Do you know where your pet came from?

Rescue dogsThis toy poodle was rescued from a breeder in Ramsey County. Its legs were deformed because it was confined by the breeder in a small carrier. Supporters of a bill to regulate pet breeders in Minnesota use cases like these as evidence of the need for such regulations. (Photo courtesy of Second Chance Animal Rescue)

After six failed attempts, animal welfare advocates are not giving up on a bill that would require dog and cat breeders in Minnesota to obtain licenses. The coalition of rescue groups, veterinarians and concerned citizens contends it is far too easy for unscrupulous breeders to peddle animals online, and buyers never see the inhumane conditions where animals are raised.

Among those leading the charge is Nancy Minion, a member of the Speak Up for Dogs and Cats coalition.

Minion argues that stronger measures are necessary because current animal cruelty laws are triggered only if someone makes a complaint, and unscrupulous breeders are unlikely to allow buyers to see their operations.

“They don’t want you in their barns or sheds,” Minion said. “So they’ll meet you a truck stop or a weigh station or a parking lot, show you five to six puppies or kittens and you pick and then you leave, and you don’t see any suffering.”

Today’s Question: Do you know where your pet came from?


MPR News: Pet breeders play defense as activists press for licensing bill