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Breeder bill to be heard by Senate Finance Committee

The dog and cat breeder regulation bill (S.F. 36) has passed all of the necessary policy committees of the Minnesota Senate and will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee as soon as this Wednesday morning (April 9). Animal Humane Society supports this bill as part of the Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats coalition.

AHS urges supporters of the bill to contact the members on the committee before this Wednesday morning to ask them to vote in favor of S.F. 36 and to not to accept any amendments that would weaken the bill. Contact numbers for the legislators can be found below. We need to protect Minnesota dogs and cats who are forced to live in substandard and deplorable conditions. Supporters can leave a message with each senator’s legislative assistant because it can be hard to reach legislators directly. 

If you are a constituent of one of the committee members listed below, be sure he/she knows that. 

Please keep your message short and respectful.

Last week, the companion breeder bill (H.F. 84) was incorporated into the Minnesota House Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill (H.F. 3172) and was passed on the House floor by a vote of 70-59.

Senate Finance Committee Members

Senator Richard Cohen (District 64) - 651-296-5931

Senator Bobby Champion (District 59) - 651-296-9246

Senator Michelle Fischbach (District 13) - 651-296-2084

Senator Bruce Anderson (District 29) – 651-296-5981

Senator Terri Bonoff (District 44) - 651-296-4314

Senator Scott Dibble (District 61) - 651-296-4191

Senator Barb Goodwin (District 41) - 651-296-4334

Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (District 8) - 651-297-8063

Senator Ron Latz (District 46) - 651-297-8065

Senator Warren Limmer (District 34) - 651-296-2159

Senator Tony Lourey (District 11) - 651-296-0293

Senator Jeremy Miller (District 28) - 651-296-5649

Senator Scott Newman (District 18) - 651-296-4131

Senator Sean Nienow (District 32) - 651-296-5419

Senator Sandra Pappas (District 65) - 651-296-1802

Senator John Pederson (District 14) - 651-296-6455

Senator Tom Saxhaug (District 5) - 651-296-4136

Senator Katie Sieben (District 54) -  651-297-8060

Senator LeRoy Stumpf (District 1) - 651-296-8660

Senator David Tomassoni (District 6) - 651-296-8017

Senator Torrey Westrom (District 12) - 651-296-3826

Senator Charles Wiger (District 43) - 651-296-6820

Here is further information on the issue:

The Problem

There is no State law to license, inspect or regulate commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota. The problem is inhumane breeding practices. Minnesota is among the top producers of puppies in the United States with some of the largest breeding kennels in the nation -- housing 300, 600 or over 1,000 dogs and puppies. Kittens are also mass-produced in Minnesota. Many dogs and cats live out their lives in small, overcrowded wire cages and are bred repeatedly. Their cages are often stacked, allowing feces and urine to fall onto the animals below. Animals may be malnourished from inadequate food and water, receive little or no veterinary care, are stressed from constant confinement and neglect, have fleas, worms, etc. Many have deformed paws, are severely matted, or are burned from sitting and standing in urine and feces. And, they are rarely, if at all, provided human socialization.

While many breeders in Minnesota act responsibly, there are those who keep dogs and cats in deplorable conditions and are willing to make a profit at the expense of the animal’s health and well-being. The puppies and kittens are sold to the public and many are sick, diseased, and have genetic problems. 

The Solution

This provision in S.F. 36 addresses the problem by giving the State of Minnesota the authority to:

  • License - Require commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota to be licensed;
  • Inspect and Enforce - Give legal authority to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to inspect commercial dog and cat breeding facilities and enforce existing State laws to ensure animal care standards are met; and
  • Penalties - Impose civil, administrative and criminal penalties for those who violate the law.

Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats

Coalition members include A Rotta Love Plus, Animal Folks MN, Animal Humane Society, Minnesota Animal Control Association, Minnesota Humane Society, Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, Minnkota Persian Rescue, Pause 4 Paws, Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota, Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota, Second Chance Animal Rescue, and Tri-County Humane Society.

These legislative efforts are also supported by numerous other organizations and individuals, including the Animal Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, veterinarians, law enforcement, prosecutors, humane agents, animal control, rescue groups, animal shelters, breeders, businesses, and countless citizens throughout Minnesota.