Tempe, Arizona / By Councilmember Lauren Kuby
If Governor Ducey doesn’t veto SB1248, factory-farmed puppies will continue to be sold in ArizonaState legislation to protect pet stores that obtain puppies from puppy mills is now on the Governor’s desk. This bill will undo ordinances passed by Tempe and Phoenix to ban pet stores from selling puppies from commercial breeding facilities, otherwise known as puppy mills.
PLEASE ACT NOW. Tell Governor Ducey to VETO SB1248.
Action 1: Call Governor Ducey’s office at 602-542-4331 and leave a message, if after hours
Action 2: Tweet at the Governor: @dougducey and post on his Facebook: www.facebook.com/dougducey
MAJOR CONCERNS ABOUT SB1248:
SB1248 will rely on the USDA to regulate the commercial breeding facilities where pet stores can source their dogs from. According to the USDA standards:
• Dogs can live out their entire lives in cages that are no bigger than 6 inches beyond their bodies.
• Veterinary care is limited to a written care plan, and most breeders are only accountable for dogs with visible ailments that might be noted by an inspector’s annual visit.
• An exercise plan is required ONLY IF the dog is in a space less than 2 times the minimum required.
• Cages may be stacked on top of each other.
• Animals can be housed outside, with additional bedding required only when temperatures drop below 35 degrees F.
• The flooring of the cages can be made of wire, so that the dogs’ feet never touch solid ground.
• Primary enclosures and food/water receptacles only have to be washed with soap and water once every two weeks.
• Positive human contact with humans is recommended but not required.
As inhumane as these standards already are, the USDA standards are inadequately enforced. According to an internal audit, the USDA, itself, found that:
• There are not enough inspectors to effectively regulate the number of facilities.
• The agency has a history of not aggressively pursuing enforcement actions against Animal Welfare Act violators.
• Inspectors failed to cite or document violations to support enforcement.
• The enforcement process is ineffective at achieving dealer compliance.
Commercial breeders have been found to obtain new USDA license numbers, after their previous licenses were cancelled by the USDA, including a breeder named Joe Detweiler that the Tempe pet store owner has touted as one of his “reputable” breeders. His brother LeRoy, who operates a kennel next door, on the same property, was just listed as one of “The Horrible 100,” one of the works puppy mills in the US.
• SB1248 does NOTHING to stop this from occurring and, in fact, protects pet stores if they use deceptive breeders by only requiring them to “presume to have acted in good faith” that their breeders have not had recent USDA violations.
SB1248 takes away the ability of Arizona cities to foster more humane treatment of dogs by enacting their own ordinances to regulate pet stores.
Please call the Governor at 602-542-4331 and ask him to stop the puppy mill pipeline into our state.