MAUREEN BURKE-HORANSKY: Legislature Wimped Out on Puppy Bill
Three people stated that they are against the new "puppy mill" bill: state Sen. Harris Blake, state Rep. Jamie Boles, and Gary Miller, a bird hunter.
Three thousand Moore County residents -- not 1,200 as stated in an article in The Pilot -- signed a petition by Animal Advocates of Moore County in favor of the bill, which failed to achieve passage as the North Carolina General Assembly adjourned recently.
Animal Advocates could easily have gotten several thousand more signatures had we stayed on task. Our immediate desire was to get the signatures to Sen. Donald Davis to show our support.
In Gary Miller's interview and Senator Blake's e-mails, they both stated that existing state and local laws are sufficient to address the abuse and neglect the bill is designed to prevent.
Are there laws on the books that say mother dogs can no longer give birth on wire-bottom cages with another dog caged beneath her? Are there laws on the books that require a mother dog to have 15 minutes a day outside her wire cage?
Are there laws on the books that allow a mother dog a rest from breeding instead of getting pregnant each and every cycle, only to be shot at age 10 when she can no longer get pregnant?
I don't think so.
If any of the three men can show proof that puppy-mill mother dogs are treated humanely, please let us see the documents.
I know Gary Miller, and I do know that he loves his dogs and has a passion for bird hunting.
However, I doubt that Gary Miller, Harris Blake or Jamie Boles have ever been inside a puppy mill to witness firsthand the smells, the yelping and the matted hair.
Repetitive breeding of a female dog is reported as abuse. Often when we humans cannot hear or see cruelty, then it does not exist.
This is not an issue about animal "rights." Simply put, this is an issue about compassion.
Compassion is described by Webster's dictionary as "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by suffering or misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate pain or remove its cause."
I am only trying to alleviate the pain that I see in another living being. This is not about the Humane Society, or PETA, or Animal Advocates of Moore County. This is about suffering caused by greed. This is about creating laws in a civilized nation to protect the innocent.
If this bill does not pass, dogs and puppies will suffer in agony for years to come.
If the bill does pass, nothing will change for hunting animals, sporting animals, herding animals, show dogs or working dogs.
Where then is the fear? Section 2 of bill 460 clearly states that this bill shall not include kennels, or establishments operated for the purpose of boarding or training hunting, sporting, herding, show, or working dogs.
Wilson County was so tired of waiting for the state of North Carolina to put a stop to the cruelty of puppy mills that its county commissioners designed and voted for their own puppy mill ordinance.
They were brave men of compassion -- American heroes, in my book!
Maureen Burke-Horansky is the founder of Animal Advocates of Moore County Inc.
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