CHARLOTTE, NC -- Animal activists in Charlotte are hoping to convince lawmakers to crack down on puppy mills. They say lax laws are the reason there are so many puppy mills in the Tarheel State.
It was a story that shocked many of our viewers: hundreds of dogs discovered in pretty bad shape in a Caldwell County puppy mill in June, 2011.
Many of the animals brought to Charlotte-- the cost to clean up the site and care for the dogs topped more than $100,000.
“Usually those animals are raised in pretty bad conditions where they’re over-crowded and there’s a lack of veterinary care,” said Shelley Moore of the Charlotte Humane Society.
That Caldwell County puppy mill was one of more than a dozen busted in the last few years in North Carolina, and animal advocates say there are dozens more.
They blame lax laws that make it easy to set up shop here.
The Humane Society says there were more busts here than anywhere else in the country.
Now, State Senator Joel Ford, who serves on the agriculture committee, is getting involved.
“We need to regulate the business,” he said after seeing video taken at one of the puppy mills.
“Shock and sadness for the animals, due to no fault of their own, are in these conditions, and we, as a society, have to do a better job of caring for those animals and ensuring that those who are going to be breeders do it in a safe and responsible manner,” said Senator Ford.
On Friday, he met with animal advocates who are hoping proposed legislation will finally see the light of day after years of roadblocks.
“We’ve gotta get people who are concerned about this issue involved. If the people get behind this-- good legislation that makes sense, we can get something done,” he added.
Twenty-one states already have commercial breeding laws on the books.
The proposed bill is expected to be introduced next week.