"Puppy mill bill" one step closer to becoming a law - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

"Puppy mill bill" one step closer to becoming a law

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The so called puppy mill bill is one step closer to becoming a law. Monday night, the State Senate approved the bill. While supporters say the bill is just a watered down version, some breeders say it's too strict and will put them out of business.

It's a heated issue that's become rather personal between animal activists and breeders. Although breeders KLTV talked to declined to go on-camera, dozens say this puppy mill bill would destroy their business and do little to keep animals safe.

SPCA President Deborah Dobbs says the bill would do just the opposite.

"The good breeders will still be here," said Dobbs. "The millers will hopefully someday we will get those millers and they will be out of business which means that people looking for a puppy are going to go to the good breeders because the millers are off the streets and the bad puppies aren't available anymore."

Dobbs says animal activists like herself are driven by tragic images of puppies trapped in filthy cages. Marion County officials raided an alleged puppy mill just last month.

"This is the first time that we finally have some legislation to put some teeth in the protection of these animals that are living their lives in cages in filth and sick and being repeatedly bred for nothing more than puppy, puppy, puppy," said Dobbs.

If the bill becomes a law, breeders will face licensing fees and increased veterinary bills due to stricter healthcare guidelines. Dobbs says it's time to put a leash on this issue.

The bill now returns to the House for approval of the changes made in the Senate.

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