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house Bill H.R. 4693

Puppy Protection Act: Setting Standards for Dealers’ Housing & Treatment of Dogs

Argument in favor

This bill would go a long way toward ensuring that dogs are treated humanely by their dealers and have access to all the food, water, exercise, interaction, and space they need.

IllWill's Opinion
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01/02/2018
If we can’t treat animals with dignity then we can’t call ourselves a civilized society. Vote yes!
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Leah's Opinion
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01/02/2018
Puppy mills are insidious. Reputable breeders have no problem meeting these minimal standards which protect the health of the animal ( no parvo, no genetic disorders from inbreeding, and no socialization and psychological issues) and the purchaser’s expectations in not supporting cruel and inhumane treatment. Please pass this legislation.
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Bethany's Opinion
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01/02/2018
Puppy mills are a national embarrassment and tragedy! It’s time we end these factories of pain once and for all!
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Argument opposed

This bill goes too far in setting standards for dog dealers’ care of their canines, and these regulations could be better handled at the state level.

Patti's Opinion
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01/02/2018
This seems like a state/local-level issue.
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Jerrey's Opinion
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01/02/2018
Better for State or local level. The criteria listed should be used as minimum good practices to which dealers and breeders should adhere. Posting signs after local or state inspections stating that the facility complied with Federal good practices can be an indication of a reputable dealer or breeder. A Federal regulation of this type will be difficult and expensive to enforce. We cannot enforce many regulations already on the books! Let’s not add another with similar results!
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TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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01/04/2018
Really? Puppies are a federal concern now? We're just going to put the federal government in charge of every little thing? I would try to joke about "Next they'll be regulating [XYZ]!" but I bet the legislation to put the government in charge of whatever I would joke about is heading to committee right now anyway.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Agriculture
      Livestock and Foreign Agriculture
    IntroducedDecember 20th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 4693?

This bill — known as the Puppy Protection Act — would establish housing and treatment standards that dog dealers must abide by, which include mandatory exercise and interaction periods for the dogs in addition to limitations on breeding. The bill would also require that appropriate and nutritious food be fed to the dogs in an amount to keep them healthy at least twice per day, and continuous access to potable water that’s free of contaminants.

In terms of the dogs’ housing, the bill would require:

  • Completely solid flooring;

  • Enough space to allow the tallest dog to stand on his or her hind legs without touching the enclosure’s roof;

  • Temperatures appropriate for the age, breed, and condition of the dogs that’s between 45 and 85 degrees when dogs are present.

  • Enclosures that aren’t stacked or placed on top of or below another enclosure;

  • At least 12 square feet for each dog up to 25 inches long; 20 square feet for each dog between 25 and 35 inches long; and 30 square feet for each dog 35 inches or longer.

To ensure adequate exercise, dogs over the age of 12 weeks would be required to have unfettered access from their enclosures during daylight to an enclosed, outdoor area that’s at ground-level and a solid surface, controlled for the dogs’ safety, and twice the space required for their housing.

Dogs would have to have at least 30 minutes of meaningful socialization with humans and compatible dogs that includes positive interactions such as petting, stroking, grooming, playing with, or other touching that's beneficial to the dogs' well-being. Veterinary care wouldn’t count toward that requirement, but dogs would have to receive a hands-on veterinary exam at least once per year along with core vaccinations, and medications as needed.

Female dogs would be prohibited from producing more than two litters in any 18-month period or more than six litters in that dog’s lifetime. Breeds weighing less than 40 pounds when mature couldn’t be bred before the age of 18 months or after the age of 9 years. Larger breeds weighing over 40 pounds when mature couldn’t be bred before the age of 2 years or after the age of 7 years. Dealers would be required to make all reasonable efforts to find humane placement for retired breeding dogs, which couldn’t include placement with another breeder for breeding purposes or selling at auction.

Within 18 months of this bill’s enactment the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) would be required to issue final regulations implementing standards for the care of dogs in dealer facilities.

Impact

Dogs and their dealers; and the USDA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4693

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced this bill to improve the care of dogs when they’re living in commercial breeding facilities:

“It’s crucial we stand up for animals -- both as individuals and as a society. As a member of the Animal Protection Caucus, I’m committed to ensuring our government is doing its part to promote animal welfare.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) added:

“The Bible teaches us to care for all of God’s creatures, and that includes man’s best friend. Proud to join in introducing bipartisan legislation that protects dogs from unprincipled dealers and breeders, providing a voice for the voiceless.”

