Meet the NC Dog Lobbyist
Surprising things can happen when a little dog visits lawmakers. Triangle Paws got an opportunity to find out how when we tagged along with Danny, the NC Dog Lobbyist on a recent visit to the North Carolina Legislature.
As we followed Danny on his rounds we had an opportunity to speak with advocates, lobbyists and concerned citizens to learn more about the dog breeding industry. We learned that puppy mills should never be confused with responsible dog breeders who give exceptional care to their dogs and are very selective about who can purchase their puppies. Puppy mills are dirty and dangerous places where dogs are kept in cages their entire lives and produce litter after litter. Puppy millers short change dogs by providing poor quality food, shelter, little to no vet care and no socialization.
Unlike many states, North Carolina does not regulate the dog breeding industry like they do other consumer-facing businesses. This means no protection for consumers and dogs against fraud, deception and abuse by the puppy seller. In spite of overwhelming support from North Carolinians across the state, laws that would put puppy mills out of business have failed to pass, perhaps in part due to strong opposition by the American Kennel Club, whose operations center is in Raleigh. One has to wonder why the AKC promotes responsible dog ownership while at the same time works tirelessly to keep laws from being passed that would protect dogs from irresponsible and abusive owners.
Our next stop was a visit with Representative Grier Martin (District 34 - Wake) and his legislative aide Sylvia Hammond. It was a quick visit but Danny was able to get his point across that the General Assembly should say “No” to puppy mills by telling his story of life in a puppy mill. After some hugs and cuddles, Danny was off to his next appointment. Lobbying is hard work but Danny seemed to enjoy meeting people and advocating for dogs.