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Animal Advocates in Connecticut support new legislation to better protect dogs in puppy mills

Updated: Apr 2



(WTNH) | April 1, 2024 | by: Eva Zymaris


NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Animal advocates and lawmakers in Connecticut are aiming to better protect dogs in federally licensed, commercial breeding facilities, known as puppy mills.


U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said more has to be done on the federal level to protect dogs. He’s hoping to do that through Goldie’s Act, which would hold abusers accountable on the federal level and rescue animals from unsafe conditions.

“This sign really says it all… “adopt, don’t shop,'” Blumenthal said Monday. “What we’re pursuing through this law is abuse and cruelty on an industrial scale. These are puppy mills. These are breeders. Dealers. Exhibitors who do this to make money.”



Goldie’s Act was named in honor of a golden retriever who was neglected and abused at a USDA-licensed puppy mill in Iowa.


“What we’re pursuing through this law is abuse and cruelty on an industrial scale,” Blumenthal said. “These are puppy mills. These are breeders. Dealers. Exhibitors who do this to make money.”


“The critical bill that we’re talking about will fix the policies that have failed animals by requiring the USDA to conduct more frequent and meaningful inspections, provide life-saving intervention for suffering animals, issue penalties for violations, and communicate with local law enforcement to address cruelty and neglect,” Nancy Perry, ASPCA’s senior vice president of government relations said.


Perry shared national numbers from last year.


“Federal inspectors documented over 1,000 violations for commercial dog dealers at more than 400 facilities,” Perry said. “This isn’t a few bad apples. They only took an enforcement four dog dealers. I’m not aware of any bad actors in Connecticut per se, but they’re very prevalent in the midwest.”


Connecticut Humane Society shares how you can protect your pets from the cold

Consumers in Connecticut will see the impact. They say these animals are brought in from out-of-state and sold in Connecticut.


“You would like to think that if there’s regulation, it came from a USDA facility,” James Bias with the Connecticut Humane Society said. “That really doesn’t mean anything.”

“A good, responsible breeder, and there are many, would never allow their puppy to be sold sight unseen,” Perry said.


USDA told News 8 they do not comment on pending legislation but sent the following statement.


“USDA is committed to ensuring the welfare of regulated animals and continues to carry out the critical day-to-day work of enforcing the Animal Welfare Act, including establishing acceptable standards of humane care and treatment for regulated animals and monitoring and achieving compliance through inspections, enforcement, education, and cooperative efforts.”


Diane Smith with Desmond’s Army added, “We have the laws, but we need them enforced. We need them to be enforced.”


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