Butte-Silver Bow Animal Dept. with link to ordinances

When Backyard Breeders, Puppy Mills and Hoarders go unchecked…………

What will it cost your community?

Unlicensed, backyard breeders, puppy mills and hoarders have cost and will continue to cost our communities hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. The cost to care for Linda Kapsas' animals in Billings topped $157,000, Camp Collie in Great Falls cost upwards of $417,000, Cascade County spent more than $100,000 feeding animals from notorious hoarder Pam Polejewski and then the 100 plus huskies that ended up in Butte costing well over $150,000, and the list goes on. These breeders are allowing irresponsible individuals own pets by not screening customers. Irresponsible breeders are allowing ignorance towards the well being of animals to continue and they are a driving force behind the number of animals abandoned at shelters everyday.

It's seldom profitable to breed dogs humanely and responsibly. The profit comes when dogs spend their lives in cages, rather than with human companionship. Higher profits come when commercial operations provide only the minimum requirements to keep a dog alive and able to breed. Filth, loneliness, fear, and pain constitute the typical life these dogs know.

Why is there so much breeding of dogs?

The major reason is that it is easy, untraceable and untaxable money, because dog breeding and reselling is entirely unregulated, it becomes a source of undeclared income and can become abusive for the animals.

The result of uncontrolled breeding -- thousands of unwanted and abandoned dogs nationally. Breeders assuage their consciences and transfer their responsibility to rescues and shelters. However, this enables the breeders to escape their moral responsibility to the pups they breed and sell.

The responsibility must be placed where it belongs for the problem to ever change. Breeding licenses that demand standards of care and identification, and that are not cheap, will discourage many backyard and puppy mill breeders.

Licensing breeders will discourage backyard breeders and puppy mill breeders because of the possibility that the income from the pups will be traceable.

Responsible breeders do not breed puppies for a profit. They do it for the betterment of the breed and for the love of the dogs. They personally screen and select homes for their puppies, have detailed documentation of their pups' lineage, demonstrate knowledge about canine health, genetics, socialization and development, and take back their animals at any time and age if the buyers cannot keep them.

Responsible breeders do not sell multiple breeds of dogs, since they specialize in one or two breeds. They value their reputation for seeking to improve the breed. Many reputable breeders lose money, because breeding and caring for puppies in a responsible, quality-focused manner is typically expensive. Veterinarians recommend that only dogs over 2 years old reproduce, and suggest that dogs are bred only a limited number of times; not every time they come into heat. They do not separate a pup from their mother and litter before 8 to 10 weeks of age and also deworm and vaccinate their puppies.

Responsible breeders place all animals with a contract requiring the purchaser to spay/neuter the puppy unless specifically chosen for breeding and select qualified buyers in advance of birth of a litter and rarely ever have to advertise.

Responsible breeders always have a guarantee for their puppies and require your signature on a contract. This is to protect the puppy, the buyer and the breeder.

Exactly what are unscrupulous breeders costing your community? When backyard breeders sell to bad owners that can't take care of the animal, they will most likely end up at the local shelter or rescue or on the street. Sometimes poor quality animals with genetic flaws are allowed to breed simply because they are "purebreds". When a breeder cannot sell all of the puppies, they will either dump them, give them away at the corner grocery store or keep them, continue to breed and then have multiple litters - causing a hoarding situation.

We must act now - It's time - time for "Litter Laws". Does your community have kennel license ordinances or a hoarding ordinance in place? Please check your local animal control ordinances; some communities' laws are posted on line. If there are ordinances on the books, are your animal control, sheriff or law enforcement agencies aware of them and enforcing them?

If your community does not have any such ordinances, please, please, work with your local commissioners, civic leaders, and governments to get ordinances on the books and then make sure they are enforced.

Thank you for your time.

Judy Kruzich
Butte Spay Neuter Task Force
P.O. Box 544
Butte, MT 59703

P.O. Box 544, Butte, MT 59703 • 406-782-5110 •
Butte Spay/Neuter Task Force is associated with Heart Of The Divide Humane Society,
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization