Summary: An animal activist group from California has sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania over their dog kennel laws and regulations.
Animal-rights activists claim that a Pennsylvania state regulation that allows commercial breeding kennels to keep nursing mothers and puppies in mesh-floor cages is illegal and hazardous for the animals, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
A lawsuit filed against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is just the latest in a long battle with the state over what is humane and what is not when it comes to dog-breeding facilities.
Dogs can suffer from splayed feet, painful abrasions and cysts on their paws if they are exposed to wire flooring for prolonged periods.
The lawsuit was filed against the state by the Animal Legal Defense Fund of California. It argues that a regulation approved back in 2010 violates amendments to the state’s dog law issued two years earlier.
The suit was filed on the behalf of three Dauphin County taxpayers and dog owners. It says that the regulations violate the mandate that dogs are permitted to have ‘unfettered’ access to exercise outdoors.
“The Department of Agriculture gutted the dog law when it essentially rewrote the standards to allow wire mesh flooring,” said Carter Dillard, director of litigation for the group. “Writing regulations that didn’t improve conditions was a blatant giveaway to breeders.”
The number of commercial kennels in the state has dropped from 300 to 59 since 2010.
Marsha Perelman was on the governor’s dog-law advisory board when the law was drafted.
“It was done with the best input from the best experts we could find to reflect the safety and health of the puppies,” Perelman said. “Given the fact that Dog Law can’t police kennels 24/7, the law and regulations offer the best option for balancing the health and safety of puppies with the comfort of nursing mothers.”
Dillard disagreed with what Perelman had to say:
“The only reason they gutted the law was to save breeders money,” Dillard said. “Breeders should be able to maintain solid flooring or they shouldn’t be in business.”