On January 19, the Wyoming Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously passed Senate File 100, which seeks to add “puppy mills” and “animal hoarding” to the definition of animal cruelty.
The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. However, this bill confuses the issue of substandard care with the number of animals a person owns and places vague definitions in statute. Also, the term “puppy mill” is offensive to the numerous responsible breeders who take excellent care of their animals. This term should not be placed in state law.
This bill is moving very quickly, so it is essential that all concerned dog owners and breeders in Wyoming contact the members of the Appropriations Committee, as well as your state Senator and Representative as soon as possible to express your concerns. Please see the bottom of this message for contact information.
The AKC believes that existing Wyoming cruelty laws are sufficient to address the mistreatment of animals, and the AKC supports strong enforcement of these laws.
Senate File 100 seeks to amend the cruelty statutes by adding definitions of “animal hoarder” and “puppy mill” to the definition of cruelty. Although the bill has been amended, the new version is not yet available. The AKC has numerous concerns with SF 100 as introduced, including, but not limited to:
- Definition of “animal hoarder” – The bill defines a hoarder as someone who owns 15 or more companion animals and violates other provisions including keeping an animal in an overcrowded environment (this vague term is not defined).
- Definition of “puppy mill” – SF100 defines this term as a “dog or cat breeding facility” where there are more than 50 animals kept in “substandard conditions regarding the well-being of animals” (this is not defined). It is further defined as a facility that “is operated with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare.”
How You Can Help
- Contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and let them know your concerns about this legislation and this use of taxpayer funds. SF 100 appropriates $200,000 to implement this measure. The introduced version of the bill also appropriates $400,000 from the Wyoming Livestock Board’s budget for this bill. Click on the names of each member of the committee for their contact information:
- Contact your State Senator and Representative and ask them to not support this legislation as introduced. Click here to find the names and contact information for your elected officials.
The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) will continue to provide information as it becomes available. Contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
On January 19, the Wyoming Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously passed Senate File 100, which…