Ald. Tony Zielinski
Press Release

Proposed ordinance would ban “puppy mills”

Proposed ordinance would ban “puppy mills”

By - Apr 22nd, 2014 12:37 pm

An ordinance introduced today at the regular meeting of the Common Council by Alderman Tony Zielinski proposes a ban on so called puppy mills in Milwaukee.

The ordinance (attached) would establish a list of acceptable places to purchase a pet, effectively banning purchases or any other transactions with puppy mills. The ordinance also would only allow a pet shop, retail business or other commercial establishment to display, sell, deliver, offer for sale or adoption, barter, auction, give away or otherwise dispose of cats or dogs which are obtained from an animal control center, an animal care facility, kennel, pound or training facility.

“By banning puppy mills, we can help facilitate better treatment of these animals — something they truly deserve,” Alderman Zielinski said. “And a recent study only reinforces my view that non-commercial breeders are by far doing a better job in providing better behaved and healthier pets to the public.”

The paper cited by Alderman Zielinski examined the mental health of dogs formerly used as “breeding stock” in commercial breeding establishments (FD McMillan, DL Duffy, JA Serpell. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2011; 135: 86-94). The study found the following:

  • Dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores received significantly less favorable scores than breeder obtained dogs on most behavioral variables measured. Compared with dogs obtained as puppies from noncommercial breeders, dogs from pet stores had significantly greater aggression toward human family members, unfamiliar people and other dogs; greater fear of other dogs and typical life events; and greater separation-related problems and house soiling.
  • For no behavior evaluated in the study did pet store dogs score more favorably than noncommercial breeder dogs.
  • The chances of a dog developing serious behavior problems are much higher for dogs purchased as puppies from pet stores than for dogs obtained from small, noncommercial breeders.

The proposed legislation would take effect six months after passage. The ordinance is expected to be scheduled for a hearing before the Council’s Public Safety Committee on May 1.

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