RICHMOND (WRIC) – Animal welfare is once again a hot topic at the General Assembly. Hundreds of advocates lobbied for a bill to crack down on puppy mills even more in Virginia.
Lottie found her forever family six years ago through the Richmond SPCA, but before her happy home life, the Lhasa Apso spent day after day in a cramped crate, having one litter after another.
Lottie was rescued in November 2007 with 900 other dogs in Virginia's largest puppy mill raid ever.
“She's been adopted by one of our biggest supporters and she's a wonderful representative of the pets who need our help so much in regulating these puppy mills,” says SPCA CEO Robin Starr.
Starr was among ralliers at the state Capitol Thursday morning for 2014 Humane Lobby Day. She's backing Senate Bill 228 — known as “Bailey's Law,” named after a puppy mill dog.
Like many puppy mill dogs that are then sold in pet stores, bailey needed extensive veterinary care. The Senate bill would require shops to give all potential buyers information about the breeder and more.
“It would allow for the reimbursement of expenses when a dog is deemed unfit and the consumer chooses to keep that dog,” says Humane Society Virginia Director Laura Donahue.
Bailey's Law passed the Senate Agricultural Committee Thursday afternoon and should make it to the Senate floor early next week.
Starr says Virginia pet shops have been getting dogs from puppy mills out of state to get around the Commonwealth's strict welfare laws and this legislation would close a loophole.
“The puppies that come from puppy mills suffer immense physical and veterinary medical problems,” Starr says. “We need to regulate those sales as well so that people understand clearly where they're getting their puppies from, they're from a puppy mill, and that they get help when those puppies have physical problems later on.”
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond