SPONSOR:   

Rep. M. Marshall & Sen. Blevins

 

Reps. Longhurst, Miro

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

145th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

HOUSE BILL NO. 95

 

 

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DOGS.

 


BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE: (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House concurring therein).

 


Section 1.  AMEND § 1701(3)(a) of Title 7 by deleting the phrase ", by a person who resides".

Section 2.  Add a new Section to Chapter 17 of Title 7 to read as follows:

“§ 1704A.  Puppy Mills

(1)  For the purposes of this section, “breeding dog” means any unsterilized dog over the age of six months which is kept for the purposes of breeding or raising that animal for sale as a pet, or for the purposes of breeding and selling their offspring as household pets.

(2)  No person shall own, possess, control, or otherwise have charge of more than 25 breeding dogs at any time.

(3)  Veterinary care.  Breeding dogs shall be provided veterinary care without delay when necessary.  A male unaltered dog shall be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year; a female unaltered dog shall be examined be a veterinarian at least once a year or prior to each attempt at breeding, whichever occurs more frequently.  A dog shall not be bred if a veterinarian determines that the animal is unfit for breeding purposes. Only dogs between the ages of 18 months and 8 years of age may be used for breeding.  Female dogs shall only be allowed to whelp one litter per year.  Ear cropping, tail docking, debarking, and surgical births are prohibited except under anesthesia and by a licensed veterinarian. Animals requiring euthanasia shall be euthanized only by a licensed veterinarian.

(4)  A person who violates subparagraph (2) of this section is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(5)  Subparagraph (2) of this section does not apply to:

(i)  An animal shelter;

(ii)  A facility impounding dogs on behalf of a city or county;

(iii)  A veterinary clinic or other veterinary facility;

(iv)  A retail dog outlet;

(v)  A boarding facility; or

(vi)  A research facility.“.


SYNOPSIS

This bill adopts the recommendations of the Humane Society of the United States regarding restrictions on the large-scale for-profit dog breeding operations commonly known as “puppy mills.”  The intent of this bill is to ensure that dogs are bred in sanitary and humane conditions. The bill prohibits the possession of more than 25 breeding dogs at one time and imposes minimum requirements for breeding dogs to receive veterinary care.