Subject: Rendell Administration Turns Its Back on PA's Puppy Mill Dogs ... Again!
Why is the Rendell Administration supporting the illegal actions of PA's Department of Agriculture? Our new dog law clearly states adult dogs in commercial kennels can no longer be housed on painful wire flooring (solid or slatted only) and every adult dog is required to have unfettered access to an outside exercise run. After four years of promises and after boasting "the toughest dog laws in the country," Governor Rendell and his staff are now refusing to enforce the very law Governor Rendell signed in 2008. Making matters worse, they are attempting to push through regulations which would allow commercial breeders to use 50% wire floors in their dogs' cages. Breeding dogs will once again be forced to stand on painful wire - wire that entraps their legs and causes their feet to become ulcerated and splayed. (see video at the end of this email - mill dog housed on wire unable to walk properly)
If this isn't bad enough, Rendell's Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding recently decided to support Pennsylvania's puppy mill industry by officially adopting a policy whereby pregnant and nursing mothers are deprived of access to outdoor exercise runs for eight months of every year. Under our new dog law (Act 119), every adult dog in a commercial breeding kennel is now guaranteed unfettered access to an outdoor exercise run, but Secretary Redding is telling breeders that if they carry their dogs to an exercise area, they will satisfy the law. Does Secretary Redding honestly believe that commercial breeders keeping over 500 breeding dogs will be able to carry each and every dog outside twice a day? It is physically impossible. And how will state inspectors prove these animals have been exercised? They can't.
Animal lovers throughout Pennsylvania should be outraged by what Governor Rendell, Secretary Redding, Rendell's Chief of Staff Steve Crawford, Special Secretary Jessie Smith, and Director of Dog Law Sue West are trying to do. By attempting to circumvent our new laws, they are condemning millions of dogs to lives of untold suffering. We worked hard for these new laws. We can't let them be taken away from us without a fight. The dogs are counting on us. We need to write Governor Rendell and his staff and tell them enough is enough - they need to enforce our new laws as written. PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THE EMAIL ADDRESSES AT THE END OF THIS EMAIL. We have included IRRC's email address so your email can be an official comment.
Please ask your friends and family to write as well. Contact your state representatives and state senator. Don't give money to any organization that is not actively fighting to get dogs off wire flooring in Pennsylvania's commercial kennels. If you are contacted and asked to donate your hard earned money and they tell you 50% wire is best - tell them to tell their story walking. They're trying to deprive PA's dogs of what they were promised under Act 119. If anyone contacts you and asks you to support the Canine Health Regulations, don't do it - not until the section allowing dogs to stand on wire flooring is removed and not before Secretary Russell Redding withdraws his policy depriving adult dogs in commercial kennels access to outside exercise runs.
After you write, Secretary Jessie Smith and Director Sue West will offer excuses:
1) Secretary Smith will tell you the Department of Agriculture will deny breeding dogs unfettered access to outside exercise runs because puppies can get stuck outside. Has Secretary Smith never seen a mother dog carry a puppy in her mouth? And why can't the breeders (who are making a fortune from breeding these animals) check their dogs periodically to see if any of their puppies are stuck outside? Many believe Smith and West are willing to confine mothers to small cages in hot barns rather than insist their friends, the commercial breeders, comply with our new laws and make the necessary structural improvements to their kennels (adding outside runs).
2) Secretary Smith will tell you the Department is allowing commercial breeders to house their adult dogs on wire so they can be with their nursing puppies. While it is optional to house puppies up to twelve weeks of age on wire flooring, it is illegal to house their mothers on anything but solid or slatted. If the breeders want to keep the mothers and puppies together, they should place the puppies on solid flooring with their mothers.
3) Secretary Smith will tell you it is more sanitary to keep the mother and puppies on wire - it is also more sanitary if the breeders clean every day. Hutches with wire flooring allows the breeders to avoid cleaning their kennels every day, which is required by law. Tell Secretary Smith and Director of Dog Law Sue West to stop coming up with new ways to protect the breeders and do what they were hired to do - protect the dogs of PA. It is more sanitary if the mother dog can eliminate outside and not be forced to eliminate near her puppies inside.
4) Secretary Smith will tell you that whelping boxes will now be required for pregnant dogs and nursing mothers - and the whelping boxes will have solid flooring. What the Department is doing is allowing breeders to use 50% wire flooring and they want us to believe that whelping boxes will satisfy the solid flooring requirement of Act 119. The Department of Agriculture is deliberately trying to mislead the public. They're giving us half of something we already have. Under our new dog laws (Act 119), solid floors are REQUIRED for the ENTIRE surface of the floor in the dogs' cages.