LANSING — State Reps. Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) and Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) have introduced two pieces of legislation that would crack down on inhumane puppy mills and protect dogs against animal abuse in Michigan.

“Pets have become such an important part of many families, and the joy of bringing home a new puppy is a moment to be treasured,” Greig said. “I want to make sure, however, that they are bred in a safe and humane environment. A small handful of unscrupulous breeders are trying to maximize their profits by breeding large numbers of puppies in unhealthy conditions. This legislation will ensure that dogs aren’t abused in large-scale puppy mills and will hold abusers accountable if they harm dogs.”

Far too often, large numbers of breeding dogs — usually purebreds —face years of confinement in cramped breeding facilities without human interaction, exercise or adequate veterinary care. They are commonly kept in dirty cages that are stacked on top of each other, with nothing to stand or lay on but wire and metal. Their puppies are sold for profit, either in pet stores or on the Internet.

The bill introduced by Greig, House Bill 4761, requires large-scale commercial breeding kennels to provide adequate housing, sanitary conditions, veterinary care, shelter, food and water.  Large-scale commercial breeding kennels are defined as facilities having 15 or more intact female dogs housed for breeding purposes. Roberts’ bill, HB 4760, would require large-scale commercial breeding kennels to be licensed and inspected by the Department of Agriculture.

“I believe that all animals should be treated with basic dignity and raised in decent living conditions. These dogs should receive proper veterinary care and have access to food and water as well as regular exercise and enough space to move around in. Licensing and inspections will help ensure this happens,” Roberts said. “These common-sense measures will protect breeding dogs from abuse and neglect, and help ensure that the puppies people bring home are healthy and happy.”