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: GoodLifeStudio / iStock)

AKA

Puppy Protection Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend the Animal Welfare Act to provide for the humane treatment of dogs, and for other purposes.

    If we can’t treat animals with dignity then we can’t call ourselves a civilized society. Vote yes!
    Like (189)
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    This seems like a state/local-level issue.
    Like (65)
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    Puppy mills are insidious. Reputable breeders have no problem meeting these minimal standards which protect the health of the animal ( no parvo, no genetic disorders from inbreeding, and no socialization and psychological issues) and the purchaser’s expectations in not supporting cruel and inhumane treatment. Please pass this legislation.
    Like (90)
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    Puppy mills are a national embarrassment and tragedy! It’s time we end these factories of pain once and for all!
    Like (71)
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    State governments have had plenty of time to address issues like this and they clearly are uninterested, but not for lack of voter attention. Most states haven't even made puppy mills illegal, let alone set any sort of regulations for how these animals are treated. To say "this is a state issue" is also ignorant of the fact that the federal government has already stepped in once before in 1966 with the Animal Welfare Act. If the issue was important enough for the Feds to get involved then, why would it suddenly not be important enough now?
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    A measure of social advancement is how a society treats the lives in it’s care. As a society we have not advanced very far. We don’t treat any of the lives in our care very well. We are careless with the environment, sustaining and protecting them. Just look at how well we care for our children much less our pets. If we knowingly, intentionally fail to care for our children would we do any better for our pets?
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    Puppy mills should be banned entirely.
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    While I believe states should be able to exercise the regulations here, they haven’t done so. Being from Pennsylvania- a top state in dog breeding and puppy mills- and seeing the devastating conditions that these animals are in when they are rescued, and having tried again and again to get PA to do something, it is clear that PA does not have the gumption or courage to do so. So if we must turn to the feds for animals to live with dignity, so be it. I know PA is not alone in this state of inaction.
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    Better for State or local level. The criteria listed should be used as minimum good practices to which dealers and breeders should adhere. Posting signs after local or state inspections stating that the facility complied with Federal good practices can be an indication of a reputable dealer or breeder. A Federal regulation of this type will be difficult and expensive to enforce. We cannot enforce many regulations already on the books! Let’s not add another with similar results!
    Like (23)
    Follow
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    Really? Puppies are a federal concern now? We're just going to put the federal government in charge of every little thing? I would try to joke about "Next they'll be regulating [XYZ]!" but I bet the legislation to put the government in charge of whatever I would joke about is heading to committee right now anyway.
    Like (19)
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    This bill addresses a longstanding issue of terrible and inhumane treatment of dogs by the so-called “puppy mills”. While some states are addressing this, it’s a problem of national scope and requires uniform regulation for all of the states to prevent these businesses from simply moving to states that don’t regulate these dog breeders. The pain and suffering endured by dogs in these facilities is caused by people who increase their profits by the deliberate and calculated torture of dogs and puppies in their care. This bill would allow local law enforcement authorities to greatly reduce or stop these unconscionable practices.
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    A disgusting industry. Want a dog - adopt one !!!!
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    How about we go further and ban industrial dog breeding. Animals should have a better life than always being pregnate or recovering from pregnancy.
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    It is ridiculous that this has become a federal issues, but if that is what it takes to get the poor dogs taken care of then let’s do it.
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    I love dogs, but this is not the purpose of the federal government. It is a local issue.
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    Wow, Republicans offering more humanity , ethics and moral policies for dogs than humans. That is perfect. If we could apply these proposed policies to humans, we could solve a lot of the world’s problems.
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    Yes yes yes
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    Humane treatment of companion animals should easily receive a landslide of bipartisan support. It’s 2017, time to hold ourselves to, at the very least, an acceptable standard. History has so blatantly shown us that without government interference, that won’t happen.
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    YES, having puppy mills in this area I know how horrible conditions are. This should cover the puppies AND THE DOGS THAT ARE MADE TO HAVE PUPPIES EVERY 3 or 4 MONTHS, NEVER GET ANY HUMAN INTERACTION AND ARE SEEN ONLY AS A CASH COW. The puppies are many Times damaged mentally and sometimes physically. Some get thrown away because they are not PERFECT. This is s good start.
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    This is great step forward, but so much more work is still needed.
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