In response to the alarming number of unlicensed and unregulated large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities operating in Texas, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) has introduced House Bill 3180 which will require these operations, commonly known as puppy mills, to meet minimum standards of care and housing for their animals.

“We just want to ensure that there is a guaranteed minimum standard of care and a level of humanness for all these animals,” states Representative Thompson.

Puppy mills are commercial dog breeding facilities that confine adult dogs in small, cramped cages and keep them in perpetual cycles of breeding. A female dog will often spend her entire life confined in a cage, producing puppies every heat cycle. When she can no longer reproduce, she is usually destroyed or abandoned.

Puppy mills are flooding the pet market with inbred, unhealthy puppies being sold to unsuspecting buyers in pet stores and through Internet ads. Many of these puppies die soon after being purchased or require the owner to spend thousands of dollars in veterinary care to try to save them.

Puppy mill operators often use misleading ads claiming to be small breeders providing humane conditions and proper care when, in fact, they are confining hundreds of dogs in cruel, filthy conditions without veterinary care and proper nutrition.

“Now that we know the shockingly cruel conditions in which these animals are being kept and the tragedies that many pet buyers are enduring after unknowingly purchasing puppies that were bred in puppy mills, it’s time to take action to clean up this industry,” said Rep. Thompson.

The Texas Humane Legislation Network and hundreds of animal welfare agencies, rescue groups and law enforcement officials throughout the state support this bill.