Bradley County Commission Discusses "Puppy Mill" Situation

Monday, June 16, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Representatives from the Humane Society and the SPCA of Bradley County told the Bradley County Commission that while instances like the recent "puppy mill" situation are usually rare, there will likely be many more after the Commercial Breeders Act expires at the end of June.

Last week, 247 dogs were found on a single property in Bradley County in what the Bradley County Sheriff's Office described as "appalling conditions." 

The representative from the Humane Society said that since its passage in 1999, the Commercial Breeders Act has required licensing and minimum standards for mass-breeding kennels.

She said before then, puppy mills could be found in almost every county. However, this year, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted not to extend the bill.

She said, "What's going to happen is that those puppy mills are going to start popping up again." 

She also told everyone that when buying a dog, "If the breeder won't let you see the parents and where they were raised, walk away."

Vice Chairman Adam Lowe pointed out of the puppy mill operators, "If you were in any other business, you would be out of business." 

Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones said, "Just to clarify, the SPCA will not take any of these animals until they are complete with the spay and neuter process." The SPCA will receive first pick of the animals rescued. The Humane Society will transport others to various Tennessee shelters with openings.

Medical exams on the rescued animals started Monday afternoon. It was also pointed out that these animals "are not pets yet," as they have spent their entire lives living in a cage. 

Both representatives encouraged people interested in adopting one of these animals to make an informed decision rather than an emotional one. They also told those interested in adopting to contact the SPCA.

During the meeting, the floor was also opened for appeals regarding the budget. 

Commissioner Peak-Jones suggested cutting the travel expense budget of the election commission, saying "saving the taxpayers $1,000 here and there adds up."

She said that on trips financed by tax money, only those required to be there should be paid for. 

She said, "It's all I hear is that we waste money...I'd like to see a change in our non essential travel."

Vice Chairman Lowe said, "I think that Ms. Jones is onto something here," and suggested they review all of the travel budgets.

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