumers have issued formal complaints against these pet dealers, these dealers have not been brought to justice because the laws in the State of Georgia fail to regulate and police their fraudulent and inhumane conduct.
"If you want to make money in this business you have to sell your soul. You can't care about animals at all." - Pet Store Employee Fins and Feathers, Ashburn, VA
What are our state and county law makers doing about this injustice?
Current state, federal and local laws do not adequately address the issue of pet overpopulation, consumer fraud and the inhumane treatment of animals that results from commercial breeding and pet dealing.
The lack of enforcement resources at local, state and federal levels allow many inhumane mills to operate unnoticed and without consequence.
The laws in Georgia are a prime example of the failure of state and local laws to adequately address these issues. In 2000 Georgia adopted the Georgia Animal Protection Act. The Act was passed in effort to increase punishment for animal cruelty convictions and address licensing provisions for kennels as well as impoundment.
The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the regulation of the Georgia Animal Protection Act. The department employs only 19 Animal Protection Inspectors and 4 Animal Protection Field Supervisors who are responsible for enforcing the Animal Protection Act, Bird Dealers Licensing Act, Animal Protection Rules and Regulations and Bird Dealers Licensing Rules and Regulations for all 159 counties in the State of Georgia. This means that approximately 0.14465409 of a person is present in your county today making sure animals are being humanely treated and bred responsibly.
There are approximately 3000 pet dealers licensed pursuant to the provisions of the Georgia Animal Protection Act. This means that for every one licensed pet dealer in the State of Georgia there is 0.00766667 of an inspector verifying that the pet dealer is in compliance with the Georgia Animal Protection Act. As a result, mill owners, pet stores supporting the mill industry and irresponsible breeders receive licenses and license renewals every year from the Georgia Department of Agriculture irrespective of their deceptive, inhumane and unlawful practices.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture is even issuing licenses to pet dealers who are notorious puppy mill operators. Some of these mills have been cited and fined by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has also been made aware that many pet stores in the State of Georgia are purchasing their animals from pet dealers that are required to be licensed and have failed to apply for licenses. The Department of Agriculture has done NOTHING about these violations.
"K Bar Kennels in Georgia stands out in my memory as one of the worst puppy mills I've seen in all my years looking at puppy mills. The collection of ramshackle, rundown structures included filthy raised rusted metal cages with uncoated wire floors. Underneath all of these types of structures was a very large buildup of feces. The long-haired dogs at K-Bar all had excessive matting in their coats and two of the dogs I appeared despondent." -HSUS investigator 2009.
This kennel was placed under quarantine by the State of Georgia due to an outbreak of parvovirus on at least two occasions. Parvovirus is highly contagious and often deadly to puppies. This kennel remains in operation today in Georgia!
To add insult to injury...
Animal shelters throughout the State of Georgia employ internal policies and procedures that make it even more difficult for individuals to adopt animals by prohibiting the direct adoption or claim of certain breeds arbitrarily categorized as aggressive. This is known as a "breed specific" legislation.
The Center for Disease Control strongly recommends against breed-specific laws.
The GSPCA notes the complete absence of scientific data indicating the efficacy of breed-specific laws. The GSPCA concludes that when breed specific laws are enacted these laws result in the unfair and inhumane targeting of responsible pet guardians and their dogs.
What have other counties/cities done about this injustice?
Over 100 municipalities in the US and Canada have enacted ordinances addressing the sale of puppy and kitten mill dogs and cats, including; Chicago, Cook County, Los Angelas, California; San Diego, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Austin, Texas; Brick, New Jersey and Toronto, Canada;
Note not a single city or county in Georgia is on this list.
What can you do about this injustice?
Sign this Petition and DEMAND that your County Commissioners propose, support and help pass laws that regulate commercial breeding, protect you from consumer fraud, protect animals from being inhumanely bred and exploited for profit and control the pet population in Georgia.
TELL YOUR COMMISSIONERS TO PROTECT OUR PAWS!
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