From: Karin Raile
Why aren’t we known as the humanitarian capital of Minnesota? I read the recent article on dog breeding kennels in Winona County and that a moratorium is still “on the table”. Marvellous! I support a moratorium on other authorizations for dog breeding kennels which will allow a real discussion.
I have lived in Winona County for over 20 years. As far as I can remember, I have supported animals. I care about the way animals are treated; it also includes the way companies treat animals. I have followed this issue for many years, including in 2016 when the county council granted licenses to seven of these puppy mills. It still goes on. I testified at one of the recent board meetings in August and expressed my concern about these kennels. I am happy to see that the County Council is ready to discuss the permits, conditions and (hopefully) treatment of the animals.
These factories don’t produce wood or flowers – they keep adult dogs for years in cages and pens and breed them en masse to create multiple puppies to ship to brokers and pet stores. I can’t stand this mass production of puppies.
A commissioner said she believes the discussion of animal health and welfare is micromanagement. It’s not. It is the role of the council to govern responsibly and reflect our values in the county. If the county council (with recommendations from county staff) grants licenses with conditions but does not follow up to ensure compliance, it is not good governance. Yes, it can take time and effort. But why grant a permit if you are not going to verify it?
Especially when it comes to producing living, breathing dogs and puppies. The dogs in these kennels are not the same as the dogs in a “block,” as she suggests. The dogs in the homes are walking around and having fun, as well as love and care. They are part of the family. Dogs and puppies from these kennels are considered stocks and products for sale; the less labor and energy spent with the animals, the more profit for the kennels. It’s about making money at the expense of the health and well-being of dogs.
This problem can no longer be pushed under the carpet. The county council needs to step in and make changes – for the community and for the animals. Winona County should be known as the humanitarian capital of Minnesota, not the puppy mill capital of Minnesota.