Hillsborough County passed a ban in ’17, but allowed 3 stores. Today they said, “Shut them all down!”

Back in May of 2017, Hillsborough County said “no more” to puppy stores, but grandfathered the three puppy stores in. Which in our eyes is no ban, of course.

But the puppy mill paradigm reared its ugly head last September when 300 puppy mill dogs had to be rescued in Hillsborough County in deplorable condition.

Who let the dogs out? Hillsborough County says puppy mill rescues now ready for adoption

More than 300 dogs were rescued in mid-September from terrible conditions inside a Valrico puppy mill. They will be put up for adoption in a few weeks.

These are four of the puppies rescued from a puppy mill in Valrico as they wait to be checked by veterinary staff at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. More than 300 small-breed dogs were rescued in September and will soon be put up for adoption. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times]

Article

Just like Reno’s errant puppy store’s Grand Jury indictment got Reno to entertain a ban in earnest once again, so to the terrible ways of the puppy mills and the stores that sell them (all retail stores, as you should know by now) always seem to inflame animal rights and consumer protection activists to get bans passed in their cities, counties, states and even entires countries.

We track jurisdictions that have passed strong restrictions rather than full bans because we believe their inherent flaws will eventually lead to full bans being passed. This is a great example of why jurisdictions should just pass a full ban, no grandfathering and be done with the whole hot mess.

Dog and cat retailers banned in Hillsborough, commission rules

The change prohibits all commercial cat and dog sales in the county, which could force Hillsborough’s three remaining pet shops out of business.

Article

Olympia WA tells new puppy store: No Thank You!

Just weeks after puppy store Puppy World opened in Olympia Washington, activist and veterinarian council member Lisa Parshley led the charge at the city council which passed a ban unanimously in a first reading on 2/11/20.

Council Member and Veterinarian Lisa Parshley

Puppy World is part of a small, but clearly interested in expanding, franchise called PuppyLand which operates in Puyallup, WA; Olympia, WA (but only until amortization expires next September); and Meridian, Idaho.

This passage brings the count to 7 bans in Washington.

One wonders if activists in neighboring Oregon just don’t care…. They are the only state on the west coast to not have a single ban anywhere in the state.

To be fair, the state legislature entertained a state-wide ban in the 2018 session, but without a single town or city making a statement, it’s hard to get states to sign on.

See all 23 states without a single local ban.

Jurisdictions with puppy stores in them when bans were passed has now increased to 72. Two in a row now with the fantastic news from Naperville, Illinois, whose ban passed 1/2020 after 6 years of fighting to get it done.

Legend for our GOOGLE MAP OF INTERNATIONAL BANS & RESTRICTIONS.

Belfast City Council Calls For Lucy’s Law Ban in Northern Ireland

Heart strings across the globe where tugged when the news broke of poor Lucy, the puppy farm breeder dog with a deformed back who was rescued from a puppy farm in Wales.

Lucy, recused.

The good news from that sad story is that it sparked the first countrywide ban in the world. England passed its ban in the summer of 2019 to become affective April Fools’ Day, 2020.

Wales

Welsh activists have long hoped a similar ban in Wales could actually pass before England’s went into effect. But often the wheels of law turn slowly. Wales had its public comment period completed last summer and the law will be “laid” sometime in the near future, but the nightmare of BREXIT has put a lot of UK laws on the back burner until they figure out the path forward.

The Wales Parliament has met this month and projected a laying if the law, but not before Spring.

Scotland

Scotland, too, has started the process. A little bit of a surprise as there were some important players in the animal welfare realm in Scotland that were actually against the law for some perplexing reason. But, speaking of reason, reason prevailed and Scotland is moving forward. Though they not only have a Brexit to contend with, but a growing movement for independence from the UK which has an urgency at the moment.

Northern Ireland

That left Northern Ireland as the only UK member country to not take a position on England’s passage of Lucy’s Law. Calls for action and passage continue to come in. One in August 2019 and now, 1/2020, the Belfast City Council is demanding parliament take action sooner than later.

UK

Links and latest news can be seen in our UK section. Click the details arrow for information.

Maine’s Convoluted Path to Statewide Ban

Maine is the third state In the US to ban puppy mill sales. Fourth in the world after the Australian state of Victoria.

The state allows puppy mill stores that were in operation in May 2019 to continue, but they cannot expand past the number of sales per year of the 2019 level.

Not many puppy stores in Maine. There’s this nightmare, but hopefully the only one. And perhaps protestors will shame them into closing.

LePageBoth houses of Maine’s legislature passed a bill prohibiting the sales of dogs and cats in 2015 while evil Governor Paul LePage sat on the Governor’s chair.

Had he signed the bill or passed it into law without signing, Maine’s would have been the first statewide ban in the world: the first in the US by 2 years (CA passed in late 2017) and beating out the first statewide ban in the world by a few months: Victoria, Australia, passed in the closing days of 2017.

Governors typically have 4 ways of dealing with a bill:

  1. Sign it into law
  2. Pass it into law without signing it
  3. Do nothing: do not sign and do not pass into law (next Gov could sign)
  4. Veto, effectively killing the bill

Monster Governor, Paul LePage, chose Door #3 and the bill languished.

