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Posted on: May 17, 2016

Open letter from Freeholder Lepore about Puppy Mills

Recently, Paramus police found a van loaded with scores of puppies behind a pet store. It was reported that many of these puppies were in poor shape. The puppies were being transported from puppy mills from other states. A few days later the newspapers ran a string of stories about pet stores in the local area being closed for a host of violations.

Puppy and Kitten mills are an epidemic. According to the Humane Society of the U.S., an estimated 10,000 puppy mills produce over 2.4 million puppies per year. Most of the pets in stores come from these mills. The inhumane conditions, overbreeding, inbreeding, as well as the lack of food, water, and veterinary care leads to health and behavioral issues. Often times the pet owners are unable to deal with the financial and emotional burden of this previous neglect, and these pets find themselves in shelters. More than 20,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in New Jersey every year.

My heart went out to these animals after reading about these abuses, and how widespread they are. Currently, Assembly bill A3645 is being debated by our state legislature. If passed, this law would ban pet stores in New Jersey from buying puppies and kittens from these mills. I introduced a resolution to the Freeholder Board urging Governor Chris Christie to ban the purchase of puppies and kittens from these mills, and I am happy to say it was passed unanimously. If your feel as strongly as I about the stopping the abuse of these animals, I urge you to call your local Assembly-person and the Governor’s Office and tell them to pass this law.

Pat Lepore
Passaic County Freeholder

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