Many dog breeders have stopped operationA law that cracks down on so-called “puppy mills” went into effect June 1, but many dog-breeding operations in Wisconsin shut down well before then.
By: Dena Goldstein, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A law that cracks down on so-called “puppy mills” went into effect June 1, but many dog-breeding operations in Wisconsin shut down well before then.
Chuck Wegner of the Clark County Humane Society says his county is the puppy mill capital of the state. He says the U.S. Department of Agriculture licenses many of the breeding facilities there.
“Of the 93 USDA licensed facilities in 2009, by the time we hit March of 2011, 55 were left,” Wegner says. “That’s a significant difference.”
Wegner estimates that most of those licensed facilities were "puppy mills.” He says he started to see the law’s effects as early as last October, as operators began sending over dogs and closing shop.
“The word did get around among the breeding community up here; a lot of those guys were getting out of it at that time or at least saw the hand writing on the wall and started downsizing at that time,” Wegner says. “That’s where we had more of an influx of puppy mill dogs coming through.”
A representative from the Milwaukee Humane Society says these breeding facilities most likely shut down because they didn’t want to comply with the new standards. The law requires breeders who sell at least 25 dogs from more than three litters within a year, to register with the state and pay a yearly inspection fee.