Animal welfare should be part of the discussion | Opinion

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From: Angie Einsman

Winona

As a longtime animal lover who has worked closely with shelters and rescues in Florida and Minnesota, I was shocked and dismayed recently to learn that Winona County has the highest number of puppy mills in the state of Minnesota. I was also deeply disturbed to discover that Winona County does not have any animal welfare related oversight at the many large scale dog breeding facilities, also known as Puppy Mills. County officials have insisted animal welfare should be left to the state. The fact that some of these facilities were fully operational before the permits were issued is also a major concern.

I have seen dogs that end up in shelters or shelters that have not been socialized properly resulting in dogs not being able to bond with their owners or other pets. Often, these dogs are sent back to shelters several times due to socialization issues. They suffer from anxiety and other health problems due to overcrossing and inbreeding. It is a challenge to potty train them as they have lived in cages or kennels their entire lives. Dogs need to be cared for mentally, socially, and physically so that they don’t end up with behavioral issues and illnesses.

That’s why Winona County Council needs to discuss animal welfare at these large-scale dog breeding facilities. How are the animals treated? What happens to female dogs when they can no longer be mated? How often does the vet examine each animal? What is the fate of a defective puppy? These questions and many more should all be discussed by the Winona County Council. If Winona County doesn’t have the time or resources to provide animal welfare, then why are permits being granted in the first place? I believe puppy mills are a horrible business that harms animals for money. I support the ban on future puppy mill permits in Winona County.


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