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'Puppy, kitten mill bill' faces 2009 legislature

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Minnesotans, those of you who voted for change, well, here is your chance, make a difference in the lives of those family members and best friends that are our companion animals.

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A Puppy/Kitten Mill Bill will be introduced in the 2009 Minnesota legislative session to regulate dog and cat breeders and protect animals from harm.

There is a grassroots organization growing in Minnesota that needs your help in getting the word out. Their name is "MN Animal Folks." They have a resourceful web site at www.animalfo lksmn.org.

A similar bill was introduced in the 2007-2008 Minnesota legislative sessions. It did not pass. For reasons why, please visit 'follow the vote' on their website. For those who do not know what a Puppy/Kitten Mill is, grit your teeth and dare to explore the truth there also. You may email info@animalfolksmn.org or post Animal Folks MN, 1043 Grand Avenue, #115; St. Paul, MN 55105.

As the 2009 Minnesota legislative session has not yet begun, the Puppy and Kitten Mill Bill has not been assigned a House or Senate file number. When the bill is posted by the Office of the Revisor of Statutes, MN Animal Folks will post the link at the above web site. Minnesota legislators, however, can still express support for regulation of the dog and cat breeding industry at this time and you can certainly make them aware of your concerns and input.

This legislation will cover the essential areas for animal protection: Licensing, Inspections, Enforcement, and Penalties.

Currently, there is next to nothing protecting these animals. Livestock; ie: cattle, sheep, turkeys, pigs; have more protection than do dogs, cats or any pet trade animals. There are many documented cases of horrific abuse throughout our state in recent years as the pet trade, particularly in dogs, has exploded. AKC and Veterinarian Health Certificates are no longer worth the paper they are written on. USDA inspections of these facilities are an industry joke. Police and judges have nothing to work with to make arrests or convictions because there are no laws. It is time to say we care.

The intent of the Minnesota Puppy and Kitten Mill Bill is to protect dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from inhumane breeding practices and conditions by giving the state of Minnesota the authority to license, inspect and regulate the dog and cat breeding industry in Minnesota, or delegate this authority to a city or county.

To find out who represents you and to get their phone number, call 1-651-296-2146 (House Public Information Services) if you're in the metro area. Out of the metro area, call 1-800-657-3550.

You can also find your state legislators at: www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/Districtf inder.asp.

Nancy Stokes

Ottertail

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