In Virginia you have to have to go to school and have a license to cut hair or run a manicure studio, but not to own and operate a puppy mill. For all the bashing I do of the Humane Society, this is one place where I give them a tip of the hat.
As for the AKC, what has been their response to puppy mills? Believe it or not, it's to give them discounts! As the AKCs 2006 letter to puppy mill operator's notes: "We value your business and the work you do as a breeder. In appreciation of the dogs and litters you have registered with us, we want you to be the recipient of a new special breeder service. If you have any older dogs or litters that were not registered within the required time frame, AKC would like to waive the late fees for registering these individual dogs or litters."
The article below, is from Fox Channel 8 here in Virginia earlier this year.
Puppy Mill Owner Charged With Animal Cruelty Jan 31, 2008,
By ANGELA RODRIGUEZ FOX-8 News
HILLSVILLE, Va. (WGHP) – Local authorities believe they have busted one of the largest puppy mills in U.S. history. More than one thousand dogs were found when animal control raided a kennel in Hillsville, Va.
At the time, kennel owner, Lanzie Horton, Jr. surrendered most of his animals, but was allowed to stay in business.
Thursday, Carroll County, Va. investigators charged Horton with 14 counts of animal cruelty and 25 counts of neglect. Horton turned himself over to authorities and has been released on a $5,000 bond.
Horton's business had been under a five-month undercover investigation conducted by the Humane Society and the Virginia Partnership for Animal Welfare and support conducted an undercover investigation.
Authorities raided Horton's business on November 1.
"To see over a hundred mother dogs and litters of puppies lying in feces, it was just awful," said veterinarian Kathy Davieds, who was part of the raid.
"There were, I don't know how many hundreds of outside wire cages containing (a) various number of dogs all barking and screaming frantically," said Davieds.
Many of the more than 700 dogs Horton surrendered were taken to shelters across the U.S.
Horton did not return our calls. If convicted, he could face up to 14 years in jail and/or a $35,000 fine.