By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- One state lawmaker wants to crack down on puppy mills in our state. Currently, Oklahoma does not regulate dog breeders, making puppy mills a booming business.
Oklahoma ranks second in the country when it comes to puppy breeders who run under the radar. The people who rescue the animals and care for them are the first to see the problem.
"It contributes to our overpopulation problem. It's a commerce problem. These people are evading taxes and it's a general black eye to Oklahoma," Central Oklahoma Humane Society President Christy Counts said.
Animal activists and veterinarians across the state want to see changes. They asked State Representative Lee Denney, also a veterinarian, to push for a puppy mill bill.
"These animals are really suffering abuse," Rep. Denney said.
Denney said the bill is not only for the animals, but for potential owners.
"These animals, when they are left in filth and squalor, there are diseases and some of these diseases can be transmitted to humans," Rep. Denney said.
The state representative's bill would crack down on puppy mills. She's proposing minimum standards for breeders, including proper housing, ensuring the animals nutritional needs are met and the animals receive veterinary care. The bill would also establish standards for breeders who sell 25 or more puppies a year.
If the bill is passed, puppy owners will know where their dogs came from.
"People will be able to say that I have a license from the state, my puppies are healthy, I have proof I have provided minimum standards of care for these animals and they receive vet care," Rep. Denney said.