ChrisieOh so reminiscent of (twin brother?) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie choosing Door #4 for his state even after an overwhelming passage in both houses in March of 2017.

In November 2019, a new Governor was elected by the good people of Maine. Gov. Janet Mills also sat on this and many other “no action” bills on her brand new desk for a full year until January 12, 2020, when she opted for Door #2: move the bill to law.

Gov. Janet Mills did not sign the bill, effectively saying she didn’t necessarily approve of the bill, but since it passed both houses she thought it should become public law.

Mills
Governor Janet T. Mills passed puppy mill store prohibition into law twelve months after taking office in January 2019.

Another blue state!

Other states are doing the same.

Read about them in Landslide of Statewide Bans if OR, CO, WI, MA, PA, ME, & NY Pass Pending Bills

Fairplay, CO: Ordinance 1, First of 2020

Fairplay, Colorado started the new year off right with the first known ban of the new decade, passed 1/6/2020.

Fairplay is a small town and the ordinance passed easily from an activist asking the council to do it last December. They said “Sure!” and here it is, signed, sealed and delivered. Would that all jurisdictions would go so smoothly.

Wales steps up the pace after BBC doc exposes more animal cruelty at Welsh puppy farms

The current flurry of bans across the UK was triggered by the condition of Lucy, a badly disfigured breeding female uncovered in a Welsh puppy mill.

Changing legislation is not a quick process, and nor should it be.  The correct procedures must be followed to ensure the development of sound, evidence-based, proportionate legislation aimed directly at optimising standards of animal welfare and encouraging responsible animal ownership.

 I have already committed to reviewing the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs)(Wales) Regulations 2014 and also made clear the value I see in banning third party sales of puppies and kittens if a ban could deliver the health and welfare standards I wish to see in Wales. Further urgent action is needed and the following actions have been undertaken this week:

CABINET WRITTEN STATEMENT: Dog Breeding in Wales

The BBC Wales Investigates documentary, Inside the UK’s Puppy Farm Capital and accompanying clip Wyre Davies is on the trail of the people behind the multi-million pound puppy industryis a blistering video essay on the horrors of puppy farms, mills or large-scale breeding ops, however you wish to call the despicable practice.

BBC Wales Investigates the people behind the multimillion-pound puppy industry. New owners can spend thousands of pounds on dogs, but what’s really going on inside licenced premises? Wyre Davies confronts the breeders, inspectors and vets who should be policing the trade.

BBC Wales Investigates

First year since 2016 where bans will be higher than previous year.

Nearly all years since the breakthrough 2009 passage in South Lake Tahoe that started the movement have had a higher number of bans than the previous year with exceptions in 2011, ’17 & ’18.

2019 broke that trend when Dillon, Colorado passed the 41st ban of 2019, besting 2018’s count by 1. Since, 2 more bans have rolled in before the holiday break.

Average bans per year just bumped to 33

We track average bans per year since the first activist ban targeting a puppy store was passed by the hard work of Dawn Armstrong, then Executive Director of South Lake Tahoe Humane Society, which no longer exists. 1

Dawn and the whole community were disgusted by the puppy store there, Brock’s Pups, run by the Franks family, grandfather and grandson, who also owned Lil’ Pups in Carson City and Pets R Us in Meadowood Mall, Reno.

The day Dawn got the ordinance passed, the language of which is still largely in use to this day, the Franks were lead out of Brocks’ Pups in handcuffs for 1). Drug trafficking to minors for which ol’ man Franks was sent up the river for 6 years; and, 2). Parole violations.

Since that fateful day that started a movement, 364 bans have been passed in total, 41 have been passed in 2019, which just bested the previous year, and our average bans per year popped from 32 to 33.

https://puppymillfree.us

We do have to note, however, we’re only at 40% of the bans passed in the single year 2016 and at just over 10% of the total bans passed. And so far, with the clock ticking to the end of the year, no statewide bans have yet been passed in 2019.

Good news, though: one COUNTRYWIDE ban passed this year, in England, with 2 more on the way in Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland may join soon, though no action has yet been taken.


1 Dawn Armstrong told us in 2013 when we interviewed her at the start of Puppy Mill Free Reno and our tracking sites Puppy Mill Free US and End Puppy Mills World, that she was able to retire in peace and tranquility now that her work was being duplicated not only all over her home state of California, but was finding passage throughout the US and into Canada.

When Ms. Armstrong left in 2013, Niki Congero was hired as Executive Director. We spoke with her on several occasions regarding animal welfare issues at the lake, but didn’t get a satisfactory response.

Three years later, news broke that Congero had been arrested for embezzlement of the South Lake Tahoe Humane Society, by running up charges to the limit of the credit line of the non-profit. That limit was $60,000. Much of it went to personal expenses, included a gambling jones for which the SLTHS footed the bill.

The organization was not able to recover. The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, a merger in and of itself, absorbed the SLT HS and now runs shelters all around the lake and the nearby High Sierra town of Truckee, California; which, by the way, passed the 124th ban in February 2016.