From: Rita J. Jessen
County Council should have a thorough and informed discussion of the Winona County Dog Breeding Ordinance and the Dog Breeding Industry. I had the pleasure of reading last week that some commissioners were in favor of this. I said: “Well done to these commissioners! County Council should better understand how their actions have contributed to the proliferation of puppy mills in Winona County.
For years people in the community have told Commissioners that puppy mills are a problem. We don’t want Winona County to be known for this inhumane treatment of dogs; and yet the board of directors continued to license these large breeding facilities – so more and more puppies can be mass produced. It is inhumane to leave dogs in cages for life and repeatedly reared in these facilities.
In addition, it appears the county does not have the resources to ensure compliance once permits are granted, and it also passes on all animal welfare matters to the state. Commissioner Olson said in a recent Winona Post article that “I believe that if we issue a permit, we have a responsibility to verify that these conditions are met”. I am okay! Good governance is about responsibility and accountability. I appreciate that some Commissioners know this and welcome a long-awaited in-depth discussion on puppy mills and the role of the county. It is indeed a step in the right direction.