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LETTER: Pet stores fine without puppy mills

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From the Herald & Review I learned that state Senator Jason Barickman from Bloomington voted against shutting down puppy mills. He said it would be a hardship on pet store owners.

Of course I had to write this letter.

You are not my senator, but I want to explain why puppy mills need to be eradicated.

One of the most offensive areas for these is not that far from Decatur.

For five years, I cared for a puppy mill mother that had been rescued when the place was raided. This dog had been in a small cage for 10 years for the sole purpose of breeding pups. The only times she was out of the cage were to be bred and to see the vet.

When I rescued her, she could barely walk. She had lost almost all her teeth from malnourishment. She had no depth perception, and never could manage stairs. I had to carry her up and down every time she went out. 

It took Five years to socialize her, to have her feel comfortable around people, to show recognition and to react as a dog normally does. By that tme, her ravaged body was beyond further help.

Yes, she lived to be 15 years old, but what an awful first 10 years.

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It is not just puppies that need to be protected, but those female dogs in slavery.

Breeders should be regulated, of course. Regulating them is a challenge. Outlaw the puppy mills first, and let reliable breeders sell to pet stores.

Your reasoning is shortsighted and inhumane. Please reconsider your opinion and fight for animal rights. The pet stores will survive and will teach new pet owners to respect their animals.

Margaret Rothe, Decatur

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