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Dear Decaturish – Georgia should fight puppy mill bill

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Dear Decaturish – Georgia should fight puppy mill bill

A puppy mill in the rural United States. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons
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A puppy mill in the rural United States. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons

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Dear Decaturish,

Over 240 cities, towns and counties across the nation have enacted ordinances prohibiting the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores – a tool to dry up the markets for cruel puppy mill operators. These ordinances also help protect consumers from ending up with a sick or behaviorally challenged puppy.

Four Georgia localities have enacted such ordinances, and I expect that number to rise with the recent outbreak of Campylobacter linked to Petland stores across the country.

The outbreak has affected 55 people in 12 states; 49 of the victims were infected by contact with puppies from Petland or they are Petland employees. According to the Center for Disease Control, the strain of the disease in this outbreak appears to be antibiotic resistant.

Unfortunately, the right of local governments in Georgia to pass these ordinances for the protection of their constituents is in jeopardy with HB 144, state legislation backed by the pet store industry that protects the puppy mill-pet store supply chain by prohibiting local ordinances. It is important for Georgians to come together to fight this bill and the pet store industry as a whole.

Petland is confident enough in its Georgia consumer base that it is opening a new store. And, it’s asking our state legislators to pass a bill that will protect Petland from any local oversight, ensuring that no city or county can prevent Petland from selling sick puppy mill puppies. It’s time for Georgians to stop supporting this chain and make sure your state elected officials know that this is not a company they should be protecting with legislation.

Therefore, since October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog month, I encourage people who want a companion dog to save lives by adopting from a shelter or rescue group NOT from stores selling animals supplied from puppy mills.

Warm regards,

Robyn Spiegelman

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