I am writing to express thanks and gratitude to state Rep. Kimberly Monaghan, D-Cape Elizabeth, for taking a strong stand against animal cruelty. Monaghan is the lead sponsor of LD 335, which seeks to prohibit pet shops in Maine from buying and selling puppies and kittens from large-scale, out-of-state commercial breeding facilities known as puppy mills.
More than 95 percent of puppies and kittens sold by Maine pet shops are obtained from these facilities, many of which were cited for significant violations during USDA inspections last year.
The lack of care at these breeding facilities is inhumane, and it contributes to a high rate of contagious parasites, diseases, and behavioral disorders in the young animals that are sold by pet shops to people who are usually unaware of their origin.
Not only do the puppies and kittens suffer (many die during transport) but the adult dogs and cats that bear them are bred continuously and kept in cramped, filthy conditions for life: never taken out of their cages, never groomed, never feeling a loving human touch.
I am glad that the bill received the endorsement of the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation. It will now face further votes in the House and Senate.
Please join me in thanking Rep. Monaghan for sponsoring this important legislation and raising awareness throughout Maine of the critical importance of purchasing pets only from area shelters, rescue groups or reputable local breeders.