Colorado lawmakers trying to eliminate puppy mills |

Colorado lawmakers trying to eliminate puppy mills

DENVER, Colorado ” Warning that puppy mills treat dogs like “cash crops,” animal rights activists backed a bill Wednesday that would limit the number of animals that can be raised in captivity and allow state inspectors to remove them.

Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, said animals have been crippled in cages, injured and killed by people who raise them for mass marketing.

Her bill, introduced Wednesday, would prevent dog breeders from keeping more than 25 adult breeding dogs.

“This legislation will crack down on abusive puppy mills where man’s best friend is treated like a cash crop instead of members of the family,” said Holly Tarry, Colorado director of the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society said one Colorado dog breeder was ordered out of business last year after state inspectors found 40 animals had starved to death on the property and six others were in critical condition.

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The society said a dog had to be removed from another facility because it had an ulcerated eye, and that a third facility has had 40 complaints or violations but continues to operate.

State Department of Agriculture inspectors did not immediately return calls Wednesday seeking confirmation of the incidents.

McCann said current laws are ineffective to deal with puppy mills because the law does not limit the size of the facilities. She said by the time conditions allow inspectors to act, the animals are harmed or even killed.

Debbie Faulkner of Crawford said she rescued her cocker spaniel from a puppy mill on the western slope.

“Many of them have ear mites and behavioral problems. I want to get those people out of business,” she said.

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