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Puppy mills could face new restrictions in North Carolina

May 13, 2013 8:24:56 PM PDT
North Carolina may be closer than ever to stopping puppy mills before they start. A tough new bill is working its way through the legislature, and it's getting some high-profile support.

A dachshund named Rickey Bobby is not able to move his back legs because he's paralyzed after years of neglect. He was rescued from a puppy mill just month ago. He was scared. He had rotten teeth, and was dragging himself around.

"It just broke my heart and it made me angry that these dogs were in this situation for so long," said dog owner Megan Bliss.

"It's just devastating for the animals where there's no justice for some like Rickey Bobby and they've been through so much," said Kim Alboum with the Humane Society of the United States.

Animal rights advocates say it's getting worse in North Carolina.

"The Humane Society of the U.S. has 14 puppy mill busts in 2.5 years," said Alboum. "That is an extreme number."

The ABC11 I-Team's shown you many of those busts. Three hundred dogs in all were rescued in a 2011 raid.

Alboum's been pushing for tougher laws for years.

"If H.B. 930 passes, we'll have some standards in place that animal control can use so they don't have to wait," said Alboum.

Just last week, the bill and the movement got some new star power with a public endorsement from the governor's wife.

First lady Ann McCrory has been wonderful," said Alboum. "Puppy mills are a special issue to her."

Alboum hopes the legislature gives that special consideration for dogs like Rickey Bobby. If passed, the bill would mandate better standards of care for dog breeders, and toughen fines and criminal charges.

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