puppy mills, dog breeders, wisconsin humane society
Wisconsin State Journal, John Maniaci/AP

Humane Society Buys Puppy Mill

August 05, 2008 01:20 PM
by Isabel Cowles
The Wisconsin Humane Society bought the state’s largest dog-breeding facility in July, putting 1,200 dogs up for adoption.

30-Second Summary

A large-scale Wisconsin dog breeder was bought by the state’s Humane Society in late July. More than 1,200 dogs were put up for adoption.

The Humane Society acquired the facility because its owner and operator, Wallace Havens, planned to retire this year and hoped that the animals would go to a good home.

Many questioned the conditions at Pet Haven and are convinced that it is a puppy mill—a facility where animals are bred on large farms in substandard conditions.

Havens does not consider the breeding facility a mill: the dogs  “can go outside anytime they want to. They don't have to ask a person to open the door, and they can come in and eat and drink any time they want to,” he said.

The acquisition of the mill raises questions about the state legislature concerning puppy mills. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Under current law in most states, and under current regulations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, individuals running breeding operations that only sell puppies directly to the public are not required to be licensed and inspected by an oversight agency.”

This lack of oversight can lead to inhumane conditions where dogs grow up afraid of interaction, and are sick or malnourished.

Many states, including Pennsylvania, have pushed for greater enforcement among large-scale dog breeders, which are sometimes categorized as puppy mills.

Wisconsin Humane Society purchases so-called puppy mill

In July, the Wisconsin Humane Society in Milwaukee bought Pet Haven, the state’s largest commercial breeder and an alleged puppy mill, with the intention of shutting it down. A national Humane Society representative noted that overcrowded breeding facilities exist in every state, producing as many as 4 million puppies a year. Speaking on NPR, the representative said she has seen far worse conditions than those at Puppy Haven.
After purchasing Pet Haven, the Wisconsin Humane Society offered the 1,200 dogs up to good homes, with the organization’s standard adoption fees applying. Many would-be dog adopters responded.

Reference: Puppy mills in America and ethical dog adoption

Related Topics: Legal actions against puppy mills and dog rentals

States move to make mills illegal
Dog rental company shuts down

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