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Oklahoma Puppy Mill Owners Dodging New Regulations

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One of the dogs dumped by puppy mill owners. One of the dogs dumped by puppy mill owners.
Two dogs look out from their cage at one of the vet hospitals. Two dogs look out from their cage at one of the vet hospitals.
Two dogs receive care at a vet hospital. Two dogs receive care at a vet hospital.

Tara Vreeland, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Animal rescue groups say new puppy mill regulations that are set to take effect in January are already having a big impact, and not in a good way.

Breeders are dumping extra pups in an effort to bypass the laws. The new rules will only apply to breeders who own 11 or more breeding females. So to stay underneath the threshold, puppy mills are abandoning dogs by the truck load.

11/21/2010 Related Story: Oklahoma Dog, Cat Breeders Face Tougher Rules

"I did see a couple dogs that I consider wild. They completely flipped out and were not able to be approached by humans," said Jennifer Murray, City Vet Hospital.

One hundred and twenty unwanted dogs from a puppy mill were dropped off with rescue groups. The Animal Rescue Foundation says owners either want out of business or just want to comply with the pending legislation.

"They were terrified of walking on solid ground. Because they are used to being in cages and things of that nature," Murray said.

Their problems range from rotten teeth to infected eyes and skin diseases, preventable problems. But the vets say the owner did the right thing by turning them over to rescue groups, instead of selling them at auction.

"It's difficult to say what the puppy mill has done is right at all," Murray said. "But it is better that they are getting rescued instead of continuing with their life stuck in a cage."

Health care neglect for the dogs is just the start.

"These dogs are not just physically in bad condition but they've lived in cages and haven't been handled or socialized or anything for their entire lives so a lot of them have emotional," Kimberly Huckaby, with the Bent Arrow Vet Hospital, said.

But there is hope for these dogs hoping to get a new lease on life.

The Pet Breeders Board is having a public discussion on the new rules Thursday in Oklahoma City. It's taking place at the First Christian Church from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The church is located at 3700 North Walker Avenue in Oklahoma City.

Depending on the number of persons wishing to speak there may be a time limit given on comments to accommodate all persons at the Hearing.

The puppies featured in Tara's story need foster homes and are eligible for adoption. If you are interested, contact the City Veterinary Hospital at 747-1641, the Bent Arrow Veterinary Hospital at 459-9100 or Animal Rescue Foundation.

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